Friday, December 7, 2007

Could Ronald Reagan Get the 2008 Republican Nomination?

Back when I was young and idealistic, I found myself in Portland, Oregon just after college graduation. Deciding to make a difference, I attended a Republican Party meeting in Portland, figuring that political parties were "bottom up" affairs in which the people in the trenches controlled the party. Needless to say, I was wrong, not just for the Republican Party, but for a number of political organizations. (I doubt that Cory Briggs is ever outvoted in Ontario Mountain Village Association meetings.)

But I remember that there were nominations for some sort of position within the local party organization, and one of the campaigners characterized herself as a "Ronald Reagan Republican." In 1983, Ronald Reagan was the standard against which all Republicans were measured, and a significant deviation from Reagan's perceived values would brand you as a Democrat.

Even today, Reagan remains the litmus test. For example, RealClearPolitics ran an article with the title Huckabee is Far From Reagan's Heir.

But you gotta wonder - if Ronald Reagan were to appear on the political scene today, would he have any chance at getting the Republican Party nomination for President in 2008?

I doubt it, once the negative campaigners got into stride about "Mister Flip-Flop" - the guy who couldn't decide on a career, the guy who couldn't decide on a wife, and the guy who couldn't even decide on a political party! Can such an indecisive man be trusted with running the country?

Of course, then you have to deal with those people that belittle the conservative movement. For example:

If there is any ideological fanaticism in American political life, it is to be found among the enemies of freedom on the left or right -- those who would sacrifice principle to theory, those who worship only the god of political, social and economic abstractions, ignoring the realities of everyday life. They are not conservatives.

I think you can guess which wishy-washy person said that.

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