I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What Would Reagan Do?

This week marks the 20th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s speech before the Berlin Wall. Reagan’s remarks were immediately condemned by the left wing political pundits, the state department bureaucrats, and the media. Their main point of contention was the phrase, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Their fear was the same throughout Reagan’s entire presidency. The bureaucratic apprehension was that at any moment, Reagan would plunge the United States and the rest of the world into a nuclear holocaust.

For all of the wailing and shrieking from the far left, Reagan was elected in a landslide victory over President Jimmy Carter. Four years later, Reagan defeated Walter Mondale in a historic landslide victory. What made Reagan unique was his steadfast belief in freedom and the potential of the American people. His policies and leadership brought the country out of the malaise of the Carter years. Reagan’s conservative ideals turned around the double digit inflation and nightmarish unemployment lines.

This week also marked a renewed effort by President Bush and the Congress to push through the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill. The bill has created a deep rift between the administration and the conservative base of the Republican party. The base is demanding that the border be secured first and then we can discuss the other aspects of the immigration bill. The supporters of the bill have alienated all those who are opposed to the bill, causing many within the party to question the commitment of the party to conservatism.

I realize that Reagan signed the immigration bill in 1986 that granted amnesty to over 3 million illegal immigrants, but I believe that the Republican party needs a Reaganesque candidate for 2008. I firmly believe that the Republicans don’t stand a chance unless someone emerges to lead the party back to conservatism. Reagan believed that all of us were created to be free, and with that freedom we have the potential to be great. Listening to the current crop of declared candidates from both parties, reminds me of a bad high school play. A group of amateurs trying to act like something they are not.

Senator John McCain may try to sound like a conservative, but his recent staunch support for the immigration bill has sealed his fate as a RINO(Republican In Name Only). Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is a conservative on some of the issues, such as the war on terror and taxes, but on many of the other pressing issues he has struggled to find a position. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is conservative as well on many issues, but he has labored over the past few years to find his conservative voice. Shouldn’t a presidential candidate know where they stand before they declare themselves a candidate?

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is a conservative that knows where he stands and hasn’t waffled on the issues of today. Newt’s biggest obstacle, should he decide to run, is that he led the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton while he was having his own extramarital affair. I know that the impeachment was not about sex or adultery, but it is too big of a target for the media, blogosphere, or the Democratic competition.

Former Senator Fred Thompson is also a potential candidate who knows where he stands on the issues. Thompson has been a conservative for his entire political career, but questions arose when he supported the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill. Fred has honed his communication skills over the years as an actor in movies and the TV series “Law And Order”. Thompson could be the candidate to carry the Reagan mantle, but only time will tell. There is still plenty of time before the first votes are cast in the primaries.

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