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February 18, 2008
Let Me Explain, My
Liberal Friends: Here’s Why We Seek a Reaganite
One thing that liberals absolutely cannot understand is conservatives’
seemingly inexplicable obsession with Ronald Reagan. “Why the fixation
with this Reagan guy?” wonder the same people who bawl and faint in
droves when Barack Obama sneezes. “Why can’t they just get over him?”
Having written repeatedly during the primary season about the necessity
for Republicans to nominate a Reagan conservative, I have received many
questions from liberals wondering why, just why, it is so important that
the Republican candidate be another Reagan. So I decided to dedicate a
column to my liberal friends, once and for all explaining this obscure
Reagan mystery to them.
First, it is important to note that an ideal Reagan conservative would
not be a conservative like Reagan. Reagan agreed to raising taxes and
expanding entitlements. He provided amnesty to countless illegal
immigrants, providing a great talking point to those promoting that
course of action today. He withdrew American forces from Lebanon soon
after the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. And in what would prove to be
perhaps his worst sin of all, Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to
the U.S. Supreme Court.
Yet somehow, some way, Reagan has emerged from history as the perfect
conservative, and has passed on this model of perfection to the term
“Reagan conservative.” Now there is absolutely no doubt that Reagan was
a good conservative. But he was no Reagan conservative.
Reagan conservatism is the perception of what Reagan was – or more
appropriately, what he should have been. A Reagan conservative is a
social conservative, an economic conservative and strong on national
defense. He is one who believes that the government is the problem, not
the solution. And he is one who believes that America is a beacon of
light in a dark world.
These beliefs don’t change – they hold steady in good times and bad.
Under a Republican president and under a Democratic president. In war
and in peace.
What mostly bewilders liberals is conservatives’ stubborn commitment to
the very same conceptual Reaganite views of government and economic
principles. According to liberal ideology, different times require
different solutions. To them, there is no one formula that works all the
time, and government should actively experiment with the American people
until it creates the perfect economy.
But this is exactly where conservatives and liberals fall worlds
apart. Aside from basic necessities such as the military,
infrastructure, the courts and law enforcement, conservatives believe
government has only the ability to harm the country and its economy.
the Republican presidential debate in California a few weeks ago, Ron
Paul said it best when asked how good he would be at managing the
economy: “The Constitution is very clear that the president is commander
in chief of the military, but the president is not the commander in
chief of the economy or of the people . . . the president is not
supposed to manage and run the economy. The people are supposed to do
The free market is what makes an economy prosperous. Government can only
obstruct it with taxes, regulations and government monopolies.
Government has the ability to create a lower class like no other, by
establishing dependent masses. Again, government is the problem and not
the solution. A quick look at the correlation between economic freedom
and economic prosperity across the globe can only lead to the same
here is the answer to your question, my liberal friends. Now that we are
mired in an America of big government, high taxes and excessive
regulations, there is only one logical course any Republican can take.
That course is cutting taxes, eliminating regulations, reducing
government and expanding free trade. They’re the only policies that
work, the only policies that are sustainable and the only way to go.
Liberals believe in new ideas, original policies and ambitious promises.
“Democrat A’s idea of stimulating the economy is better,” a liberal
might think, or “Democrat B’s universal health care plan is superior.”
To a Reagan conservative, these concepts simply do not exist. Government
can only stimulate the economy by undoing what it has already done, not
with a new idea or design. And, of course, to a Reagan conservative,
government does not have plans for health care – the invisible hand of
the free market has proven to work far better than any government plan
Reagan conservatives’ only idea is to deconstruct all the left-wing
ideas that have allowed government invasion of our lives, pocketbooks
and economy, and to replace them with . . . nothing. Unlike liberals,
who have unsuccessfully tried out government engineering for many
decades and are still seeking the right formula, Reagan conservatives
know exactly what they want.
you see, there isn’t a wide range of candidates to whom Reagan
conservatives can flock. We’re not looking for someone with ideas – we
already know what the idea is, and we are looking for someone we can
trust to uphold it in the White House, just like we pretend Reagan did.
Now, granted, Reagan was not the perfect conservative. But we are happy
with the Reagan myth that has developed, for it sets a high standard for
the Republican candidates of the future.
© 2008 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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