There's a lot more to this country than the White House and Congress. In fact, in this fog of fury and disillusionment, one of the greatest untold stories of 2020 is just how much conservatives stand to gain from what they did in the states on November 3rd. If you're looking for silver linings after this week -- and I don't know anyone who isn't -- take a trip to the Republican states. Thanks to voters, that'll take a while -- because there are a lot more now than ever.
Not everyone is going to roll over and take whatever radicalism Joe Biden's administration dishes out. That's the message from more than two dozen state attorneys general, who've taken it upon themselves to be the "last line of defense." "If we lose the Senate," the executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association told the Washington Times, "...it's going to be first and goal at the half-yard line, and we're going to have to hold the line."
And hold the line they will, vow the 26 men and women who act as their state's chief law enforcers. They're ramping up to be a legal blockade to any assault or executive order the new president tries to throw at them. "We know the playbook of relying heavily on executive orders," Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R) said. "By getting out in front, launching the initiative and getting a coalition of Republican AGs thinking about these issues, we can be prepared..."
As a group, they've been coordinating and communicating for months "in preparation to block Mr. Biden's moves." They call the initiative "Save and Defend," and its goal will be to stop any radical action that passes the upper chamber. During the Obama years, they honed these skills -- taking the administration to court 78 times and winning 60 percent of the cases. Now, with that experience under their belts, they're ready to make Save and Defend more than just a legal war. "[They'll] also include policy and communications components to pressure lawmakers and inform the public."
But the attorneys general are just one of the weapons Americans will have in 2021. Despite a huge campaign to flip the state legislatures, Democrats spent a lot of money and won next to nothing. Of the 98 partisan chambers, Republicans now control 61. That's an incredible number, the Wall Street Journal points out, considering that the Left had its sights on "10 legislative chambers they hoped to flip, and national groups raised at least $88 million to support that cause." Texas, one of the biggest bullseyes, was even a reversal of fortunes from 2018. Instead of losing statehouse seats, Republicans picked up 12.
Why does that matter? For public policy, for starters. Conservatives will be the ones setting agendas and passing legislation. But there are other advantages, too, that will dramatically affect our next elections. In a year when we're all concerned about the Left rigging future votes, it will be the GOP -- not Democrats -- drawing the next district lines. "Republicans," the FiveThirtyEight explains, "won almost every election where redistricting was at stake." They won the power "to maximize the number of districts that favor their party... Both parties went into the election with a chance to draw more congressional districts than the other, but the end result was just about the best-case scenario for Republicans. As the map [here] shows, Republicans are set to control the redistricting of 188 congressional seats -- 43 percent of the entire House of Representatives."
And here's the other thing. The edge in Republican chambers also gives states the opportunity to clean up the fraud and corruption that's made a mess of our election system. GOP secretaries of state and other officials are the leaders who decide which voting machines we use, what kind of safeguards are in place, how we can improve access and transparency in 2022. If Americans are upset about what happened last November, the answer isn't ransacking the U.S. Capitol. It's getting deeply involved in making sure what happened never happens again. It's urging significant changes in the process and refusing to quit until they're implemented.
As frustrated and angry as we are about the games we all know were played to manipulate the outcome of the 2020 election, we cannot miss what is ahead. We must thoroughly investigate and uncover what was done in this election. Then we must the vulnerabilities are fixed by state legislators and that it doesn't happen again. If conservatives want a constructive place to put their energy, don't throw a punch. Start demanding changes to the election process in your state. End the universal mail-in ballot. Ban billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg from buying their way into local election control. Lobby for neutral-sourced voting machines. Fight for stronger voter ID laws. Volunteer at your polling stations or run for local office. Ask the legislature to overturn whatever end-runs the courts and Democrats made to election law in the name of COVID.
The Left wants you to believe the fix is in, and there's no stopping it. That's not true. You're the fix to what's undermining our country. And the beauty of federalism is, if you have the courage to do something, other states will follow. It's time to pick up our chins and head back to our battle stations. Because the only way the extremists win this fight -- and the next election -- is if we let them.