Re: An American Idol Nation

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Ronald Reagan was not a great President but Ike was? This was the same Ike who betrayed the fight against communism in Hungry and lost Cuba to Castro and his band of communist thugs. Ike is well regarded by history because historians are mainly liberal and Ike agreed with them on matters of domestic policy. Ike was a capable steward of a welfare state government, but he had no intention of dismantling the very system of government that is forcing us towards a third world standard of living.

Reagan was the last President with political courage. He allowed Paul Volker and the fed to sweat us through one of the worst recessions in our nation’s history in the early 80s to eliminate the high interest rates left from Jimmy Carter’s 4 years of malaise. His policies set off a 30-year bull market that is only today coming to a close because of too much government action subsidizing home ownership.

Aaron, you may not have liked backing Saddam against Iran, but Saddam kept a lid on Iranian aggression. There were no concerns about an Iranian state flexing its muscles in the Persian Gulf because Saddam and his army acted as a backstop.

Arming the contras in Nicaragua or the Mujhadeen in Afghanistan was a key part of the strategy that ended the cold war. Fighting the war via proxies and ramping up our defense spending forced the Soviets into a game they could not win. They could not win because Reagan cut taxes and deregulated. He realized that American greatness was intertwined with free market superiority. Once our market was unleashed, the centrally planned Soviet economy had no means to match us on the proxy battlefields or keep up with our arms buildup.

I would argue Reagan was the last great American President. He had the vision thing and he executed it. While he was not able to roll back the welfare state, Reagan accepted keeping it at its current levels in exchange for Congressional backing for his foreign policy. He believed that communism was the threat of our lifetime. He saw the battle as one between good and evil. The Soviet forces represented totalitarianism, central planning and enslavement to government. Reagan recognized that the Soviets were completely committed to expanding their influence and the world and must be stopped. While American did get into bed with some bad people, in foreign policy the choice is between bad guy and badder guy. America was able to maintain its ideals while carrying out policy because the policy of picking the worse guy was instrumental in halting the march of authoritarianism.

He changed this country from center left to center right because he articulated a vision for the country and carried it out. While other Republicans were trying to figure out ways to make Government do all sorts of things, Reagan was campaigning on free markets and individual liberty as the answer to our nation’s problem. He knew the answers did not lie with government, but rather with giving individuals the freedom to be innovative. If you want evidence, check the state of the economy in the 70s after Nixon, Ford and Carter’s micromanaging and compare that to the 80s with Reagan’s more hands off approach. The paradigm for American politics was altered because of the Gipper. Republicans talk about tax cuts while Democrats pay lip service to targeted tax cuts to mask their intentions to raise the marginal rates because Walter Mondale lost 49 states after promising to raise taxes during his acceptance speech at the 1984 Democratic Convention.

For 30 years, the Republican Party was the Party of Ronald Reagan. Embracing Reagan’s principles of low taxes and limited government led to the 1994 takeover of the House of Representatives. Embracing Ike’s moderate, modern Republicanism led to 34 years as the minority party. The Party of Ike or the Party of Reagan, which one led to better outcomes, not just for the GOP, but for America?

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