Since the primary election, nearly half of the Executive Board of the Republican Party of Kenosha County resigned. It’s strange, given that this was one of their most successful years yet in terms of fundraising, recruitment of poll workers, and the election of Republicans to office. The Republican Party of Wisconsin regards them as one of the most effective and high-performing counties in the state, perhaps the highest of all, and their former Chair, Erin Decker, has been decorated with awards throughout her tenure. After speaking with a few of the officers who resigned, they all told the same story: a significant number of members, many under the banner of “America First,” had turned on them. This division of the Republican Party speaks not only to their own weaknesses, but more quietly, to newfound strengths of the Democrats.
For the last two years, Republicans have been scrambling to restore election integrity, and rightly so. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t believe some level of cheating occurred during the 2020 election, and I admit, much of the evidence seems damning. The Republican Party understands that without free and fair elections, America is no longer a functional democratic republic. In an attempt to restore faith in the election process, Republicans across the state of Wisconsin and the nation have admirably redoubled efforts to re-legitimize elections in the form of recruiting poll workers, voting only in person, voting only on paper ballots, eliminating ballot dropboxes, etc. But sadly, they’re still experiencing a dangerous amount of lag and haven’t yet grasped the necessity of so-called 4th generation warfare. The Democrats have already deployed new social and emotional weaponry, while the Republicans haven’t even figured out their pants are around their ankles yet. In true guerilla warfare style, the Dems hit hard and fast with whatever illegitimate practices they employed in 2020, and have already launched a new tactic leaving the Republicans reeling and several steps behind. They sabotaged the Republican Party itself, and they did it beautifully.
Most Democrats largely don’t care about election integrity. It’s never been a talking point or a critical issue for them (which perhaps speaks to their culpability? Who knows.). Assuming that there were at least a few instances of slimy goings-on, they would also have known that cheating in the 2020 election would make people angry, and it did. I believe they were banking on it. Republicans are not stupid or irrational—but angry people are. It was the political equivalent to brake-checking someone; it’s impossible to really prove you did it, but it’s sure to spark instant rage in your victim. The person driving behind you will likely then accelerate and begin to drive erratically, switching lanes to catch a glimpse of his bully or tailgating to try and assuage his anger somehow. Just as driving with road rage is irrational and hazardous, so is voting with voter rage. Either by grand design or accident, the emotions churned up by Democrats in the 2020 election has morphed into a cannibalization of the Republicans’ own leadership, as we see clearly in instances like what happened with the RPKC Executive Board. In Kenosha County there have been coup attempts to overthrow the county party board, public demonization of board members, and coordinated trolling attacks on social media. The officers that resigned report that they were called RINOs, liberals, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and a smattering of other less gentle insults for merely conducting business the way that had always worked.
In addition to simply stirring the pot, Democrats also seem to have launched more elegant and subversive techniques with great success: shill candidates. In Wisconsin, a huge swath of Republicans were duped into believing in a propagandic effort to eliminate endorsement from the state party. The charge was led by Kevin Nicholson, the gubernatorial candidate and admitted “former Democrat” who has tanked promising Republican candidates in the past. As a part of his schtick, Nicholson convinced voters to blame “the establishment” Republicans, and touted the ideal of “giving the power back to the people.” Such language sounds quite similar to liberal objectives like redistribution of wealth or white privilege—both revolve around the principle that there is a small group who’s holding power over the heads of another, less fortunate group. The aforementioned angry Republicans impulsively latched onto this idea and vowed to take their power back, although nothing had actually been stolen from them. They rallied enough people to eliminate endorsements for candidates across the board, including those for Governor. Rebecca Kleefisch, a promising gubernatorial candidate, held a massive vote lead at the RPW convention where endorsement is voted on by the members themselves. However she failed to reach the threshold thanks to those who voted “no endorsement.” Having successfully eliminated the opportunity for Kleefisch to be endorsed, Nicholson suspended his campaign a short time later. While it can’t be proved, this seemed suspiciously like another step in the very successful initiative to split the Republican vote, ensuring a Democrat win for the Governor’s seat.
Some fired-up Republicans were motivated to run for office themselves, also preaching ideals to defeat “the establishment.” Many of these candidates ran on the promise of “de-certifying” the 2020 election, which is not only unconstitutional but also impossible (there is no provision to do such a thing). Small but scrappy groups of conservative voters championed these oddball candidates, but as any political analyst will tell you, if a candidate is perceived by a large portion of the population as radical or somehow a bit crazy, they have virtually no chance of success in an election. Many rejected the progressive platforms of these Trumpian campaigns, resulting in virtually all of them tanking nationwide. Unfortunately for Republicans, those small but scrappy groups still managed to divide the Republican vote even further, driving a wedge between those who wanted revenge and those who wanted to win.
It’s not unlikely that Democrats may have utilized other simultaneous tactics as well. They may have placed saboteurs on the county party boards themselves. Given how the board was ganged up on in Kenosha County, it’s likely. Some members of the Democratic Party of Kenosha County knew about the resignations less than an hour after they occurred and posted about it on social media, despite nothing having been publicly announced. Have the Kenosha County Republicans unwittingly handed over their entire organization to liberal control? It’s not impossible. In other parts of the country, liberal PACs sent out mailers to encourage votes for Republican candidates in the primary election…the worst Republican candidates, that is. They’re clearly employing a multi-pronged, manipulative approach, whereas the Republicans are still relying on good old-fashioned logic that no one cares about.
Some (probably most) will read this article and cry “conspiracy theory.” And perhaps they’re correct. But one thing is certain: there are now four major political parties. From left to right: the wild progressive leftists, the classical liberals, the regular old Republicans, and the unhinged right-wingers. The battle being fought is between those on the fringe. Those stuck in the middle of this spectrum are purely along for the ride.