Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Republican Party is Still Reagan's Party

More proof that Republicans are smarter than Democrats: Republicans started off their debates at the Reagan Library. It was a shrewd move, and a nice reminder to the R-Team -- Remember the last president who was a real conservative and finished strong.

But must we get started so soon on this interminable presidential campaign? I am sick of it already. And I like to follow politics. But I digress ...

The point of this post is it's title.

I've told you before, and I'll say it again: I like Pres. Bush. He has his flaws, as have been discussed here and elsewhere, ad infinitum. But I think he deserves credit for doing overall a very good job at fighting the war against Militant Islam worldwide in these extremely challenging times. But my fellow Texan is no Reagan.

What made Pres. Reagan unique was a fusion of several things: 1) He became president during a time of great national despondency and insecurity; 2) he attacked this national despondency and insecurity with personal optimism and a commitment to a his core conservative principles; 3) the smarter-than-the-world set loved to deride him, because 4) he held a child-like faith, first in God and then in America.

And the beauty was that the tension between 3) and 4) above made him even more influential. He was dumb as a fox, and his demeanor and simplicity won allies and encouraged friends. Oh, that we had more such "simpletons" in Washington now.

The media and the left knew him as merely The Great Communicator. He was that, but many failed to understand that he was great because of his ability to communicate ideas that were and are powerfully true.

As much as any one, he halted the nation's 20-year leftward drift. He challenged liberal dogma, with both conviction and humor. There was a goodness about him that belied the liberal characitures. He helped build back the nation's military. This is personal to me, because when I signed up in 1989, I was the beneficiary of this work.

He made conservatism mainstream, not just in the country as a whole but even on college campuses. I was on campus in 1984, when he won a majority of the students' votes at The University of Texas, a.k.a., the Berkeley of the South.

He defeated the Soviet Union without firing a shot. Yes, he did it. Others grab credit, but they are posing charlatans. He would never claim credit, but he is clearly more responsible than any other human.

Recall that it was the infinitely wiser, bureaucrat types such as then-National Security Adviser Colin Powell who pleaded with Pres. Reagan to relent in his demand that Mikail Gorbachev "tear down this wall". Against the advice of all of his inner circle ... all of them ... Pres. Reagan pressed ahead and the Berlin Wall is no more.

He was just dumb enough to believe in his principles. And his country. And they didn't fail him.

I love him, still. And I miss him.

Pres. Reagan brought together national security conservatives, cultural conservatives, and economic conservatives. He welcomed them all, and he encouraged them to welcome each other. I like this, as you probably know. In fact, this here blog is about serving the "Coalition of the Winning: Protecting National Security. Preserving Culture. Promoting Liberty." That's the Reagan legacy. This blog is part of the Reagan legacy.

Yes, he wasn't perfect, I know. Only Tom Tancredo is (humor alert). Indeed, Pres. Reagan wasn't an Elder of the Perfect Church. He was only the best president of the 20th Century.

Many of those who come now and claim to be following in his footsteps so obviously aren't. Take John McCain, for example. Please, do take him ... as in, take him away. Republican politicians like McCain defy the Reagan legacy in their policy proposals and speeches now, but they dare not take him on directly.

For the nation remembers. And Republicans remember. They want another Reagan.

Which is to say ... they want to win.