Last week President Obama aroused a tidal wave of criticism as he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, and his true colors came bleeding through. With President’s Day on the horizon, many Americans should take time to weigh Obama in comparison to other presidents as the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are remembered in the month of February. However, not to be diminished; it is important to remember that last week was the birthday of another great president, Ronald Reagan. Compared to Reagan, Obama shows up as a polar opposite and representative of what Reagan warned the American public about big government.
Many Americans may not remember that former President Ronald Reagan, one of the most important leaders of the Republican Party in the last 50 years, was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. Yet, he should not be easily forgotten. Especially, in light of what is currently being accepted as an American presidential administration, it is good to remember the “Reagan Revolution” as a point of reference. Unfortunately, many young people, born after the Reagan era, may simply relate to Reagan as an actor-turned politician, and not recognize his beliefs. Those beliefs resonated with the American people when they had the chance to directly hear what he had to say, rather than accepting what they were expected to believe by the so-called political experts.
Often neglected in the telling of the stories of Ronald Reagan, is that this old man had to engage in a serious fight simply to get his message of optimism out to the American people. He had to shake up the Republican Establishment before he could go on to win the hearts of the American people during the general election. Often ignored, it was essentially an uphill battle most of the way to the presidency, initially against his own party, and then in fighting the Democrats. Ironically, though Reagan was once a Democrat, he was not a centrist; he proved to be far too conservative for the traditionalists in the Republican Party. It proved daunting to simply get the Republican Party’s nomination to run for President of the United States.
Major Establishment types made claims that he was not presidential material, and despite the Republican Party, despite professional political handlers, despite continuous Leftist criticism and personal attacks against him, Ronald Reagan kept fighting to get his message to the American people, to share his sincere faith in the exceptional nature of this nation, and a sincere faith in how America depended upon the Constitution. Reagan understood that “Our Constitution is a document that protects the people from government.” Yet, many now realize that Obama and the Democrat Party seek to instill a degenerative dependency upon big government.
Sadly, when the political process comes down to the winning of elections by either major political party, the American people eventually become spectators watching who best excels at gaining control of the machinery of government. This is why the traditional Establishment types in the GOP did not want Reagan to run, as they believed he would not be able to win. It is why the Republican Establishment types today want to wrap up the nomination process so quickly in order to “package” their favored candidate. It is why Romney is out and Bush is “in.” Romney is not viewed as a winner, and Republican Establishment types want to believe they can pick “winners.” Of less importance is what the potential presidential candidate honestly believes.
Although Reagan was a Democrat earlier in his life, he had grown more conservative as he grew older. In 1962, Ronald Reagan become a Republican at age 51. Only two years later, during the 1964 presidential campaign, Reagan delivered a rousing speech at the Republican National Convention in support of conservative Barry Goldwater’s nomination. While endorsing contender Goldwater, Reagan stressed his own ideological convictions in a famed speech which later became known as simply “The Speech,” in which he stated:
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…
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We can 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.
America has come once again to this point in its history. Some Americans may sense this intuitively, but perhaps conservatives sense more that America is now much closer to plunging into the thousand years of darkness. Reagan admonished America as a whole to wake up; yet, much of what he was concerned with has come to pass in less than a generation since his presidency. Democrat and Republican parties essentially struggle to better each other in a game of absolute power – at odds with one another mainly to win control of the apparatus of the government. Newly elected officials can win local elections, but as they get to D.C., are indoctrinated with the unwritten rules of the dualistic power game. Such rules have little relation to serving the public; the rules are for serving the Party.
The Reagan Revolution exposed this “winning is everything” struggle. It is almost miraculous that he won within such a political arena. Ironically, while Reagan’s Revolution temporarily pulled the power hungry Republican establishment types to the right, Obama’s organization pulled the Democrats so far to the left that they made F.D.R. look like a centrist. The pendulum swung back, and America needs another revolution – not with bullets, or bombs or bayonets – but one fueled by the ideals espoused by Reagan, or Lincoln, or Washington. The Reagan Revolution attempted to bring America back to the Founder’s ideals. And, while Reagan deserves to be remembered in the company of great presidents, he may prefer to see a revival of the revolution!