An article By William Kristol.
Waiting for Reagan You fight an election with the politicians you
by William Kristol
01/28/2008, Volume 013, Issue 19
Conservative editorialists, radio hosts, and bloggers are unhappy. They
don't like the Republican presidential field, and many of them have been heaping
opprobrium on the various GOP candidates with astonishing vigor. For example:
John McCain--with a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 82.3--is
allegedly in no way a conservative. And, though the most favorably viewed of all
the candidates right now, both among Republicans and the electorate as a whole,
he would allegedly destroy the Republican party if nominated.[ Yes , this is true] Or
take Mike Huckabee. He was a well-regarded and successful governor of Arkansas,
reelected twice, the second time with 40 percent of the black vote. He's come
from an asterisk to second in the national GOP polls with no money and no
establishment support. Yet he is supposedly a buffoon and political naïf. [ So far Mr Kristol, you are correct] He's been staunchly
pro-life and pro-gun and is consistently supported by the most conservative
primary voters--but he is, we're told, no conservative either.[ No he is not!] Or Mitt
Romney. He's a man of considerable accomplishments, respected by many who have
worked with and for him in various endeavors. He took conservative positions on
social issues as governor of Massachusetts, and parlayed a one-term governorship
of a blue state into a first-tier position in the Republican race.[ I don't like flip flopper's] But he, too, we're told, is deserving of no respect. And though he's embraced conservative policies and seems likely to be steadfast in pursuing them--he's no conservative either.
One could go on. And it's true the Republican
candidates are not unproblematic. But they are so far performing more credibly
than much of the conservative commentariat. Beyond the normal human frailties
that affect all of us, including undoubtedly the commentators at this journal,
there is one error that is distorting much conservative discussion of the
presidential race. It's -Reagan nostalgia. It's foolish to wait for another
Ronald Reagan. But not just because his political gifts are rare. There's a
particular way in which Reagan was exceptional that many of us fail to
appreciate: He was the only president of the last century who came to the office
as the leader of an ideological movement. Reagan gave "The Speech" in October
1964, inherited the leadership of the conservative movement after Goldwater's
loss, defeated a moderate establishment Republican two years later to win the
GOP nomination for governor of California, and then defeated the Democratic
incumbent. He remained in a sense the leader of conservatives nationally while
serving two terms as governor, ran unsuccessfully against Gerald Ford in 1976,
and won the presidency in 1980. He was a conservative first and a politician
second, a National Review and Human Events reader first and an elected official
second. This is exceedingly unusual. The normal American president is a
politician, with semicoherent ideological views, who sometimes becomes a vehicle
for an ideological movement. Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and George W.
Bush are typical. They can be good nominees and effective presidents. They can
advance the cause of a movement that works with them and through them. But
they're not Reagans. [ Who said they were Reagan?] This year's GOP field is, in this sense, normal. Conservatives [ I do not want a NORMAL Conservative!] will find
things to like and dislike, to trust and distrust, in each of the candidates.
All of this is fine. [ No, it is not fine] And one could argue that a primary process featuring debate and competition is also fine, that it is healthier than a coronation, and that the party nominee could well emerge stronger from the process.
[Not with the three above mentioned]
So the conservative commentariat should take a deep breath, be a bit less judgmental about these individuals--and realize that there is not likely to be a second Reagan. [ We do not want another Reagan, there was only one!] [We want someone with
CONSERVATIVE ideals] They could also learn from liberalism's history.
Liberalism was the most successful American political movement of the first
two-thirds of the 20th century. Its three iconic presidents were Theodore
Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and John Kennedy. All advanced the liberal cause
while in office. None was a standard-bearer for liberalism before becoming
president--though each was inclined in a more or less progressive direction.
What it means to be a serious, successful, and mature political movement is to
take men like these--one might say to take advantage of men like these--in order
to advance one's principles and cause. So conservatives might think of John
McCain as our potential TR, Mike Huckabee as our potential FDR, and Mitt Romney
as our potential JFK. Support the one you prefer. But don't work yourself into a
frenzy against the others. Let the best man emerge from a challenging primary
process. [Mr Kristols definition of the "best Man"and true conservatives are two different meaning and people] And if there is no clear-cut winner, then the delegates at the GOP convention can turn on the fifth ballot to an obvious fallback compromise candidate, one who would be just fine with conservatives--Dick Cheney!
Mr Kristol seems to have as they say "his undies in a bundle".
I thought he always spoke with conservative values. Something has changed. He has lately been sliding towards the middle, a moderate. There is no such person as a moderate! Look what he said in his article.What middle of the road dribble! Mr Kristol, our fight is not with conservatives. Our fight is with the left! We will not compromise our beliefs with the moderates of the left or the moderates of the right. We don't ask for a candidate like Ronald Regan, we ask for a candidate that has conservative ideas and conservative beliefs that Ronald Regan had. You people in Washington have been there too long. The mild stench that permeates in that town is slowly working it's way into the life's blood of in the past we thought were sane people. Yes , the republican party may no longer in the future exist (like the WIGS). But conservative values will go on forever.
Mr Kristol, all of us hope you some day wake up and fight with us against the left and not fight with each other! I am disappointed!