Ronald Reagan

Please, sir, may we have some more?

Some more Ronald Reagan, maybe?

It would be nice to find SOMEBODY right now who could articulate Republican principles as clearly as Ronaldus Magnus.

His counterpart across the pond was pretty good at making the case, too.  Hillsdale College's president, Larry Arnn, spoke about Mrs. Thatcher earlier this year:

...I happened to live in England when Mrs. Thatcher’s party won the 1979 election and she became prime minister— the first woman to do so. It was better than watching sports on television. There was nothing like it. Every day she would do something big, and every day she would not apologize for it, even when reporters would press her. You just never saw anyone so direct or clear of speech...
 

... I’ve thought about this most of my adult life, and much of what I think about it is informed by having watched Mrs. Thatcher. We live in an age when a new kind of government has been invented, and it’s not so much that it has different aims, although it does have many different aims, but that it proceeds by a different method—through rules made by so-called experts, who gather the forces of government over themselves...

...And the weight and scale of the government run by this new method means that there’s some chance that the government is going to overwhelm the society. That is the very abnegation of liberal politics—liberal in the sense of a free people managing those who govern them because human beings are born equal, with equal rights.

The greatest defender and servant of this principle of liberal government that I have seen in my lifetime is Margaret Thatcher, and I pray that we will see the likes of her again, because the battle over this kind of government is upon us again...
Read the whole thing (scroll down to read Arnn's remarks, although Ted Cruz's commencement address is worth reading, too).
 
Here are some Thatcherisms that can be found in Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher: A Political Marriage by Nicholas Wapshott (available in the Finger Lakes Library System and the Chemung County Library District):
 
“If a Tory does not believe that private property is one of the main bulwarks of individual freedom, then he had better become a socialist and have done with it.”
 
“Indeed, one of the reasons for our electoral failure is that people believe too many Conservatives have become socialists already….”
 
“If every Labour Government is prepared to reverse every Tory measure, while Conservative Governments accept nearly all socialist measures as being the ‘will of the people,’ the end result is only too plain.  Any why should anyone support a party that seems to have the courage of no convictions?  We lost because we did not appear to stand firmly for anything distinctive and positive."
 
“Most of [the voters] want to do a fair day’s work in a job that gives them satisfaction --- and strongly resent what they regard as state subsidies to shirkers.”
 
“My kind of Tory party would make no secret of its belief in individual freedom and individual prosperity, in the maintenance of law and order, in the wide distribution of private property ….”
 
[I stand for] “compassion and concern for the individual and his freedom; opposition to excessive state power; the right of the enterprising; the hard-working and the thrifty to succeed and to reap the rewards of success and to pass some of them on to their children; encouragement of the infinite diversity of choice that is an essential freedom; the defense of widely distributed private property against the socialist state; the right of a man to work without oppression by either employer or trade union boss.”
 
If someone of the stature of a Reagan or a Thatcher arose and began articulating our principles clearly and without apology, would the fishwrap of record—or even the WSJ—bother to cover the story?
 
Stay tuned.
 
And perhaps, like Hilsdale's Larry Arnn, pray.
 
h/t's Henry & Tom
 

A Time for Choosing

It's been almost 50 years, so maybe we need some reminding.

Ronald Reagan, 1964:

***

I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this.
 
It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government."
 
This idea? that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
 
You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream-the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits."
 
The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.
 
Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.
 
Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we're always "against," never "for" anything.
 
We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem. However, we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments....
 
We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world.
 
We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward I restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him.... But we can not have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure....
 
Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? . . . Today in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of -very dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.
 
Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.
 
If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.
 
They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits-not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."
 
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.
 

How about not pulling any punches?

We can hope...for change.

For instance, wouldn't it be refreshing if some Republicans were less concerned with blocking fellow party members from influencing the direction of the party (heaven forbid that there should be a change in direction) and more concerned with justifiably and unabashedly bashing the abysmal presidential record of the current incumbent and his administration?

Like so (try at about the 5:00 mark for just one example):

To read the text of the speech, click here.

Bird watching

Ya think that there might be some people who don't like Ronald Reagan?

