About last night's 4th congressional district election in Kansas, the state's GOP chairman perfectly articulated the national party's strategy for four dreadful decades: "We just had to scare everyone out to vote."
Fear of Democrats, fear of change, fear of honest media, fear of the "other," fear of reality, fear of socialism! and amorphous fears of any opportunistic manner are what have driven the Republican Party's GOTV efforts since the late-1970s New Right converted "the paranoid style" into party doctrine.
To anyone who takes issue with that assessment, pray tell me: What uplifting message has the GOP had to offer in recent memory? That only it can provide you with a health-care policy in name only — but an inexpensive one! — is the closest thing to a "positive" message I can think of. Otherwise it's been doom, doom, doom via fear of the opposition, whose empirical competence in governing is somehow believably peddled as frightful to the rustic masses.
But back to Kansas.
The fact that Democrats were able to hold Republicans to a single-digit victory in a race that never should have been on the board in the first place [Trump just won the district by 27 points] bodes well as they move onto races where the playing field is more favorable.
The boomerang effect should be a pleasant change. The opposition's legitimate fear of Trump and Trumpism may, in 2018, finally outmatch the GOP's doctrine of imaginary goblins everywhere.