Thursday, January 17, 2008

Notes on the Reagan Era

Despite what I have heard, Rush Limbaugh is still wrong. I am sticking by my position that the Reagan Era is over. However, this idea definitely needs explanation. Because I know that, although Rush is mostly right on this, I'm just more right.

Ronald Reagan became a big name in politics in 1964, after delivering a speech for Barry Goldwater at the convention that year. After failing to get the nomination for the second time in 1976, the seeds for the Reagan Era were sewn. The nation was ready, after four years of Jimmy Carter's malaise, to really have a try at true conservative ideas. Thus the Reagan era came. And despite opposition from the monolithic Democrat Congress, Reagan successfully applied those principles, giving everyone a better life through freedom.

But with all good things, the end came. After two years of continued Reagan years under George H W Bush, democrats joined with the President to raise our taxes. This was the beginning. Two years later, Bill Clinton came to the White House. Thankfully, after two years of fear on the right of what the Clintons could do, Republicans took control of Congress for the first time in decades. Newt Gingrich picked up the Reagan mantle with the Contract with America. And thankfully, the poll-driven Clinton presidency allowed the Reagan era to continue. Then came George W Bush. W is conservative, but he is Conservatism Lite. While he applied many conservative principles, it was big government conservatism that began to show. The difference now between Republican and Democrat is merely where to spend the money.

That is why the Reagan Era is dead. Reagan retired from politics due to the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. Newt Gingrich is talking about going green. The senior Bush has been hanging out with Bill Clinton. (probably what keeps him motivated to jump out of planes) And many of the Republicans that came up in the 80's and 90's have begun to forget conservative principles in favor of miscellaneous populism. As you look at the leading Republican candidates, they all have some severe blemishes. Mike Huckabee drops plenty of populist crap, frees murderers, and gets union endorsements. John McCain champions amnesty, global warming, and the rape of the first amendment. Mitt Romney (conservative by comparison) is suspected of election year conversions and was giving nod to trying to fix Michigan just to win the primary there. And those are the winners of the first races. Almost makes Ron Paul look like a good choice. (note the use of the term almost and omit the last sentence. And Ron Paul, for that matter)

However, there is no reason to despair. With leadership, many of the Conservatism Lite Republicans will return to the fold. With strong voices in talk radio and here in the blogosphere, the conservative message can continue to grow. For back in the 70's, in the wake of Nixon and Watergate, conservatism was in dark days indeed. We don't have as far to go to win the day as Reagan did. So spend the time studying those of the past and be ready to apply those principles to today as we take over for the passing leadership and make way for another morning in America.

And now the link of the day: Quiz: Which Great US President Are You Most Like? I came up as TJ! Not my favorite President, being more of a John Adams fan, but Jefferson did write the Decalration of Independence. That gives me an idea for a future blog......

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