Guest Post Moving Beyond Reagan
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Scott Shaffer. Mr. Shaffer was the highest bidder at a silent auction in which RedMaryland donated an opportunity to write a guest post. The proceeds of the auction supported the Anne Arundel County Republican State Central Committee. We thank Mr. Shaffer for his support.
“What we need to defeat President Obama is another Ronald Reagan.” You’ve heard this before, particularly heading into the latest election cycle. Debate after debate, each of our Republican presidential candidates tried to convince us that he or she was the closest thing to the next Reagan. At times it was unclear whether they were actually debate participants, or contestants on a Ronald Reagan trivia game show. But you can’t place all the blame on the candidates. Republican voters, driven by nostalgia for better economic times, perpetuate the desire for comparisons. Because for most of us, Reagan is the only model we have of a Republican leader who brought our country back from the brink of collapse. With our country once again facing difficult times, we turn to our experiences for a solution – and our experiences tell us to elect another Reagan.
This is the “single savior mindset,” and it has consumed our party for 20 years. It’s time to let it go. There will never be another Ronald Reagan. Moreover, our continual search for an ideal political savior who will right all wrongs is inconsistent with our party’s belief in limited government and unlimited individual freedom.
It is not up to a president to save our party or our country. It is up to us to save the Presidency. Our nation was founded on the principle of “we the people,” and we the people are the only ones who can keep it that way. Handing off that responsibility to a single political hero is voluntarily surrendering the freedom given to each of us. There was a reason, after all, that George Washington was our first president and not our first king.
Say what you will about the TEA Party, but the originators of that movement understood this. Now, there are those in the upper ranks of the RNC who also see the light. They believe that the goals of the Republican Party can be better obtained with a bottom-up approach, rather than the top-down hierarchal organization currently run by the RNC and state parties. In order to articulate this perspective, they have created a new group called Project Liberty.
A recent Washington Times article profiled the philosophy behind Project Liberty:
Project Liberty organizers say the GOP should not be a kind of social club whose members gain power and wealth by beating rivals inside their own coalition. Instead, they see the GOP as a vehicle of mass influence more congenial to maximizing individual responsibility and the freedom to take risks than the Democratic Party.
Solomon Yue, the RNC’s National Committeeman from Oregon (a state politically similar to Maryland) and one of Project Liberty’s founders, likens this year’s presidential election to the D-Day landing at Normandy Beach. Taking back the White House is a means to an end, and not the end itself. There will still be much work needed to restore our country’s prosperity. Winning that first battle depends on all factions of the Republican Party uniting behind Mitt Romney in November, but winning the war depends on “we the people” making sure that President Romney sticks to the core principles of our nation’s founders.