Alaska primary possible bellwether for GOP

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

I recall a profound comment from a friend in Anchorage just after George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2000. “If Al Gore had been here during that recount, I would have given him 48 hours to live.”

The recount had ended with Anthony Kennedy’s intervention and the SCOTUS holding for Bush. The contested state was Florida. The final tally showed a razor thin 517 vote margin of victory for the Republican candidate. The question then was the same as it is today: The disposition of ANWAR. Would drilling be allowed in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve?

Few in America are even vaguely familiar with this West Virginia sized area in Northeast Alaska. Those who relate to the distorted images are infrequently seen through the skewed lenses of mainstream media. Having personally set foot on the ground there, my impression is somewhat different.

The videos generally seen are of the Brooks Range, hundreds of miles to the south. What I saw that early June day was a table like wasteland, bordering a frozen ocean. My Alaskan friend, Tim Worthington, had arranged for me to see the area. He worked at Prudhoe Bay as a Roughneck for an oil company.

“Thing that most of these idiots don’t talk about,” Worthington surmised, “is that most of the oil is offshore.  The Arctic isn’t that deep. You stick a drill down and start sucking the oil your way. Oil knows no borders or boundaries. Most of the oil is in international waters. Why do you think the Russians are trying to claim the North Pole?”

Noting my astonishment at the sight of the surroundings, Worthington added. “What do you see? Flat with no trees. In January, it’s 70 below. In August, it warms up to about 50 above, but the mosquitos will drive a man mad! It’s what to be expected of a swamp! Hell, the Eskimos won’t even live here! In fact, in last years census, there was a total of 73 people living in ANWAR. 73! And they were mostly park rangers.”

Yet, as Donald Trump reminded during Saturday’s rally, there is perhaps more oil underneath this frozen piece of desolation than any spot on the planet!

“I recall when McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008.” Worthington remembered. “We were all thinking maybe she’d open McCain’s eyes, along with everyone elses. But the Republicans lost and the entire thing was pretty much shelved. Never mind the number of jobs that would have been created.”

He was talking about high paying oil field jobs, not to mention the accompanying support jobs. To Alaskans, it means even more. Every December, each man, woman and child who has been in residence for one year, receives a dividend check, representing their equal share of the oil bounty. It makes for a good Christmas.

Lisa Murkowski has always been somewhat of a trimmer where ANWAR is concerned. On paper, she supports drilling. It would be poltical folly for any Alaskan politician not to favor drilling in ANWAR! The question becomes “how willing is she to make drilling in ANWAR a prerequsite for any and all across the aisle cooperation?” In essence, did she harbor the necessary conviction to support opening this strategically vital oil field permanently?

Most Alaskans will tell you, “Lisa Murkowski is more Washingtonian than Alaskan.”

Trump labeled Murkowski “the worst of the RINOS,” urging support for primary challenger,  Kelly Tshibaka. Alaska uses a “ranked choice” voting system which potentially allows voters to rank the candidates in order of their preference. The former president made it clear that he was not a fan of the ranked choice system.

Several years ago, Lisa Murkowski was beaten in the primary by Tea Party candidate, Joe Howard. Nevertheless, she launched a write in effort in the general election and with a lot of help from crossover Democrats and Independents, narrowly edged out Howard.

There is speculation that Murkowski will again need some sort of help to hold the seat. This “help” ranges from the oodles of cash that Mitch McConnell has pumped into the state on her behalf to outright election fraud!

Earlier in the day, Mike Lindell had noted that “29,000 votes” were stolen from Trump in Alaska in  the 2020 election! Despite the media’s concerted effort to bury any lingering election fraud discussion, it’s alive and well. Perhaps even growing!

One poll last week said that 52% of America now believes that Trump won the election in 2020! This talk is undoubtedly fueled by the Biden Administration’s unparalleled failure on essentially every aspect of running the country!

Trump expressed his disappointment that Alaska’s junior Senator, Dan Sullivan had endorsed Murkowski. In Trump’s mind, his endorsement had saved Sullivan’s reelection bid in 2020.

Trump reminded the audience that he had done more for Alaska than any previous U.S. President. This is not an exaggeration. In listening to those attending the rally, it was very clear that there is a growing frustration with a system that is seen as increasingly corrupt.

Palin is a known entity. Opponents ridiculed her for leaving her governorship early, in favor of the V.P. nod. Those who know Sarah will tell you that she is all in the MAGA movement. Ditto for Kelly Tshibaka. Which translates to one important point: If Palin and Tshibaka are successful this November, it will be a clear indication that the “Establishment” Republicans are soon to become extinct.

“Making America Great Again” is about taking care of Americans first. It’s the consummate Populist-Nationalist movement that had been brewing for decades. Trump emerged as it’s leader. There are growing numbers of committed, convicted Amerians who are ready and willing to pick up the mantle.

Ne0-Cons such as Mitch McConnell and Lisa Murkowski recognize this. There is an underlying fear that  replacement by MAGA Republicans will leave them with no place to go. The opposition party has drifted even further to the left, clearly seduced by myth of Marxism. Yet in many ways, there remains more clear commonalities with Democrats than with MAGA Republicans.

This should be troubling for all conservatives. Neo-Cons are essentially globalists. While they supported the overturn of Roe versus Wade, they continue to support nation building, endless wars, offshore outsourcing and big government in general.

Where Neo-Cons seriously erred was their inability to recognize what surrounded Joe Biden. Without question, both Murkowski and McConnell preferred a Biden Presidency to Trump’s relection. They soon may be reaping what they sowed.

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