The Republicans don’t have a belief problem, they have a candidate problem. We have consistently put up the wrong candidates that require us to spend double just to stay even. As stated in an earlier article, I am infuriated that our candidates are either afraid on conservatism and have no idea how to present the conservative message; or they are “true conservatives” with the intellectual capacity of a high school student.
Both wings of our party are destroying us. The establishment needs to stop giving us the Mitt Romney types and the Tea Party has to stop giving us the Sarah Palin types. I am amazed that everyone always points to Reagan as the standard, but I am more and more convinced that Reagan could never win the nomination today.
The establishment would be afraid of Reagan’s strong conservative viewpoints. The Tea Party would blast him for being willing to work with the Democrats like Tip O’Neil and his immigration policies. The establishment runs away from every conservative in the party and the Tea Party embraces every moron who totes the conservative line no matter how inexperienced they are.
I do not worship at the altar of Reagan, but Reagan does give us some standards that we as Republicans should embrace when looking for candidates. Let’s take a hard look at his record:
— Spent most of his life in the private sector (was not a career politician)
— Was a union boss (would we ever nominate a former union boss today)
— Spent years on the road speaking with average Americans and formulating his beliefs (understood what people wanted)
— Was a successful two-time governor of a large state (experienced).
— Ran for president three times.
— Held strong conservative beliefs.
— Was able to articulate his conservative beliefs in a way that Americans could embrace.
— Believed in immigration reform.
— Believed in a strong military, but reluctant to send them into battle.
— Was willing to negotiate and work with Democrats.
Does any of our recent presidential, vice presidential or Senate candidates even come close to this list? Would anyone today who could live up to this list pass the test of either the Republican establishment or the Tea Party? For years I bemoaned the fact that the Republican Party establishment had become Democrat light, but now equally bad, the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction we are embracing intellectually inferior candidates because they pass the conservative smell test. We must find the middle ground.
I want a conservative that believes in smaller government that has the intelligence and communication skills to get the American people to embrace our movement. I want a candidate that can work with the other side to get things done in a way that moves the needle in our direction. I want a conservative whom I can be proud of and not have to make excuses for. It’s not just me. America wants that type of conservative as well, but I am more and more convinced that the two extremes in our party will never let such a person rise again in the party of Reagan.
I am continually disheartened when I read the comments on this website. It literally brings me to tears that the party of Reagan has become a home to people who cheer Reagan in one breath and then abandon all his good humor, bi-partisanship and kindness in the next.
I however believe that the extremes that are represented in the comment section are not the majority in our party and neither is the establishment in DC. The Republican Party is full of honest and intellectually sound individuals who know what must be done and know the right type of candidates we should be embracing.
We have allowed ourselves to be drowned out by the noisemakers in our party and it is time that the silent majority rises again and when we do, the next Reagan will rise with us.
Image: 1981 inauguration of President Ronald Reagan. Also pictured are House Speaker Tip O’Neill, Vice President George H. W. Bush, President Reagan, Barbara Bush, and Nancy Reagan; source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1232150763082
92139.html?mod=todays_us_weekend_journal; courtesy: Ronald Reagan Library; public domain