Vol. 54, No. 6

In this edition

This edition of the Ripon Forum features the results of a post-election survey of the nation’s electorate, which finds that Americans still want their leaders in Washington to work together.

A Patriotic, Pro-Worker Republican Party Is Emerging

November’s historic turnout suggests the political coalitions that constitute our two-party system are once again shifting.

The Ghosts of Budgets Past, Present & Future

Ebenezer Scrooge would have certainly asserted of Congress’ budget process: “it is dead, dead as a door-nail.” In the spirit of the season, it is worth examining why the process now lies with old Marley in the graveyard.

Why Macomb Stayed Red

Trump’s successes in Macomb during the last two cycles may signal a longer-term partisan change in the County.

Why Northampton Turned Blue

Trump’s inability to repeat in Northampton County was undoubtedly affected by intense dissatisfaction with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Voters will be heading into 2021 frustrated about the political environment and wary that either political party or its leaders has all the answers facing the country.


Meet 10 Members of the GOP Freedom Force Who Knocked Off Incumbent Democrats

The New Guard: Stephanie Bice (OK-5)

“Hopefully we’ll see, now that the election is over, some coming together and trying to actually govern again.”

The New Guard: Michelle Fischbach (MN-7)

“Families across western Minnesota simply want a government that protects our communities and spends taxpayer dollars responsibly.”

The New Guard: Carlos Gimenez (FL-26)

“This country needs to start to work together. We have threats from outside and inside, and for us to keep fighting makes no sense whatsoever.”

The New Guard: Yvette Herrell (NM-2)

“For far too long, we’ve seen division in Washington, and the losers are the people, because our values are not being represented.”

The New Guard: Ashley Hinson (IA-1)

“The partisan rhetoric – the infighting – is unacceptable to me and I know it’s unacceptable to the voters in Iowa’s first district.”

The New Guard: Young Kim (CA-39)

“For the longest time, the Republican Party has been the party of opportunities, and I’m an example of that.”

The New Guard: Nancy Mace (SC-1)

“It is time to stop rebuilding the world and start rebuilding America.”

The New Guard: Burgess Owens (UT-4)

“Now, more than ever, we need leaders that will stand for their principles and won’t compromise their values for political opportunities.”

The New Guard: Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27)

“I vow that I will represent the spirit that lives in this district – the ultimate melting pot.”

The New Guard: Michelle Steel (CA-48)

“This vote showed that minorities who may look or speak differently than most not only have a place in this Republican Party but can be elected to the United States Congress.”

Why We Need Federal Election Standards

Most advanced democracies, even federal ones, have a national agency that guarantees standard voting registration processes that make it straightforward to vote.

States Should Set Their Own Election Rules to Protect Liberty

Any national federal standard — whether it be voter ID, absentee ballot availability, or even voter qualifications — would be enforced with a decidedly Democratic Party bias.

Ripon Profile of Tom Emmer

Tom Emmer discusses the outcome of this past election, and how Republicans can take back the House in 2022.

The New Guard: Michelle Steel (CA-48)

“This vote showed that minorities who may look or speak differently than most not only have a place in this Republican Party but can be elected to the United States Congress.”

Snapshot of Victory: Michelle Steel defeated first-term incumbent Democrat Harley Rouda by a vote of 51.1% to 48.9%. She, along with fellow Republican Young Kim (CA-39) and Democrat Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), are the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress.

Background: Congresswoman-elect Steel was born in South Korea and raised in Japan. Her upbringing allowed her to learn and become fluent in Korean, Japanese, and English. When Steel was 19 years old, she immigrated to America with her single mother and two younger sisters. At a young age, Steel watched her mother fight an unwarranted tax bill that was issued by the State Board of Equalization. Inspired by her mother’s struggles, she became a fierce taxpayer advocate and in 2006 ran successfully for the Board of Equalization. In this position, she represented over eight million people in Southern California. In 2011, she was elected as Vice Chair of the Board of Equalization. During Steel’s first term, she discovered that the Board had delayed the return of millions in security deposits owed to California businesses. Because of her leadership and initiative on this issue, the agency refunded tax security deposits of almost $50,000 each to over 5,500 small businesses.

In 2014, Steel was elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors and currently serves as Chairwoman. Her top priorities as Chairwoman have included guiding her county through the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support for vulnerable communities, and fighting against higher taxes. She has proven herself as the advocate for taxpayers she vowed to be by returning over $400 million to the people of California throughout her time in public office.

Legislative Goals for Congress: Steel has vowed to work across the aisle and believes Americans deserve better than partisan gridlock. One of her top priorities is providing America’s veterans with quality medical care, housing, employment, and education opportunities. She also has plans to repair the healthcare system by lowering drug prices and helping people with pre-existing conditions receive better coverage. The Congresswoman-elect is a supporter of strengthened border security, including a physical border to protect our nation. Additionally, she has led efforts to combat the homelessness crisis in Orange County and plans to continue to be an advocate for this cause in the 117th Congress.

Key Quote: “I’m a product of the American Dream: a first-generation immigrant who succeeded in this country and was given the honor to serve my community. I ran for Congress on my record of fighting for taxpayers and protecting public safety. I stuck to facts and common sense and worked hard to meet the residents of my district. In Congress, I’ll stick to my commonsense principles, seek to lower taxes, and reduce business regulations to help hard working Americans succeed.” (Source: statement to the Ripon Forum)