Diary

Ronald Reagan: A Blueprint for Victory

I hear a lot of people talking about “beating the establishment”.  Not sure what that means.  Not sure what that looks like.   I am confident that I can outplay Karl Rove in just about any sport given our age differences  and basic differences in athleticism, but I presume people are referring to something else.

Frankly, I just want to implement public policy changes that are at least incrementally conservative.  Get the ball rolling, and maybe the impacts will snowball if we keep at it.  I know that successful political coalitions are comprised of people who don’t agree on everything, but nonetheless find a way to get along well enough to get valuable work done.  So I am not against “beating the establishment”, whatever that means.  I am not against people who stop drinking, train for marathons, or engage in glutton free diets.  Have at it. It is a free country and we all have our pursuits. If you want to throw a snowball at a BMW driven by some K-street douchebag, I enjoy packing snow for combative reasons.

However, if we are talking politics, my focus is on policy. Not the players on the team.  Not the cheerleaders or uniforms.  Substance is ultimately what drew most of into politics. If we were into flashy coolness, we would be democrats with Salon subscriptions.

I have spent quite a bit of time reading, viewing, and devouring all things Reagan over the past couple of days. I couldn’t find many examples of him talking about the Republican “establishment”.  He did not make frequent mention of any nefarious “establishment” in the GOP that needed to be beaten.  He clearly had friendly fire directed at him, but he beat them by transcending them—not by thinking, talking, or acting against them.  He asked for their support, smiled, and bagged a lot of victories.

Am I wrong?  If so, prove it!

Those of you out there who seem more concerned about bringing the GOP establishment to its knees than liberals, please share in the comments below actual links that show Reagan trying to “defeat the establishment”.  It seems like Karl Rove is living rent free in the minds of millions.  He is not living in my head. I don’t think Reagan gave a second thought to the Karl Rove’s of his day.  Not sure why in 2016 you can’t have a political discussion without mentioning “the establishment” every other sentence.

I look forward to the voluminous evidence that RR found it necessary to rail against any Republican establishment. I don’t think you will find much.  Evict the K-street guys from your minds.  Karl Rove doesn’t need a permanent residence in your head.

UPDATE #1: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library has a nice website.  You can search the entire site for certain words.  With all the videos and writings on the site, the word “establishment” appears only once.  The word was used on the 1981 inaugural address, and it is not used with respect to any subgroup of the GOP.

“It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment and to demand the recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the federal government and those reserved to the states or to the people”

No lobbyists or political hacks lived in Reagan’s head.

UPDATE #2: This challenge is not limited to the word “Establishment”.  I am looking for any evidence that Reagan ever spent time talking about, much less trying to defeat, what we in 2016 would refer to as the GOP “Establishment”.

UPDATE #3: Kudos to jimmyg for the insight that there is actually an ongoing Counter “Establishment” (Version 2.0) that exists to the fight the original “Establishment” (Version 1.0).  Version 2.0 has a vested interest in perpetually fighting Version 1.0.  and making sure that “defeating the Establishment” (whatever that means) never falls too far off the radar.  I think that insight explains why so many of us are so focused on defeating DC politicians and are dropping the ball on coalition building.