According to the headline of an online article in the Washington Times, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush believes that it's "time to leave Reagan behind." If true, this illustrates one of the reasons so many Americans have concluded that it's long past time to leave the Republican Party behind.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Saturday that it's time for the Republican Party to give up its "nostalgia" for the heyday of the Reagan era and look forward, even if it means stealing the winning strategy deployed by Democrats in the 2008 election.
"You can't beat something with nothing, and the other side has something. I don't like it, but they have it, and we have to be respectful and mindful of that," Mr. Bush said.
The former president's brother, often mentioned as a potential candidate in 2012, said President Obama's message of hope and change during the 2008 campaign clearly resonated with Americans.
"So our ideas need to be forward looking and relevant. I felt like there was a lot of nostalgia and the good old days in the [Republican] messaging. I mean, it's great, but it doesn't draw people toward your cause," Mr. Bush said.
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Why is it so hard for the failed leadership of the Republican Party to understand that the Party's present woes are directly related to the fact that they left Reagan behind years ago? Part of the problem is that they think mainly about how to get and keep political power. What made Ronald Reagan the man he was had more to do with thinking about how to get and keep the moral fiber and liberty of the American people, the strength of our Constitution and the vitality of our private enterprise approach to economic life. He articulated this thinking even when politicians like Jeb Bush's father ridiculed him as a right-wing extremist, doomed to political failure and irrelevance. Reagan had true political conviction. In this respect he resembled the committed leftists of the Obama faction. Unlike Obama, however, he didn't lie about his convictions, but spoke them with courage and clarity despite efforts by his opposition to ridicule and marginalize them.
His conviction was true in the sense that he truly believed what he said, but it was also true in the more profound and important sense that it truly reflected the ideas and principles upon which the American republic is founded. He was a republican by purpose and conviction, not just by party label. His positions aimed to strengthen the republic, not just his own chances of victory at the polls. When anti-communism passed out of style in the late 1960s and '70s, he continued to sound the call to battle against its destruction of human liberty. He cared more about preserving the freedom and sovereignty of the American people than about winning their momentary applause with popular positions that endangered both. Unlike the Rockefeller/Bush Republicans, he was never intimidated by the leftist's phony posture of moral superiority. He never gave in to the temptation to oppose them for political purposes by offering a better-managed version of their government-dominated, elitist utopia.
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Given the real basis of his political stance, it's hard to see how we keep America if we leave Reagan behind. We leave behind the institution of limited, constitutional government. We leave behind the encouragement of self-disciplined individuals. We leave behind the commitment to defend our common good of American sovereignty, meaning both the people's ultimate authority over the law and their responsibility for preserving the approach to government based upon respect for that authority. Socialist economic and political approaches have produced generally dismal economic results. But they also represent retrogression toward the form of government in which a few supposedly superior people rule over all the rest. Because power corrupts, such rule inevitably leads to elitist presumption, arrogance and oppression.
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Reagan was not a political theorist, but he instinctively understood that the issue of preserving our form of government had to be our permanent concern and priority as a people. He would have emphatically rejected the notion (reportedly being considered at next week's annual meeting of the left-leaning and elitist Bilderberg Group) that the preferable alternative for the future is "a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency." The false promise of the left has always been efficiency purchased at the price of sovereign liberty. When the present gaggle of Republican Obama wannabes babble about a new America, won with approaches developed by imitating the skillful falsehoods of the left, this efficient surrender of liberty is the alternative they offer. The only thing about it we can be sure of is that it will mean the consolidation of power in the hands of a powerful few, with all the offsetting structures intended to assure sovereign role of the people destroyed, bypassed or simply ignored. It all sounds like slavery to me, made worse by technologies that will make totalitarian control vastly more efficient.
America leapt forward on the road to this oppressive future last fall, with Republicans and Democrats cooperating to make it so. Their continued charade of mutual opposition is simply meant to prevent Americans from uniting to defend their freedom before it is too late. Far from leaving Reagan behind, the only real hope for liberty lies in refusing to let go of the America he lived and fought for all his life. I for one will never consent to leave that America behind – for without it we shall live in a world without God-given rights, without individual liberty and with nothing to hope for but the leniency of our new elite masters. As I listen to the Republican politicians who seem willing docilely to accept that future (as they are docilely accepting Obama's usurpations and extremist appointments), I learn to expect no good from them. This leads me to the certainty that the only hope for America lies in the leadership of the people themselves. But who among them remembers what that means? Things like the tea party events, the 912 project and http://aipnews.com suggest that there are some, but can they be brought together to see and fulfill their true vocation soon enough? One first step must be to turn decisively away from the [no longer] Republican distraction.