Saturday, December 10, 2011

Is all lost?

I spent several hours in a car recently with a 30 year old business major.  We were talking about politics and the general state of the Nation.  He was in complete despair over the state of the economy, our reputation abroad, and our potential to pull ourselves out of this mess.  He didn’t see a path to greatness again. 

I asked him if he had any idea about Ronald Reagan.  He responded that he had read about him, but had no conscious memory of Reagan.  That’s too bad.  Of course if you’re only 30 years old you were born right about the time that our Nation was on the ascendency.  President Jimmy Carter was only a bad memory and everything seemed suddenly possible under Ronald Reagan.  That’s sad as the political memories of a 30 year old probably kick in around the time of Bawdy Bill Clinton. 

The first conscious political thought that I remember was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  I knew we were a Republican household and I remember how concerned both my parents were.  I was eleven years old.   So a thirty year old today might remember “Read my lips, no new taxes” (President George W. Bush) and the resulting fragmenting of the Republican Party (damn you Ross Perot).  Or their most poignant memory might be “I did not have sex with . . . . “ (President Bill Clinton).  Sad really. 

Our Nation’s rise under Reagan was meteoric and made fools of all the pundits, economists, and other naysayers.  We all need to remind the Nation what Republican leadership can do.  Even the George W. Bush years weren’t bad until Nancy Pelosi got her evil hands on the Speaker’s gavel.  Certainly by every objective measure we were better off in January 2007 than we are today.  We were even better off in January 2009 than we are today. 

Watching Barack Obama I can understand why a 30 year old would be despondent – we older folks need to give them real hope for real change.  


  1. Good post,CS. My only disagreement with the republican party is this damned mushy leadership. These guys are listening to the DC echo chamber,and the punditry class,who are almost NEVER correct in their assessments, instead of the cries for GOP leadership from Flyover Country.While I think the answer may well be to wrest the party from it's,hell,I'll say it,liberal wing,as opposed to forming a third party,they will NOT go down easily,IMHO.IF they will not listen THIS go-round,there may well be NO other choice than to try to form a third party.A lotta folks,d's as well as r's,are none too pleased with the current choices,again,IMHO.

  2. Good article. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Perhaps in a couple of years, the Y generation will have their own "Ronald Reagan" in the form of Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, or whomever. Twenty years from now, they will be explaining to the next generation the same thing you just had to explain to this guy. The wheels just keep going round and round. I just hope the wheels don't stop.

  3. Clyde,

    Thanks - my biggest problem is that I have no idea who all these folks are talking about. I was in the car yesterday for a bit and heard Rush Limbaugh go on a tear about the GOP. I was tempted to call in to tell him he was full of crap - but I don't have the time. The Republican Party is a big tent and while we have John McCain and Lindsey Graham, we also have Jim DeMint and Marco Rubio. The trick is to fill it full of DeMints and Rubios and our problem will be solved.

    The Republican Party reflects its membership which is why we need the involvement of more Conservatives. All those people out waving Gadsden Flags can have a much bigger impact in the Republican Party than they do whining about it from the outside.

  4. CS,

    Great Article! I think you nailed it in your response to clyde. A few states, including my Bluegrass State, took a step in the right direction electing Rand Paul; very conservative and strict constitution follower.

    I'm tired of hearing about the failure of the current TEA members. People say they aren't accomplishing sh*t..WAKE UP PEOPLE...Harryass Reid hold's the Senate gavel, so none of Rand Paul's plans will ever see the light of day! Also, several of the "old guard" Republican's are troubled about how strict and loud the new Tea member's are about small gov, adhere to constitution, stop wasteful spending..etc. and they don't like the TEA folk's not willing to give an inch on these issue's. GOOD FOR THE TEA PEOPLE! The other Republican members in Congress should rally around the idea's the TEA Senator's push so vigorously and not be willing to give an inch. I'm not saying, "Fill the entire congress with TEA member's only; but elect those that have the same character, conviction's and boldness to the new TEA folks! Move the GOP back to the right. Why do you think the TEA folk's popped up in the first place? They were already Republicans, but saw the GOP train getting off the track.

    This great nation can recover from anything; we've shown it time after time. We simply (maybe not simply)need to get true conservative theology back in the GOP party and stand strong together. True conservatism sells every time to the GOP voter's and many in the middle. The left is to far gone to save, so screw em'!

    So, know who is running and their theology next time you vote. If their true theology is good old school conservatism, then get to the poll's and vote for them; if you want our party back!

  5. I know why he didn't see a path to greatness... he has no knowledge of Ronald Reagan.

    Remember back when the peanut farmer was screwing things up? I remember how utterly depressed everyone was, about everything. Then when Reagan was elected he made us proud to be Americans again.

    The 30 year old just doesn't have that history to lean on. Next year, when barry gets blown out of office he will experience what we had. We get to experience it again.


    "I can see November from my house"

  6. Right,

    I am hopeful that we can find our new Reagan - I think that we might have to recall that Reagan had his detractors as well. We need to get a good guy in office and surround him with capable people.

  7. Dave,

    I maintain that the TEA folks have to join together with their natural allies in the Republican Party. We are stronger together than we ever will be separately.

  8. Hardnox,

    That was my point exactly. We have to remember that our experience is vastly different than that of a 30 year old - they aren't stupid their experience is just different.

    One of the conservative school activists actually recommends that you check American history books to see how they handle Reagan. You can tell that a history book is left-wing if they get the Reagan era wrong. So our children who are victims of the public school system won't understand either. The schools are teaching Reagan wrong - so children have no hope.

