Republican Party leaders like John Boehner and Marco Rubio endorse an immigration reform plan that includes amnesty for millions of illegals. Boehner joins forces with the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz to pass a spending bill that continues to fund an abominable organization like Planned Parenthood. You have GOP candidates in the early stages of a 2016 campaign, distancing themselves from the politics of the Tea Party in order to make themselves more palatable to the American public.
And it stinks.
There was a time when it was a lot of fun to be a part of the conservative movement. It was mainstream, it was exciting, and it colored the entire Republican party. There was a push to make America great again after the doomed presidency of Jimmy Carter, and no man was ever more right for the job than Ronald Reagan. Return us to greatness he did, bringing the Cold War to an end through the sheer force of his determined and principled leadership. He brought our economy to new heights, forced our enemies into hiding, and inspired an era of rampant red-white-and-blue patriotism that has only been seen since in the months following September 11th.
Today, there’s not much of that excitement left. Republicans are weary of being called racists every time they attack President Obama, and the country as a whole has moved farther to the left than it was under the Carter administration. America is now the country of marijuana legalization, gay marriage, and illegal immigration. Republicans are now the party of big government while Democrats have moved beyond such simple aims, hoping to envelop the country in a kind of socialist democracy.
If ever there was a time for a strong Reagan conservative on the national stage, that time is now.
Unfortunately, it may be impossible to make that kind of leap. Candidates like Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann are pushed to the fringes of the party, demolished by a liberal media that can’t stand up to the fiery truth of conservatism. Republicans have become a party of moderate liberals, only worthy of a vote because they are up against opponents who are even worse.
For decades, the Republican Party thrived by offering Americans a clear-cut choice. They were the party of small government, reduced regulation, and individual empowerment. They were the party that would stand for the right of unborn babies. They weren’t afraid to address things like family values and the importance of a mighty military. Now things have changed. It’s hard to determine what the Republican Party stands for today. Having been rejected from the White House two elections in a row, you get the feeling that they aren’t really sure how to gain power back from the Dems.
Of course, the big fear is that a Reagan Republican would fail miserably at the national level today. The country has moved too far to the left. Independents want someone who can bridge the gap between the parties rather than drive them farther apart. What they fail to realize is that Reagan was exactly that kind of Republican. He didn’t accomplish his aims by alienating the Democrats. He was a powerful leader precisely because he could reach across the aisle without compromising the values of conservatism in the process.
We need someone who is not only a charismatic politician, but someone who can demonstrate the leadership this country needs. Then, maybe the Republican Party will be worth getting excited about once again.