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November 1, 2010

One Republican's Journey

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away ... I cast my first vote for president for Ronald Reagan. I embraced being a Republican because that was the home of Ronald Reagan and conservatism.

It seemed to me then, and even now, that certain Republicans never embraced Reagan, though. He was too simple, too bland, dare I say, too conservative and in love with America. Reagan was really a midwesterner who migrated to California. And he took his values with him.

I wrote it off as different styles, and perhaps minimized what I saw. But looking back, I think a lot of the blue bloods never understood or appreciated Reagan's appeal, and I think they resented it.

Pres. Reagan singlehandedly put the Republican Party back on the map after the Nixon debacle. And he made conservatism mainstream. He defied critics by proving that conservatism works and that America was indeed a "Shining City on a Hill."

Still, the Republican establishment in large part never accepted him. They longed for some one more, shall we say, comfortable talking international finance with a bunch of bankers. They got that in George H.W. Bush, and then we got a failed one-term presidency. Read my lips.

And then we got Ross Perot (who was a lip reader, remember?) and also two terms of Bill Clinton. And let us remember the glorious candidacy of Bob "Watch out Chino!!" Dole.

Then came Pres. George W. Bush, who defined himself as a "compassionate conservative." I understand the motive, and I will always like and respect Pres. Bush. But we who are conservatives know that "conservative" needs no modifier. If you modify the term, well, you are something other than conservative.

We each have seminal moments that cause us to alter course. For me, 9/11 cemented the primacy of the role of U.S. security in national politics. For that reason, I think the presidency of Pres. Bush was judged too harshly by many. Yes, it's true that he failed to emphasize economic conservatism -- of course, he did exactly what he told us he would do in that regard -- but he kept his eye on the ball. And the ball during the first decade of the 20th century was first and foremost national security. We now have the Obama Administration experience with multiple attacks and emboldened enemies in only two years for comparison.

Though he did some good things (i.e., tax cuts, S.C. nominees, reducing regulation), Pres. Bush missed huge opportunities to use the bully pulpit and advance the conservative ideals that a lot of the Republican base -- conservatives -- believes in. With the Republicans failing to fight for conservatism, Democrats gained control of the entire government in '08, and now we have seen the disasterous consequences.

Recently, the unfolding candidacy of Christine O'Donnell in Delaware brought me to another crossroads experience. The arguments made against O'Donnell -- that Mike Castle deserved the Republican nomination because he was electable and she was some sort of dolt -- combined with the treatment of her after she got the nomination by the Republican establishment did it for me.

The Establishment also argued about how crucial it was to have a majority in the Senate, as well (even though it takes 60 to really exercise control), and they said that a vote for O'Donnell would fatally and definitively undermine that effort.

But what good is a majority if you fail to use it? What good is a party if its members are better friends with the Demo base than ours? And who says conservatives are unelectable? "Moderates," that's who. I am coming to think this charade of "electability" has been a lot like the Emperor's New Clothes.

On top of that, we have seen the behavior of Lisa Murkowsky in Alaska ... sticking her finger in the eye of Alaska Republicans ... and Charlie Crist, becoming another third-party GOP foe in the Florida Senate race, after the conservative candidate won the primary.

Though they typically demand us to get in line and support their uninspiring candidacies in the name of "unity," this is what the moderate types do. They treat the Marco Rubios of the world as "extremists;" if Crist calls Rubio -- a mainstream conservative --"extreme" one more time, my head will explode. Indeed, if we need people such as Crist, Castle, and 'Kowsky for a majority, what use is such a majority? Put another way, with friends like these, who needs enemies?

Going forward, they can change and get under the tent we are making. It will be plenty big enough.

So, here's the deal. I am still a Republican, but I am with Jim DeMint, Michelle Bachmann, and Sarah Palin. We are conservatives first, as we have always been. We believe this new stampede of Republicans is being elected for a purpose other than simply to hold the office and "mind the store."

The "store," if you will, is going out of business. The time for "minding" it is over. It's time to fix and defend it.

That's what we conservatives in this coming wave will expect of our elected representatives.

Ignore us and we will see you in the primary.

And in the general election, we will fight you on the beaches, in the Northeast, in the Pacific Northwest, in the mountains, in the Rust Belt ... lo, even in the inner cities. Because we rubes have shown that the whole nation responds to authenticity, to consistency ... to conservative ideas.

One day until it starts.

16 comments:

SPN Headines said...

FLORIDA ELECTION ALERT - Caponized Candidate Crist is Campaigning as a Woman - SHOCKING DETAILS AT:

http://spnheadlines.blogspot.com/2010/11/florida-crist-now-running-as-woman.html?showComment=1288630107796

Peace! :-)

Nickie Goomba said...

Beautifully said, BlogBrother.

Some guy on the radio this morning declared that this election is not a victory for Republicans. It's a warning to Republicans.

P.J. O'Rourke described this election as a "restraining order". How true.

Stay active. Stay focussed. Stay angry. Vote.

Nyctimene Dabori said...

Frigging excellent post.

Jg. for FatScribe said...

It's Monday, but Tuesday night is comin' Nicki G. (to borrow from the ole spiritual). Thanks for sharing your political backstory. everyone's got a good one, and yours is no exception. Let's bask in the glory on Wed. only after EVERYONE votes (and tells 20 of their friends to vote).

fingers crossed, prayers said, Urim and Thummim consulted.

