Friday, April 10, 2009

The Lesson of Obama for Republicans

As an optimist, I believe that even when times are tough, all is not lost provided that we learn from our failures. In fact, it is in learning from failure that we guarantee future success. We have all heard the old maxim - "no pain, no gain." Which bring us to President Obama, whose Administration to date has been an unmitigated disaster for the country. Many on the Republican and Conservative side are feeling the pain at the turn of events since the election, and who can blame them. But there is a silver lining to this mess, and that is that the President and his Democratic cohorts in Congress have given the Republicans the blueprint to future success and ironically they have stolen it right out of President Reagan's book.

This sounds like a sacrilege comparing Obama to Reagan, but it is in fact true in this narrow sense. Remember on the campaign trail when Obama raised democratic eyebrows by saying that Clinton was not a transformational president the way Reagan was. The former Illinois Senator was on to something. What exactly is this blueprint for success? Quite simply it's called leadership. Obama for all his faults and erroneous policy decisions is not afraid to lead. He has furiously pushed his agenda, dubious though it may be, and has refused to compromise. In that respect, he is more like Reagan than any elected Republican since then. The Republican party foolishly began to turn away from Reagan when Bush 41 uttered his infamous "kinder and gentler" line in 1989. Obama is the anti- Reagan in terms of his policy, yet he is the spitting image of Reagan in terms of style. This is a deadly combination America, and will lead us down the road to ruin unless something is done to stop it.

Similarly, the Democratic Congress though equally misguided, is also not afraid to lead. They ram through legislation and have no qualms about shutting the minority completely out of the legislative process. To the victor go the spoils, as it were. While I disagree with this anti - American president and his democratic cronies, I must admit that I admire their approach. You hear no apologies from them, and no calls for reaching across the aisle. Not surprisingly people have followed, even if they're unsure that they like the message. This is because the country yearns for leadership, and will even follow a leader who is misguided.

Contrast that with the Republican approach when the GOP controlled the White House and the halls of Congress for six years. They completely abandoned the Reagan blueprint for success, and quite simply did not know how to lead. They continually looked to compromise with the minority and missed a golden opportunity. They were afraid to stand up for the very constituents who put them in power, and were more concerned with pleasing the Beltway cocktail set. They continued to believe the fallacy that if they went Democrat - lite, the dinosaur media would love them. Ask John McCain, the dinosaur's favorite Republican before the 2008 general election, how that turned out. They acted like they were embarassed of conservatism, and the voters punished them for it.

It is frustrating as a conservative to observe a party full of grassroots patriots saddled with leaders who are not worthy of them. It's the equivalent of a Super Bowl team with a Pop Warner coach. I'm sure the explanation from party officials will be that the Dems have the dinosaur media in their pocket, so it's easier for them. That is absolutely no excuse, particularly in this age of talk radio and alternative media. Ronald Reagan had nothing except for a few magazines like National Review and maybe a couple of newspapers. Obviously, great leaders like Reagan come along perhaps once a generation if we're lucky, but that's no excuse for elected Republicans now.

The country is in dire straits in the hands of Obama. It's time for Republican elected officials to hear the clarion call. Take up the Reagan blueprint, stand up for conservative principles, fight for the Constitution, and by all means show a little courage. Stop apologizing for being conservative, don't pander to special interest groups, treat all people as unique individuals, and defend America to the world.

Memo to Republican officials, open your eyes and honor the memory of Ronald Reagan. The recipe for success was laid out by the Gipper and has been usurped by Obama. Now is the time to take the recipe back. It's called leadership and it works.

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