One of the worst mistakes Ronald Reagan ever made was naming George H.W. Bush as his running mate in 1980.
We’re still paying a price for it today – 36 years later.
For those too young to remember, the elder Bush campaigned against Reagan for the presidential nomination that year. It was not a friendly contest.
It was Bush the elder who dubbed Reagan’s supply-side economics program as “voodoo economics.” He couldn’t have been more wrong. Reagan wasn’t just offering a theory. He was astutely offering the same prescription for the nation’s stagnant economy that was employed to great effect by President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s: Cut taxes for economic growth.
What worked for Kennedy worked profoundly well for Reagan, giving the U.S. the longest sustained economic expansion in history.
But following Reagan’s two terms as president, Bush became the presumptive nominee. He wrapped himself in the cloak of Reagan’s success and won the presidency in 1988.
While Reagan had won over vast numbers of Democrats in 1980 and even more in 1984, Bush went to work squandering the political paradigm shift Reagan had created with his economic policies and common-sense “peace-through-strength” ideas.
In the 1988 campaign, Bush promised famously: “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Once elected, he quickly backtracked, leading to the inevitably of defeat in 1992 – to Bill and Hillary Clinton. The rest, as they say, is history.
The gains Reagan had made for the Republican Party, however, while of no effect in the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections, still spurred an amazing realignment for the GOP in Congress in 1994, led by Newt Gingrich, who became speaker of the House. Had that not occurred, the eight years of Clinton would have been disastrous for the nation.
But in 2000, there was no heir to Reagan waiting in the wings. So we got George W. Bush. It could have been worse. It might have been Al Gore, who actually won the popular vote by a hair. Bush won again in 2004 for two reasons – 9/11 and John Kerry. Still it was close.
In 2008, there was still no heir to Reagan in sight. John McCain won the nomination. With the economy in absolute tatters thanks to the Bush Wall Street bailout that year, an unknown nobody, with no accomplishments to his credit, came out of nowhere and won the presidency – setting out to create “the fundamental transformation of America.”
And that’s what Barack Obama did – with deficits that would dwarf anything seen in American history and cultural warfare waged from his bully pulpit aided and abetted by an adoring, infatuated media – not just the press but the entertainment cabal as well.
By 2010, it seemed America had had enough. A grass-roots uprising known as the tea party movement galvanized popular support and gave the unworthy Republicans control of the House in 2010.They squandered it, spitting in the faces of those who had handed them a stunning and unexpected victory they did not deserve.
Instead of presenting an alternative to Obama’s radical vision for America, the Republicans in Congress capitulated to him.
Who did the Republican establishment counter with in 2012? Mitt Romney. The Republican Party seemed on the brink of irrelevancy when Obama soundly defeated him.
Americans had nowhere to go. There was no opposition to Obama and no alternate vision. In frustration, once again, they provided more unwanted, undeserved support for the Republicans in 2014, providing them control over not just the House but the Senate, too.
And, once again, the GOP did nothing with the mandate.
Who rode to the “rescue” in 2016? Jeb Bush. A year ago, he was considered an unstoppable force of political nature. He had the money to buy the election. No political insider dreamed anyone else could possibly get the nomination – setting up for many of us the unthinkable: another Bush-Clinton presidential election.
But it was not to be.
Thank goodness for Donald Trump. He ran the most conservative primary race since Ronald Reagan in 1984 – and he won.
Now where are the Bush crybabies?
Sitting this one out, or, in the case of the elder non-statesman George H.W. Bush, supporting Hillary Clinton.
Hillary lines up more closely with the Bush New World Order vision than does Trump.
There never was a dime’s worth of difference between the Bushes and the Clintons – maybe not even between the Bushes and Obama. Look how friendly they are to one another. The Bushes even joined in the Clinton Foundation scam. The Bushes and the Clintons are both on the take from Saudi Arabia. The clans both feed at the trough of Wall Street and do their bidding.
And that’s what the 2016 election is all about.
Do we go down the same old road we’ve been on with presidents since 1989, or do we finally turn in a new direction – doing the best we can politically to Make America Great Again?
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