  9. Sense,

    Sorry, I can be a little slow sometimes and I'm not sure in what context to make of your comment to my comment. Could you please expand on your reply, so I fully understand your opinion? It would be appreciated.

  10. CS- My most poignant Presidential thought came in 2004. That was when Michael Moore informed me that Bush was a bad President, because he didn't stand up in front of a bunch of Florida 4th graders and say, "Holy F##k, we're being attacked, we're all going to die!"

  11. Dave,

    My wife and I were present at the very first TEA event in our county and many after that. I'm on several TEA e-mail lists still. I dropped out after meeting some of the leadership of the various factions (that's an interesting story that I can go into if you wish).

    I understand that the conventional wisdom is that the wave victory in 2010 is the result of the TEA activity, but I think that is a superficial explanation.

    We also lost some critical seats. We'll be up all night on November 6th 2012 to see if we retake the Senate and it was made harder by TEA arrogance in Nevada and Delaware in particular. There are other examples.

    I think that we are both old enough to remember what the response of Conservatives was to the Republican drift to the "Country Club Republicans" (predated "RINO - same concept). Conservatives didn't run away from the Party - they fixed it.

    As I have said many times before - I have no ideological differences with the TEA movement - my only issue is with tactics. If these local groups were pouring their energy into Republican precinct work instead of all these activities unrelated to elections - I think they could make a real and lasting difference.

    Conservative Republicans were "TEA" before "TEA" was cool. We do have people in our local committee with a foot in each camp but I don't know how wide-spread that is.

    We lost a Congressional election here by less than 1,000 votes in 2010. The local TEA folks didn't engage and they didn't support that candidate. There wasn't anything wrong with him, he would have made a superb Congressman. I have no idea how many other contests that were lost due to the neglect of people who were natural Republicans - but found it easier, more fun, or new (pick one or add your own) to engage in TEA activity rather than the tried and true blocking and tackling that has to be done to get out the vote and win elections.

    That's my opinion on "TEA."

  12. Sense,

    Thanks for your explanation. I agree completely with your statement that Conservative Republicans were "TEA" before "TEA" was cool and I pretty much say the exact same thing in my first comment (near bottom of second paragraph). Your statement in fact illustrates that to many of the GOP Congress representatives have moved away from true conservatism, because to much of the conservative voting block has went to sleep at the wheel and are not holding their elected officials feet to the fire by "Voting."

    Example you provided: If you lost a Congressional election by less than 1,000 votes, I don't believe that has anything to do with 1,000 "TEA" members not voting. I believe that was attributed to not enough of the overall registered Republican's in your area not voting. You state yourself he would have made a superb Congressman. So, where ALL your Republican voter's during that election?

    Another Example: The atrocious bill that passed the Senate giving Obama the right to now use our military force as local law enforcer's and peace keepers on United States soil (the first time in our history a Senate approved such bill) was drafted by Senator McCain along with Senator Levin and Senator Graham encouraged it. And know Senator McCain lies and says he doesn't know what was in the bill. You can go to and look up the bill number and get all the info on it. Only seven Senators voted it down; three Republican's and four Democrats; one being KY Rand Paul a TEA conservative. This bill is so disgusting and completely unconstitutional essentially taking away our Fifth Amendment rights. It allows Americans to be held in military detention centers with no due process and zero Habeas Corpus. It is so abhorrent the ACLU is suing our government and I find myself for the first time in my life agreeing with the ACLU. So, where was the mind set of the rest of the Republican Senator's "voting" yea on this bill?

    I could care less what "label" someone want's to wrap around themselves as long as they are conservative in their thought's and action's; the word Republican is just another wrapping. I believe the TEA folks are as you stated, already Republican's, but to many overall Republican voter's either went to sleep or didn't care anymore about true conservatism.

    It was in fact; the Independent voting block working with conservative voter's that pushed so many conservative's into the House in the midterm election by a landslide. Like I stated in my first paragraph; conservatism sells every time. If someone has simply put the veil of Republican over their face, but are not conservative; I don't want them. I used the TEA members as examples of real conservative Republicans. At least the one KY sent to the Senate.

    If you reread the final paragraph in my first comment; I make no mention of the TEA what so ever. I point out get involved by knowing who is running for office, know their theology and then get your butt's up and go "vote." And that comment is pointed directly at Republican's. If we have elected officials that are not conservative or are no longer sticking with the conservative theology, then we have no one else to blame but all those Republicans that do not promote conservatism anymore and do not "vote."
    "Voting" is the tried and true blocking and tackling to win elections and conservatism sells every time. So it's not TEA member's fault for lost local elections; it is the entire registered Republicans fault for not "voting."

    That's my opinion on all Republican "VOTERS."

  13. Dave,

    I think we are looking at two sides of the same coin. "Republican" covers a lot of territory from John McCain to Jim DeMint (of Rand Paul if you prefer). "TEA movement" is not synonymous with "Conservative" in my mind. That is particularly true in that they have taken a fairly narrow slice of what conservatives believe in and focused like a laser.

    While most TEA folks tend to be fiscal conservatives they have avoided the wide swath of things that real conservatives confront.

    With that said - my focus on tactics relates to winning elections. While it is nice that the TEA folks have woken up - we don't know if they vote in greater numbers than any other political group, faction, or Party. Elections are hard work if you do them right.

    We need to get out folks walking neighborhoods, making phone calls, and contributing to campaigns. That's generally is not what TEA folks are doing. That's my point. We would be stronger together.

  14. Yep.
    "Read my lips! No new taxes!"
    That sunk him the second time around.

    Too bad they don't hold Zero to the same standards.

  15. Buck,

    Thanks for the visit - the go along, get along media is never going to hold Obama accountable.