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Let’s Continue the Reagan Revolution

One of my earliest childhood memories is of my dad taking me to the polls with him in 1980. Before voting for Reagan, he explained to me why this was important for his family, and for America.

Thought –

I wonder if he would have bothered taking me to the polls if the candidate had been Ford or Nixon?

Problem –

Today there are a plethora of “politicians” who could be described as political hacks. That’s not to say that there aren’t some inspiring leaders out there, but the bureaucrats clearly outnumber them.

But first let’s define that.

Some people think a political hack is what would rightly be called an activist or a political operative. Dictionary.com defines a political hack as a politician who belongs to a small clique that controls a political party for private rather than public ends [syn: machine politician, ward-heeler, hack].

Sound familiar?

The recent Alito confirmation hearings were rife with hackery. The baby brother of the suave and swashbuckling JFK and RFK — Teddy Kennedy — has proven that even Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison would have become annoying had they had kept singing the same old songs for fifty years.

For the sake of the Democrat Party, it’s time for Teddy to hang it up so that some new folks can inject some big ideas into the debate.

Chuck Todd of the National Journal contends that Democrats are afraid of being visionary: “So what is the ‘big idea’ or two Democrats are going to pitch? Right now, it’s a party that seems to fear the ‘big idea’ because of divisions within its own ranks.”

The truth –

It’s time for sides of the political aisle to starting thinking about passing the torch to a new generation of leaders. What’s needed right now are leaders who can transcend partisan politics and advance a vision and philosophy.

It takes a real leader to tell evil regimes to: “Tear down this wall!” — or to say things like, “I have a dream.” These daring and romantic gestures are not the rhetoric typically espoused by politicians.

Random Thought – 8:27 PM

When Reagan said “tear down this wall!” the folks at the State Department cringed, but my dad loved it.

It’s hard to imagine Ronald Reagan arguing over whether or not his district got a bridge to nowhere — or logrolling to secure funding for a highway in Dixon, Illinois.

Fact –

We’re not the first generation to confront this problem. Before Reagan came on the scene, the Republican Party was bereft of ideas. This is a cycle that has been repeating since the beginning of time.

In fact, before almost every inspiring leader comes on the scene, there is a leadership vacuum. It’s always darkest before the storm.

So where do we go from here?

This hunger for change is no doubt helping fuel conservative support of Rep. Shadegg, a conservative Westerner, who is not part of the insiders’ clique, in his quest for Majority Leader.

There is a smattering of exciting conservatives out there running for political offices, such as governor or congress.

Largely, the more inspiring these candidates are, the less likely they are to be supported by the party apparatus.

Thought –

It is entirely possible that our current political environment will actually help these conservative “outsider” candidates beat “insider” Republicans.

Random Fact #142 –

Whichever Political Party is the first to honestly confront this problem, and promote real leaders, will have a major advantage as we enter into the next phase.

Unfortunate Fact –

Even when good leaders emerge, they are difficult to preserve.

Even Winston Churchill, who led England through World War II, was turned out after the war — only to be re-elected Prime Minister, later.

The best TV shows, musical acts, and products all wear out their welcome, eventually.

Brilliant and original ideas eventually become old. Like a cassette tape that has been dubbed one too many times, original ideas eventually become boring tripe. Likewise, it’s rare that even a brilliant leader can stay on top, indefinitely.

Here’s the question –

Why are you and I doing this? Why do we write? Why do we run for office? Is it to acquire power — or to change America?

They say charity begins at home. Well, true reform begins at home, too.

Let us continue the Reagan Revolution.

Written By

Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at MattLewis.org.

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