Victor Fiorillo writes at The Philly Post (and pardon some people's French):

Last Friday, an attaché of important gay people from Philadelphia made a trip to Washington D.C. as invited guests of President Barack Obama for the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception...some of them took advantage of photo opportunities to give the late President Ronald Reagan the middle finger...
 

...Reagan’s memorable statement on LGBT rights from the 1980 campaign trail: “My criticism is that [the gay movement] isn’t just asking for civil rights; it’s asking for recognition and acceptance of an alternative lifestyle which I do not believe society can condone, nor can I.”

“Yeah, fuck Reagan,” reiterates [Matthew] Hart one week after the reception. “Ronald Reagan has blood on his hands. The man was in the White House as AIDS exploded, and he was happy to see plenty of gay men and queer people die. He was a murderous fool, and I have no problem saying so. Don’t invite me back. I don’t care.”
 
Switching gears, Hart describes the reception as “fantastic” and notes that the White House staff seemed “giddy.” ”A lot of work had to happen to make this reception politically viable and possible,” he observes. “There were many service members there. I met a woman with lots of medals, an important military person, who was with her partner. And all her life, she had to be in the closet—until now. And I met a couple from Tennessee in their mid-50s, two men who have been in a relationship for 22 years and run an LGBT youth program. They could barely speak with their emotions. They kept saying, All through grade school and high school, people were telling us we’re gonna burn in hell. And here we are honored guests of Obama.”
But before other people get really exercised about this and despite Mario's kid remarking,
It meant more to people than I even imagined. Marriage equality, it wasn't even about marriage. It was about equality. It was about acceptance; it was about affirmation
here's something to keep in mind: gays are a tiny minority who have "an outsized place in the public imagination."  Yes, that's right..."Americans Have No Idea How Few Gay People There Are...Surveys show a shockingly high fraction think a quarter of the country is gay or lesbian, when the reality is that it's probably less than 2 percent":
...it's hard to imagine the fact that so many think the country is more than a quarter gay or lesbian has no impact on our public policy.
That's a much bigger problem than even rude gestures, foul language, and general disrespect—particuarly since that type of misapprehension has serious implications in a splintered society where it seems that everyone is a minority and everyone is a victim.
 
h/t's Tom, Jim
 

Small government begins at home

And teaching always works better with a little humor.

In response to a request from a seventh-grader for federal clean-up funds to deal with his room, declared a disaster area by his mother, President Reagan responded thusly (at Letters of Note, via The Daily):

Andy Smith
Irmo, South Carolina
May 11, 1984
 
Dear Andy:
 
I'm sorry to be so late in answering your letter but as you know I've been in China and found your letter here upon my return. 
 
Your application for disaster relief has been duly noted but I must point out one technical problem: the authority declaring the disaster is supposed to make the request. In this case your mother. 
 
However setting that aside I'll have to point out the larger problem of available funds. This has been a year of disasters, 539 hurricanes as of May 4th and several more since, numerous floods, forest fires, drought in Texas and a number of earthquakes. What I'm getting at is that funds are dangerously low. 
 
May I make a suggestion? This administration, believing that government has done many things that could better be done by volunteers at the local level, has sponsored a Private Sector Initiative program, calling upon people to practice voluntarism in the solving of a number of local problems. 
 
Your situation appears to be a natural. I'm sure your mother was fully justified in proclaiming your room a disaster. Therefore you are in an excellent position to launch another volunteer program to go along with the more than 3,000 already underway in our nation—congratulations.
 
Give my best regards to your mother.
 
Sincerely, 
 
Ronald Reagan

Taking a constitutional

Judging from e-mails going by the past few days, several people in the area are working out by participating in Hillsdale College's online Constitution 101 course. The Constitution never goes out of style but the course is particularly timely; Hillsdale President Larry Arnn points out that we as a nation really are at a fork in the road...we're going to have to choose between a constitutional model of government (limited, representative, with separation of powers and checks and balances) and what Arnn calls a bureaucratic model (in which agencies run by "experts" combine all three branches of government and operate without oversight).  Calling the latter model "bureaucratic," though, sounds almost innocuous. It's really much more insidious than that.