Nickie Goomba said...

Jg... Let's dedicate these next 2 days to getting folks out to vote.

BTW, this political backstory is that of DC. My personal and political backstory is trickier and strewn with tales of betrayal and animal abuse.

DC said...

Dabori, you are a strange little creature, but thank you. May the force be with you tomorrow.

And Jg., good luck with the campaign (for FatScribe). Nick is the precinct chair here.

And Nicholas, thank you, my liege. It's been fun to stir up the troops here with you in Little Italy.

You are right. This election is a warning ... to Republicans, and I would say to every elected official. The people have had it. It's time to go to Washington and do what you say. I like a bunch of neophytes going there who don't even know where the bathroom is.

Draw up some one-page bills. Let's get it going.

I think we are about to see some exciting things.

Doom said...

Another first time voter who voted for Reagan, eh? Oh well, the 40's are the new... feels like 60's. *evil grins* Anyway, for the rest of it... yep. Pretty much. As much as two cranky "middle aged" guys CAN agree anyway. Bah!

DC said...

Go get 'em, Doom. I figured you for a 40-something. Got my finger on the pulse of the nation, I tell you.

Subvet said...

Good post DC. Like yourself I remember how Reagan was viewed with disdain by the Republican elite, how all the "intellectuals" seemed to faint when he spoke in a forthright and blunt manner.

Everything old is new again. Now we see RINO's who feel we should "broaden our base" and other bullarkey. Same song, different verse. We may never see another Reagan, but we don't have to settle for half a loaf.

Let's own the whole damned bakery! No retreat, no surrender.

DC said...

Amen, Sub. "Bombing begins in 5."

Starsplash said...

Bush was castigated and not as supported by the masses because he was one of those liberal Republicans we all hear about and also a one worlder guy who has stated it openly in public. America does not want a one worlder President. Also bush let a career politician tell him how to run the war. Rumsfeld was like an ancient Spartan. All about the infantry, and thought that because of our technological advantage we could do the job with fewer men. It is a proven fact that we can conquer a nation with fewer men than ever in the history of the world but frankly it take's lots and lots of boots on the ground to subdue it afterwards. I am glad that you like Bush but I can't say that I am so enamoured with the man. He weren't all that great.
Had of Obama of focused completely on the economy and waited until after this election to go for health care....naw. The fix was in and he dumped so much money into the supply system that he was never going to be thought of as a great pres. If he would have known what he was doing coupled with that tongue of his I thought he had the potential to be a G. Washington or Lincoln or Kennedy or Reagan.
Reagan....now there is a man. The President of our generation. The man. The guy we get to talk about. I think his bust should be chiseled into Rushmore to be admired for a thousand years.

The_Kid said...

DC, Respectfully, it seems very likely to me now that the republicans in the Reagan days were the same as they are now. Worthless politicians and sluts who went to DC to party and snatch the brass ring of being set for life.

Ronald Reagan went there to actually accomplish something. This is what they couldn't come to grips with.

Status Quo.

Kick the can down the road. Cash in.

When it hits the fan, they'll be out. Most of the people we should be angry at for screwing us aren't even around now. They checked out.
But of course, there are plenty in obama's camp who are doing way too much damage, and many republicans who won't get in the game to stand up and in the way. All a game, 99% lip service.

I say Voters enact term limits selectively.

This is going to take several elections.

The_Kid said...

PS - Buy my book.

PPS, I don' have a book.

DC said...

Kid, I am sure that you are right about a lot of them. But Reagan created the conservative base w/in the Republican Party. Time to reclaim it. DeMint and others have been saying it.

Star ... what can I say? I understand, but ... time to get beyond it. Bear in mind, a lot of people hated GWB for his faith and love of country, too. And he cut taxes and nominated the best S.C. justices of any president. Ever.

Love my man, Reagan. But Reagan passed amnesty, as well, and was a free-trader. You could make some of the same criticisms against Ronaldus Magnus, even though he was a true conservative, in my view.

Let's be cautious in looking for the perfect answer. We will fail to find it this side of heaven.

DC said...

In the end, parties are merely vehicles. And the Republican Party has been the vehicle for conservatives for conservatives in America. It has needed, and is getting, a good tune-up.

But it needs an overhaul. I agree it will take a few elections, and beyond. It requires a vigilant public.

Starsplash said...

Oh no doubt that Bush did smoe good. I really liked a several things about him. Allowing any non-profitt fed support for things like clinics in neighborhoods and small towns greatly reduced the cost of basic health care for the working poor and poor. His faith was a definite plus. I won't trash his legacy.
Reagen was not as much a free trader as people think. He was more a fair trade guy. He really went after a lot of the subsidized imports and did his best to see to it that American goods got a fare shake over sees. He was able to get other things like limits on imported cars and the 75% rule for automobiles.
Unfortunately Bush gets stuck with the legacy of lax airport security which allowed for the airplanes to be hijacked and then for not having fighter patrols up on top of that. All of that falls squarley upon the pres.. I have grass rooted for decades now and I had zero answer for any of those accusations other than they're right.

You are also correct. There is no perfect answer and likely will never be; at least until Jesus comes back, in which men can have perfect faith in governance by Jesus. After all how would they bribe him who already has it all.