OK, Maybe not dead, but definitely on overkill…
First and foremost to my friend Greg Kline, I have to give you my kudos for coming up with such dang good arguments during this discussion. More importantly, to the others, this is another shining example of how to disagree and be respectful. I haven’t seen this since Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume ran against each other for the U.S. Senate nod two years ago. Let’s address a couple of things…
First to get this out of the way, I didn’t mention “traditional values” because I’ll be honest, I do not know what that is. That is defined so many different ways, even under it’s purest form. If anything, I am more for Christian values and principles, because traditional values are sometimes so stodgy and restrictive. If anyone wants to help me out in defining traditional values, my email well known, it’s email@example.com.
You are right to say that I do not get it and this is probably because of my formative years being in the 90s (ages 8-18 for the record.) I can only watch what was recorded by history, in addition to the insane number of specials produced by Fox News Channel.
Reagan was indeed inspiring and succeeded in getting people, including some Democrats, to support him, his message and his ideas. However, those are simply marks of a true leader. I fully agree that Reagan was a true leader in every respect and the signs of that are documented. He was articulate, sharp, inspiring and in addition, he has his own style or signature that people will remember for years to come.
The point you are missing is REAGAN CONSERVATISM DIDN’T WORK! Before we get the daggers out, here is where I am going with this. CONSERVATISM UNDER REAGAN worked. There was no such thing as Reagan Conservatism in the 1980s. There was Reaganomics, but no Reagan Conservatism. The latter was not brought up until the 1990s after Reagan left office. The conservative message was always there, they just didn’t have a virtuoso until 1980, possibly earlier. In any event, 1980 was Reagan’s time to step out.
Let’s talk about where the country was during the 1980 election. We had hostages and an energy crisis. The moral of the country was low. Much as the man he portrayed in “Knute Rockne, All-American,” he came in and told us to win one for the gipper and we are much better for it today. Everyone believed in Reagan to the point that he carried every state except Minnesota and the District of Columbia in 1984. The only other President who can rival his approval rating in the past two decades is (sorry folks) Bill Clinton.
The message of conservatism did not change. Has it been perverted over the years, yes possibly, but what good message hasn’t been perverted. The three problems are that, yes, people are trading on the Reagan name and they don’t live up to it or never tried. Really there shouldn’t be any of that. If one is a true conservative, name-dropping should not be necessary.
The next problem remains that you are still looking for a Reagan Conservative or a Reagan Republican. There isn’t going to be another Ronald Reagan, just like there is not going to be another Michael Jordan in basketball. After Michael Jordan left for good (and I am not counting his “comeback” in Washington,) the NBA kept trying to find the next Michael Jordan. After everyone gave up looking for a new Jordan, new superstars were able to grow and the league today is better for it.
The third problem is the idolatry of Ronald Reagan. We are going overboard when you have a lobbying group that is seeking to have something significant named after the 40th President in all 3,067 counties in America. There is something wrong when congress threatened to withhold funding from a transit agency that they really don’t give a damn about, despite the fact that it’s the major link in getting it’s employees to work, unless they change the name of a subway station to match the airport, despite the fact that local leaders did not want to do so. That is socialistic. I wouldn’t want to change the name because it’s too long for a subway station anyway. Talk about a new spin on government being the problem.
I agree with you about Reagan being great president and a true leader because he inspired a nation. I would say that if you are inspiring, you don’t have to persuade anyone. People who fundamentally disagree will unite for the greater good, look at what happened when Shaq and Kobe put egos aside. Remember that’s Shaq AND Kobe. I still disagree about the party needing another Reagan Conservative. If anything we need another leader to carry on the conservative message to greater heights. Reagan has some big shoes to fill. To try to fit someone in the same mold as Reagan is only setting someone up for failure.