But some people understood Obamacare as a a chilling manifestation of Arnn's bureaucratic model even before there was an Obamacare.  We were warned (via New Zeal):

Arnn also points out that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are inextricably linked, an idea that the often-maligned (by progressives, anyway) Calvin Coolidge understood:

...If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people...

You can still register for "Constitution 101" at Hillsdale.  It's free.
 

Unintended consequences

That pesky law can have tragic manifestations.

At other times, though, it can be a good thing. Here it is again...at Accuracy in Media (via New Zeal), an interview with Craig Shirley, author of Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign that Started It All, which details Reagan’s pivotal 1976 presidential campaign, and Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America, which looks at the 1980 campaign, as well as most recently December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World.  

Funny how the idea, put forth by leftist pundits such as Cynthia Tucker, that President Reagan couldn’t win the Republican Party nomination this year because he would be considered too moderate (or downright liberal) has unintentionally led to a resurgence of interest in Reagan amongst conservatives and liberals—and it couldn't happen at a better time.  From Roger Aronoff's interview with Craig Shirley:

SHIRLEY: I’ve heard that, and that’s utterly ridiculous. The people who say that about Ronald Reagan [that he couldn’t get the Republican nomination this year because he was too moderate] don’t know about Ronald Reagan. He was a conservative. Some of his positions had evolved over the years—he started out, in the ’30s and ’40s, as what he called not a “bleeding heart liberal,” but, as he said, “a hemophiliac liberal.” He was a rip-roaring supporter of the New Deal and Franklin Roosevelt, and in 1948 he campaigned for Harry Truman as part of “Hollywood for Truman.” In 1950 he campaigned for Helen Gahagan Douglas against Richard Nixon for the Senate out there. His long political climb had started, and he didn’t really arrive at a conservative philosophy that was based on the individual—and, more importantly, based on the spiritual individual—until the late ’70s, and by then, his philosophy was fully formed as far as individual freedom, rights, privacy, a hatred of totalitarianism—especially as embraced by Soviet Communism—and an oppressive welfare state here in this country.  I’m hard pressed to think, when they say—I think it’s just a dumb throwaway line, Roger, to be quite honest. To say that Ronald Reagan wasn’t conservative enough for the Republican Party, it’s ridiculous. When they say that, they don’t offer up any evidence. I’ve spent a lifetime studying Ronald Reagan, working for Ronald Reagan, writing books for Ronald Reagan…I don’t think there’s anybody who has been as steeped in Reagan history as I have. Those people who make those statements, they’re just making foolish statements...

Alrighty then.  You can hear the interview re: Reagan, Pearl Harbor, and other topics here.

Video: Principles and patriots

The text was posted earlier but for those who couldn't be there, here's the video of an inspiring speech...Tom Reynolds, Vice Chair, Town of Newfield and Vice Chair, Tompkins County Republicans, at the 2011 Tompkins County Republican dinner on September 30th:

Principles - from Paine to Reagan

A speech given at the Tompkins County Republican Dinner honoring veterans, September 30, 2011, by Tom Reynolds:

Many years ago, I came home from work and there was a letter on the table.  It started, “Greetings from the President of the United States.”  I had been drafted.  So I did what millions had done before and after me—I shook hands with my dad and took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.  Not just the parts of the Constitution that I liked—but the whole thing. We Republicans believe in the Constitution as it was written, not as Eric Holder thinks it should have been written.
 

After I got out of the army, I got married, started a family and began a career.  But while I was minding my own business, a movement was taking hold of America; call it what you will—socialism—liberalism—statism. At their core, they’re all about government controlling our lives.  

Republicans believe we should control our lives.  

Republicans believe the Constitution was written to limit government, not empower it.  

During the 60’s and 70’s, liberalism captured our media.  But in 1980, a strong voice echoed across America.  A voice that said capitalism, the free market, the private property ownership system worked.  That America was a shining city on a hill and the last best hope of mankind.    

And we rallied to that voice.  Liberalism may have captured the media, but it hadn’t captured our hearts and minds.  

But of course, the media dismissed Ronald Reagan as a crazy cowboy from California.

