OPINION: Our Reaction to Tuesday’s Texas Gubernatorial Primary

(TEXAS) – Tuesday night saw Texas Governor Greg Abbott cruise to a primary victory over challengers Allen West, Chad Prather, and APU-Endorsed Candidate Don Huffines. Over the past year, Abbott has desperately tried to save face with Republican voters by performatively adopting decent conservative policy – and it paid off in Tuesday’s results.

Admittedly, the rightward shift of Greg Abbott’s persona is a minor victory in itself – it says something that Texas’s conservative base, led by fighters like Huffines, yielded substantially more conservatism from Governor Abbott than what previously existed.

Yet the staunch divide highlighted by last night’s race cannot be ignored. Greg Abbott was the handpicked candidate of Fox News and the RNC. We watched as both entities suddenly and deliberately launched a pro-Abbott propaganda campaign over the past year to guarantee his victory. We watched as the Republican establishment rewrote Abbott’s legacy from a lukewarm neoconservative to powerful right-wing fighter via a coordinated sequence of Fox News hits and RNC dollars.

If Abbott represented the Republican establishment, former Texas State Senator Don Huffines represented the base. Huffines stood proudly for the grassroots, America First wing of the party. He presented real solutions to close the border, end medical mandates, ban anti-white racism, return prayer in schools, and save Texas from its leftward shift. He would not have locked down Texas for nine months because he publicly opposed it from the beginning.

Where Abbott was performative, Huffines was action-oriented. Where Abbott was a Republican, Don Huffines was an authentic conservative.

Sadly, Huffines could not overcome the political machine that was Fox News and the RNC. So, despite his long legacy of weakness, mainstream conservative institutions decided that Abbott was their pick.

But institutions don’t vote. People do. So perhaps the greater indictment falls not on the Republican establishment itself but the voters who fell for their lies. Of course, Fox is powerful, and so is the RNC – but truthfully, if every Republican voter who vowed to boycott Fox and destroy the GOP after the 2020 election did so, Don Huffines would be the next Governor of Texas. But that didn’t happen – so where has the America First, anti-establishment energy of the post-election period gone?

The short memories of Texas Republicans highlight the exact reason why grassroots boycotts of the conservative establishment do not work. After more than a few months of outrage, viewers always return, money always pours in, and voters always fall in line.

Evidently, it is not enough to boycott our establishment. Instead, the Republican establishment must be actively taken over, replaced, and destroyed by a cunning generation of authentic young conservatives.

We cannot rely on a neoconservative party with the occasional, once-in-a-lifetime outsider like Donald Trump. This will further our current predicament – we cannot remain a useless party with a handful of good apples.

Instead, our outsiders must become insiders. Establishments must exist, so we must ensure that our establishments are strong. National conservatives must become the norm in the Republican Party – and in order to achieve that, we must first dismantle the apparatus that gatekeeps us from power. We cannot allow the conservative establishment, as it currently exists, to exist anymore.

As Jake Lloyd Colglazier noted in our publication earlier this week, Texans deserve better than Greg Abbott. The state that should, in theory, be leading a national movement of effective statewide conservative power deserves real leadership. And so does America. It must be our mission going forward to make sure that such leadership becomes possible. And to do so, we must take down the conservative establishment that prevents it from being possible.