I never had a chance to vote for Reagan. He was out of office by the time I was voting age. I did, however get to vote for his successor, George H. W. Bush. While I recognized that there were non-trivial differences between the two, in my naivete they were negligible. Fast forward to Bush’s ’92 defeat by Bill Clinton. Every Republican knew why Bush lost, outrage over his 1988 “Read my lips, no new taxes” promise that he broke pushed almost 19% of the his base to vote for Ross Perot. He did not break this pledge deliberately, he believed Democrats, who hung him out to dry. It was during that time that I almost became a Libertarian.
I did not like what I was seeing. Democrats were moving further to the left towards a different “-ism”, and Republicans were sounding like Democrats. The slide started much earlier than even Eisenhower’s “Dynamic Conservatism”. Going back to Herbert Hoover’s administration we find he had a distaste for laissez-faire thinking. He increased regulations, tarrifs, and even proposed the Department of Education and advocated for a senior pension program which became Social Security.
In fact, you have to go back to Calvin Coolidge to find a true Conservative. Not perfect, sure, but far closer to anything we have seen in the White House in 80 years…with the notable exception of Ronald Reagan. As much maligned by Democrats as G. W. Bush was, he was closer to their heroes than people will admit. I sit and wonder, with a smile on my face, what our current Democratic party would say about Coolidge.
Well, I don’t have to wonder. All I need to do is listen to what they say about Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin and amplify the volume by an order of magnitude. These two men are undoubtedly the leaders of the Conservative Movement within the Republican Party. It absolutely makes my blood boil to see Rush mistakenly identified as the leader of the Republican Party – usually by some MSM talking head who does not know history, nor understand the difference, or care. Many of us wish he would head the Republican Party, but the truth is he and Levin do far more good as spokespeople for the movement. I hope the RNC Chairman Mr. Steele understands that, but I doubt it. He appears to be as weak as our previous party leaders, and almost all of our representatives in Congress.
Conservatives imagine a completely different America than what exists now. What we were as a country and people has been gone for so long that there is almost no one alive who can remember it. An America where the populace and businesses are not neutered by their Federal Government. An America where the entire government sticks to the job of protecting the rights of the governed, and obeys the restrictions set down for it in our Constitution. An America without massive red tape, capital reducing regulations, and burdensome taxation. An America with a truly free population of citizens, equal in opportunity, and in responsibility.
The majority of Republicans believed in this imaginary country long ago, but our party was hijacked by those who only sought to increase power for themselves. Every American paid the price for electing these men and women. We paid the price in our freedom and our children’s freedom. Each generation that has passed since 1929 has seen freedom taken from it. Slowly, in most cases, rapidly in a few. That freedom will never come back unless the Conservative Movement rises again to prominence. We need a true Conservative to lead the Republican Party. Someone with the same dream. Someone with the guts to tear apart the massive government bureaucracy that stifles us all. Hopefully, if Americans once again get a taste of real freedom, they will be far less likely to give it away as easily.
For those who still believe that George W. Bush was a conservative, learn history.
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