Well, I’m done. This is my last active political campaign. I’ll be 69 by this November, and time to take it a little easier. I’ll continue to follow all things politics, keep blogging here at RS, and write checks to genuinely conservative candidates around the country, but my days of active involvement; the rallies, the fundraising, knocking on doors…that’s now in the past.
Watching Cruz’s withdrawal speech, while enjoying a fine Kentucky bourbon, has made me a little mellow. And I’m contemplating the two bookend campaigns of my active political participation. Both featured exemplary conservatives, and both ended in crushing defeats.
In 1964, at the tender age of 16, I cut my political eyeteeth handing out Goldwater literature at subway stations in the Bronx. That’s somewhat like learning to swim in a tank filled with sharks. It was, shall we say..”interesting.” A real education.
Goldwater lost. Big. Many here of lesser years may not recognize the headline above. It was Goldwater’s campaign slogan. Watch Barry, and realize how much Ted has in common with him.
And the Democrats, and the MSM did a hatchet job on Goldwater. The infamous “Daisy” ad is the best known example. Come to think of it, don’t be surprised if the Democrats resurrect it, this time with Trump as the target. Heck…it might work..the prospect of Trump with the nuclear codes scares me.
The next year, 1965, I was a freshman at NYU, and had the great fortune to work as a “gofer” (back then, that’s what they called interns) on Bill Buckley’s campaign for mayor of NYC. One of the most memorable experiences of my life.
So Goldwater lost. But Barry begat Reagan. And the Gipper heralded the true rebirth of conservatism in the nation. And among Reagan’s greatest accomplishments, he was, in the words of Tom Clancy’s dedication to one of his books, The man who won the war.”
And Reagan passed the baton to GHW Bush, who managed to squander his sky high popularity, after winning the Gulf War…throwing it all away by listening to the GOPe and breaking his own pledge to “Read my lips. No new taxes.”
That was the first time post Reagan that the GOPe broke faith with the conservative base, and hurt the party, and the nation. We should have learned the lesson then. But we didn’t.
Which brings us to the present day.
The GOP had perhaps the most principled conservative in decades as a viable candidate. Instead of rallying behind him, the GOPe did everything possible to weaken, to denigrate him…… setting the stage for Trump to follow up with his despicable antics.
I cannot vote for Trump. I will NOT vote for Trump.
I do not know what path the GOP takes going forward. At this time, I’m not even sure if I care.
But I do believe that there will be another real conservative president in America’s future. I only hope it won’t take too long, and that I am here to witness it, and most importantly, vote for that individual.