Republicans in 2024 are in grave hazard of repeating 1964 catastrophe

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Republicans should be taught the teachings of the 2022 elections and assume by means of a path to victory in 2024.

Republican Chief Kevin McCarthy’s recruitment of ladies, minority, and veteran candidates – and prolific fundraising ($485 million) – enabled Home Republicans to realize seats for a second straight election regardless of losses in different components of the GOP.

Equally, Republican Nationwide Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s give attention to opening workplaces in minority districts paid off. Latino and Asian voters moved considerably extra to the GOP.

Nonetheless, 2022 concerned lots of stunning defeats and disappointments. And 2024 guarantees to be doubtlessly much more harmful to Republican hopes.


I’m nervous concerning the potential for 2024 to develop into 1964, when Republican Barry Goldwater was annihilated by Lyndon B. Johnson. I lived by means of 1964, and I noticed how badly a bitterly cut up get together can devour itself.

The Republican presidential defeat in 1964 was so divisive it pulled down GOP congressional candidates, governors, and state legislators. It took years to get well (within the U.S. Home, we didn’t absolutely get well till the 1994 Contract with America marketing campaign).

I keep in mind the catastrophe vividly, as a result of in 1964 I took a 12 months off faculty to handle a marketing campaign for Congress in North Georgia. I used to be deeply concerned within the marketing campaign course of that 12 months, and it unfolded in an enchanting however horrifying means. It was quite a bit like watching a automotive crash that you simply couldn’t cease.

President Johnson had succeeded President John F. Kennedy after the latter was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. It’s possible Johnson would have been re–elected as a result of the American individuals didn’t need a third president in fewer than two years.

Nonetheless, in a normal election year – if confronted with a united Republican Occasion – Johnson would most likely have gained a comparatively slim victory. The GOP wouldn’t have been significantly shattered. Nonetheless, when the bitterly divisive Republican nomination course of was over Republicans have been so cut up that Goldwater solely obtained 38.5 p.c of the vote and carried solely six states.

Within the Goldwater collapse, Republicans misplaced 36 seats within the Home and have been right down to solely 140 members. Within the Senate, Republicans misplaced two seats and have been right down to 32 seats. Republicans wouldn’t win a majority within the Senate once more till 1980.

Goldwater misplaced so badly as a result of the non-public bitterness between the conservative motion and the standard Republican Occasion grew intense and uncontrollable. When Gov. Nelson Rockefeller spoke on the GOP Nationwide Conference in San Francisco, he was booed. The reasonable wing of the GOP brazenly ridiculed and attacked Goldwater. The tenor of the marketing campaign was captured by Ambassador Invoice Middendorf in a e-book entitled “Superb Catastrophe: Barry Goldwater’s Presidential Marketing campaign and the Origins of the Conservative Motion.”

In that “superb catastrophe,” the seeds of the longer term have been planted in October 1964, when an actor named Ronald Reagan gave an excellent, nationally televised speech entitled “A Time for Selecting.” (It’s nonetheless obtainable on YouTube and price watching.) It raised a outstanding sum of money for that period and launched Reagan on a 16–12 months quest for the presidency. In that sense, Goldwater strategically helped change America whereas collapsing within the speedy election.

Republicans in 2024 are in grave hazard of repeating the 1964 catastrophe.

Republican candidates who give attention to tearing down their main opponents reasonably than fixing America’s issues will additional alienate thousands and thousands of Individuals who’re uninterested in the unfavorable, damaging assault strategy.

If Republicans are unfortunate sufficient (and after the failures of the 2022 election there isn’t a purpose to imagine Republicans can be fortunate two years from now), then the Donald Trump faction will refuse to again any nominee aside from Trump, and the anti-Trump faction will refuse to assist Trump if he’s the nominee.

A 2024 election during which the GOP is deeply divided and offended with itself could be an historic catastrophe just like 1964.

In that scenario President Joe Biden – or whoever the Democrats nominate – would sweep into workplace with large majorities within the Home and Senate. America would proceed to maneuver towards Large Authorities Socialism and wokeism, and America would develop poorer, weaker, much less free, and extra weak to enemies who wish to substitute us because the main energy on the earth.

President Trump has it in his energy to convey collectively all the key candidates and conform to restrict to marketing campaign assaults. Arguments over coverage are fantastic. Assaults primarily based on persona assure bitterness and divisiveness.

Candidate Reagan relied on the “eleventh Commandment” formulated by California GOP Chairman Gaylord Parkinson.

Merely acknowledged, the commandment mentioned, “Thou shalt not converse ailing of any Republican.”


This rule would cripple the viciousness and destructiveness of the paid consultants who rely closely on discovering weaknesses and making an attempt to cripple or destroy their opponents by means of negativity (which clearly failed Republicans in 2022).

It could additionally require self-discipline and courteous mutual respect among the many candidates.

The American individuals are deeply uninterested in the bickering and negativity. They’re longing for a return to normalcy (to make use of a phrase from the amazingly profitable Republican marketing campaign of 1920).


With out some restraints and a few effort at mutual respect, the GOP will tear itself aside and we can have traditionally failed the American individuals – whereas placing the way forward for our nation within the palms of a tough left motion which despises all the things for which we stand.

This can be a massive second of resolution for Republican leaders.

Allow us to hope they put the nation first.


For extra commentary from Newt Gingrich, go to

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