And when Reagan applied his economic wisdom to foreign affairs and said the Soviet Union was condemned to the ash heap of history and that it was an evil empire, liberals gasped and said, “he can’t say that!” 

But the people enslaved behind the Soviet Union said, “yes!

We Republicans know that liberalism will fail.  It failed in the Soviet Union—try finding it on a map today.  And remember, USSR stood for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Communist China couldn’t feed its own people until they let capitalism in and now they’re a world economic power.

And I’m sure I don’t have to remind you what a success European liberalism has been. 

Liberals criticize Reagan because—in his era—the rich got richer.  Well, so did most other people.  But in the Obama era, the poor got poorer, as well as the rest of us.  

Obama has made the federal budget a gigantic Ponzi scheme, where he borrows more money to pay back the money he owes.  Frankly, Ponzi was a piker.  We need to rename them as “Obama schemes”.   

One thing we Republicans know that liberals have not yet learned: eventually someone has to pay for everything.

Almost 100 years ago, my maternal grandparents came over ‘on the boat.’  Probably everyone in this room can trace their ancestors back to immigrants.  Think of their courage; they left their families, their homes, their churches and any support system that existed…in many cases, to never see them again.  

But they came.  Not because there was a social services network to greet them. But for the chance for a better life.  And they achieved that life by going to work—by getting a job.  

Republicans believe in jobs, not a lifetime on social services.  Jobs give us dignity.  Jobs increase our self worth.  Jobs contribute to society.  Welfare begets welfare.  We believe in helping our neighbors, but not in a welfare state that condemns people to being slaves of the bureaucracy.  

Jobs are what we Republicans are about!  

And, I might add, my grandparents were legal immigrants.

During the depths of the American revolution, Thomas Paine wrote, “the sunshine soldier and the summer patriot will, in this crises, shrink from the service of his country; but he who stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

We are in crisis!  Liberalism has spread throughout our government and threatens to bring down the very foundations that made us—without apology—the greatest nation in history.  Will we be sunshine soldiers and let liberalism’s false idols destroy all we hold dear?   We must rise to the moment and take back our nation—town by town, county by county and state by state. 

And in 2012—Barack Obama—we’re comin’ for you. 

Paine asked people for their blood. We ask for your time, your sweat, your energy—and yes—your money.  We all know that it takes donations to win elections.  

But we are a party resurgent, even in Tompkins County.  Why, we even have a Republican running for the mayor of Ithaca.  This is our time and our moment.  We must succeed or our nation will endure more years of darkness.

Before we meet, Republicans say the pledge of allegiance.  Its words have meaning and we unashamedly say, “under God.”  But we should not forget the next word—“indivisible.”  We Republicans believe in a United States.  Our opponents seek power by dividing our nation.  Not just class warfare based on wealth, but by dividing us between the ruling class in government and “we the people.”  

Republicans believe in uniting, not dividing, and that “we the people” govern our nation.

Tonight, we honor those that have served our nation, for without their sacrifices, we would not be here.  Over the years, I’ve heard many words of praise for veterans, but my favorite was said by—who else?—Ronald Reagan.     

Reagan spoke on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, at a place called Pointe du Hoc on the Normandy coast.  Pointe du Hoc is a cliff and on D-Day, US Army Rangers scaled that cliff under murderous fire.  They took great casualties, but they took that cliff and the liberation of Europe had begun.  

In front of Reagan were the living survivors of those Rangers, their families, friends and others.  In his simple but elegant way, Reagan praised them and by extension, all the many victories for freedom that America has led.

Reagan said, “Behind me is a monument that symbolizes the daggers thrust into the top of the cliff by the Army Rangers.  And in front of me are the men who put them there.”

Inspired by the words of Paine and Reagan, the deeds of the veterans in front of us and guided by the principles of our party—the principles that made America great—we must leave here tonight revitalized and reenergized.  Not just for the tasks of the next month but for the years ahead.  

With your dedication, the liberation of America has begun.  

Let's just do it!

Thank you and may God continue to bless the United States of America.  

Pages

Subscribe to Ronald Reagan