1. Watching the liberals beat up on each other has been quite the good time. The Kansas Democrats have finally woken up and realized that the party's unholy alliance with so-called moderate Republicans isn't good for their cause. (Yael is mad about it. Cue laugh track.) Having two well-defined parties in Kansas is a good thing. It would be much better than this weird alliance between Democrats and people who want to hang out with the cool kids by pretending to be Republicans. I am not saying I want Republicans to lose to Democrats, but when a Democrat loses to a Democrat? Well, I fire up the Taylor Swift tunes and jump around my living room like a teenager hopped up on norepinephrine and dopamine after a junior high dance.
2. Hardship creates ingenuity and clarity. I don't know how conservatives are going to fare across the state. No matter what occurs today, the 2017 Kansas Legislature is going to be a more liberal place. In some ways, I think that's going to be good for conservatives. We're going to have to get smarter and work harder. Conservatives got complacent sometime between 2010 and 2016, and we've never been any good at messaging. We're going to have to get better at both, and nothing will force the survival effort quite like being pushed out into the wilderness and having to learn to sustain ourselves. The wilderness is going to provide some clarity.
It already has. Since the August primaries, the conservative effort has improved immensely, and I think tonight's results are going to reflect that. Conservatives lost some seats in August, and Republicans are going to lose even more seats tonight, but I think we lose far less than many were estimating back in early August.
3. I learned how to win every single argument with a liberal.
Over in Liberal Land I say things like, "That sounds like the patriarchy, mansplaining things to me." Or, "Please, your white privilege is showing." And they literally apologize and stop talking. We can't debate policy or have a healthy discussion with liberals fawn all over themselves apologizing. Head desk. Winning an argument isn't all that fun if the other side just cedes.
4. Donald Trump actually has a path to win. It's not much of a secret that I don't have much of an appreciation for the guy at the top of our ticket, because of old-fashioned things like morals and values. However, Trump has a path, and it's not even all that narrow of one. I would argue it's wider than Romney's. If you remove all of the toss ups from the Real Clear Politics electoral college map, Trump loses, 266 to Hillary's 272. But the polls used to create those averages include older numbers, and despite tons of early voting in a lot of states, it doesn't look like Dem advanced voting has been quite as robust as it was in the past. The Dems may not have built up enough of a lead going into Election Day.
5. Trump did something that no other politician in my lifetime has ever done: He spoke candidly, viscerally about abortion in public on national television. Say what you want about the man--and I sometimes question his sincerity--but he said "If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now you can say that's OK, and Hillary can say that that's OK, but it's not OK with me...It's not unacceptable. Nobody has business doing what I just said, doing that as late as one or two or three days prior to birth. No one has that right."
Would any of Kansas' great and pro-life politicians EVER say that on national television? Would Sen. Jerry Moran? Would Congressman Kevin Yoder or Lynn Jenkins ever say that to a television camera to a national audience? I don't think so. I'm not faulting them; I'm simply saying Trump will have my gratitude for years to come because of those sentences--even though I'm pretty sure I'll detest him again at some point in the near future.
6. There are a lot of really impressive conservatives doing amazing work in Kansas. We have some incredibly smart and talented people volunteering their time on Republican campaigns. We only need about a million more like them.