Lessons From The 2021 Elections

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I Voted sticker on a 30-round AR-15 magazine. IMG Jim Grant

United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- After the 2019 and 2020 elections, some were feeling despair. How could we overcome Silicon Valley censorship, hostile media, and other attacks on our rights?

Well, on November 2nd, Glenn Youngkin won the governorship of Virginia, with Winsome Sears and Jason Miyares winning the lieutenant governorship and the attorney general’s office. Republicans took the Virginia House of Delegates. In New Jersey, anti-Second Amendment extremist Phil Murphy nearly lost re-election, and Republicans made huge gains in the state legislature there.

While education (including the use of critical race theory) was a dominant factor in Virginia, and the economy was also on people’s minds, there still are vital lessons to learn.

Get On The Field

The Republicans contested every House of Delegates seat in the 2021 elections. This was a far cry from 2019 and 2017 when they left seats on the table. One of their pickups in 2021 came from District 75, which was uncontested in 2017. Leaving a political race on the table is stupid, and pro-Second Amendment organizations should be working to find candidates.

If there is an anti-Second Amendment extremist running unopposed in a local, state, or even federal office, consider if you might be up to taking them on, or helping someone else take them on. Edward Durr’s shocking upset of the president of the New Jersey State Senate shows that when you run, there is always a chance to win. Or, to put it another way, Second Amendment supporters will lose 100 percent of the elections they refuse to contest.

Don’t Leave Votes On The Table

When Politico talked with Youngkin’s campaign team, Jeff Roe had seven words that Second Amendment supporters need to take to heart: “Don’t assume that votes are off limits.”

In Youngkin’s case, that meant advertising in the foreign-language publications in Virginia. Without a doubt, that included hiring translators to properly hone his message. With foreign-language ballots and publications as an inescapable reality for the foreseeable future, it is inexcusable for the NRA to have ignored this, given its resources, and this needs to change.

It isn’t just the political and legislative items that need to be translated, but also the NRA’s wealth of firearms safety and training materials. This is the type of strategic mistake that can kill the Second Amendment over the long term, and the NRA has been making it on Wayne LaPierre’s watch for over two decades.

Other pro-Second Amendment organizations need to figure out how to get to these communities as well.

Demographics Doomsday Isn’t Coming For The Second Amendment

Six months ago, I noted that Democrats were starting to fret that their “emerging majority” wasn’t actually emerging. Now, two separate exit polls feature some bright news for Second Amendment supporters. Glenn Youngkin won Hispanic voters by either nine or eleven points, depending on which exit poll you pick.

As Shor pointed out in New York magazine, “Democrats have been relying on the support of roughly 90 percent of Black voters and 70 percent of Hispanic voters.”

So what do you think happens to the party controlled by anti-Second Amendment extremists when instead of winning by 40 points, they lost by an average of ten? They lose. How did that happen? Youngkin worked for their votes.

Second Amendment supporters will lose 100 percent of the voters they don’t make their case to. The defeatism peddled by the prophets of demographic doom-and-gloom must be discarded. The future of Second Amendment activism is change.

Good Candidates Matter

Much of this also falls on having excellent candidates. Youngkin proved to be an outstanding candidate who united feuding factions and brought in voters. Maybe he doesn’t tick all of the policy boxes some Second Amendment supporters would prefer, but in the relatively hostile political climate that was Virginia over the last nine years – voting for Obama, Hillary, and Biden in the presidential race, and handing the governorship to McAuliffe in 2013 and Northam in 2017 – Youngkin proved more than adequate to stop the bleeding.

Candidate quality matters. Good candidates can pull off upsets. Bad ones can become anchors around the necks of those who support the Second Amendment.

The Fight Has Only Just Begun

It may be tempting to think that between the upcoming Supreme Court ruling and these results, it will be easy to steamroll over anti-Second Amendment extremists. Just as Second Amendment supporters need to discard the demographic doom-and-gloom defeatism, they also need to can the complacency and instead work hard to keep the pressure on. In a year, Second Amendment supporters will need to defeat a lot of anti-Second Amendment extremists at the local, state, and federal levels via the ballot box.


About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.Harold Hutchison

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