Thursday, May 7, 2009

Forget Reagan?

There’s a lot of talk going around various media places that suggest the Republicans should forget about Ronald Reagan. I need to ask – the dancer or the President? If it’s the former, done, so long. And as long as his Mom’s still with us that’s all I’ll say. But forget about President Reagan? How can anyone with good intentions toward conservatism and the Republicans (to a lesser extent) seriously suggest this, after surveying the electoral wasteland of the last two election cycles? It is precisely because the Republicans have forgotten Reagan and what he espoused and believed in, that Republicans are in the representative crapper. Since the election of Bush the HW, a creeping rot has eaten away the structural caissons of the Right. The rot was temporarily cauterized during the first few years following the Gingrich congress, but it started growing anew following the election of Bush the W.

So what is it that should be forgotten about Reagan? Should we forget the economic policies that launched a thirty year plus economic boom? As a country we already have. In the coming months and years we will feel, all too painfully the effects of forgetting “Reaganomics”. Maybe we need to forget the idea of getting government out of the way of private businesses, in order to spur their creativity to develop new and better products. (think Apple, Microsoft, and the whole technology explosion) This is another thing the country has forgotten. Now we have the government owning once private businesses. Two old ideas come to mind. The first is the old axiom, “as GM goes, so goes the nation”. The second is the idea, more than idea it is almost a proverb – that the government will screw up most anything it is tasked to run. Can you see what’s in store for GM and the country now? As Reagan famously said, “Government is not the solution, government is the problem.”

Maybe what we need to forget about Reagan is the way he led our nation on the world stage. The now thirty year long war Iran has waged against us was only 444 days old when Reagan was first inaugurated. Within minutes of his swearing in the Iranians went into a strategic retreat. Now we’ve got a President to goes around apologizing to the Iranians for exactly what, is anyone’s guess. Reagan’s idea of “peace through strength”, his re-constitution of the military in general and Navy in particular, and his initiation of real missile defense is what brought the Soviet Union to it’s knees without firing a shot. A few weeks ago, our President announced a reduction in the development of our missile defense technologies. And how did the world respond? Well, the very next day North Korea, as belligerent a nation as you can find, test fired it’s latest long range missile. A pointed commentary on the rebuilding of respect for America that the new administration keeps on telling us about.

Even Reagan’s way of working with Democrats in Congress, with real, good faith horse trading and compromise has long been forgotten. He and Speaker Tip O’Neill had a tough, hard nosed relationship. But at the end of the day, one of them, I don’t remember which, said “we’re just two Irishmen having a beer.” That kind of adversarial, but respectful cross-the-aisle bipartisanship came to an end in the fall of 1987 with the savaging of Robert Bork.

So Republican pundits, you want to forget about Reagan? I have a news flash for you. You already have. Willingly. Enthusiastically. And you have done it for the same reason that Arlen Spector has moved back to the Democrats, just to win elections. How has that worked out for you? The pundit class of the Right (with exceptions) has allowed themselves, and Reaganism to be cast by the MSM as being heartless-tax-cuts-for-the-rich-favoring-racist-war-mongering-immigrant-hating-corrupt-evil-environment-destroying-constitution-shredding-nazi-like-facist Cossacks. And for what? To be welcomed into the liberal salons of Manhattan and San Francisco? Feh.

The Republican party, now more than ever needs to remember Ronald Reagan. And in a very big way. His principles, his love of country, his defense of the unborn, his commitment to America’s leadership on the world stage, his desire to create a climate where all Americans’ boats would be lifted on a tide of economic expansion and his attempt to get the federal government off the backs of all Americans.


Anonymous said...

I think Reagan's philosophies and its effects have been overblown way out of proportion. His famous statement of "government is the problem" for me is too generalizing and and not to mention self-defeating (as he is part of government). As Obama said before, it's not a matter big or small government but whether it works. We should be looking for solutions and working towards cooperation rather than sticking to ideologies.

Our projection of military arrogance around the world also does not bode well for us Americans since it stirs the flames of anti-Americanism around the world. It thus inadvertently makes more enemies. Instead we should focus on peaceful diplomacy. That way the world will see us in a positive light, ease up to us and follow suit. It is Jesus himself who preached peace and love towards one's enemies. What Obama is doing is reaching out to our enemies and giving them a chance to work with America rather than against it. We live in a global village after all. We cannot bully other nations by projecting our military arrogance with the hope that the world will be a better, safer place in turn. I think the world will be a lot better and safer if we choose the path of cooperation and dialogue. As the leader of the free world, the US should set a good example of harmonious working relationships with all countries. It may not be perfect but at least we're not spouting hate and threatening war and instead we're building bridges.

Dom Jr. said...

To adress your points. Obama statement about small vs. large governmant and what works, is as Obama like to say a "false choice". The very framers of the nation deliberately set up a small federal government designed to give citizens maximum liberty, and self determination, within the law. Deciding how much water we can use in our toilets is just one flagrant example of government run amok. And what "big government" program has gotten into the category of something that works? The most feared words in America are "I'm from the government and I'm here to help"
What is so arrogant about projecting our military power in the service of our national interests? Every country does it, yet only America is called arrogant. And why? Because we can frustrate our enemies at every turn. Why wasn't Obama's unilateral use of the military in killing the Somali pirates called arrogant? And the idea that it only makes more enemies for the US is simply ludicrous. The peoples of the world who cannot defend themselves look for a strong guarantor of their safety like the US has always been. Yes Jesus said "love thy enemies". But he was speaking in the context of a love for them that would bring them closer to God (by praying for them) so they would forsake their evil ways. Jesus was under no illusions about the nature of men. On his way to the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before His crucifixion, he admonished his disciples to sell their goods and buy a sword.
The idea that Obama is reaching out to our enemies to have them work with us rather than against us is an un-realistic fantasy. The Iranians have waged a war against the US for 30 years, openly and by proxy. Their regime is not going to change. Period. What is so hard to believe that the world is not some global village where everyone's desire is to get along? When in all of history has this been true? The world is a dystopian minefield. There are millions of people on the planet who just want to kill other people in order to subjugate them and put them under their dictatorial heel.
The US does not act militarily out of arrogance. You have a very jaundiced view of what the US Armed Forces are all about, and how they have been used sinced the nation's inception.
As Machiavelli stated "It is better to be feared, than loved." This is the way to peace. And I think it was Geo. Washington to said, "Pray for peace, but prepare for war." Being prepared to protect and defend oneself is the only proven way to avoid war. And this is borne out by history. Nations get attacked when their enemies percieve them to be un-prepared and weak. The US does not exert it's military for the sake of territory or spoils. We have no imperial appetites.
The entire world now knows that the US is now in a "paper tiger" mode. The Iranians scoffed at Obama's apology and good wishes. The Russians mocked his secret letter to abandon the Eastern Europe missile defense placements. The North Koreans launch their latest missile a day following Obama's announcement regarding the reduction in funding for missile defense. So where oh where is all this new found goodwill and gladhanding that the world has for the US? Our enemies have noticed these things. And so have our friends.
And as to the "spouting hate" and "threating war", when has the US done either of those things? I'd like to see where all these bridges are being built also.

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