Liberal Reagan Revisionism

President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in the East Room of the White House.

President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in the East Room of the White House.

Phil Jensen

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Jonah Goldberg simply and succinctly deals with the blather that’s become common lately among Democrats and RINOs that “Ronald Reagan couldn’t get nominated in today’s GOP.

From the National Review Online:

Too little attention is paid to the basic fact that Reagan was a man of his times and the times have changed. For instance, much of the GOP’s “extreme” opposition to tax increases stems from lessons learned from Reagan’s experience. Democrats promised to cut spending if Reagan raised taxes. They didn’t cut spending. Reality-based Republicans don’t want to repeat that mistake. Likewise, Reagan agreed to amnesty for illegal immigrants in 1986. Rather than be a one-time deal, it proved to be an incentive for more illegal immigration. And so on. The upshot of so much of the “Reagan was too reasonable for today’s GOP” blather assumes that Reagan wouldn’t have learned from what turned out to be mistakes — and that today’s Republicans shouldn’t either.

Well said. The Good Lord knows I’ve made a ton of mistakes in my life. I’d like to believe I’ve learned valuable lessons from most of them…like not how to keep making them.  Some of them involved trusting people who I thought I could trust but later found out I couldn’t…and in some cases, trusting people I should have known better than to trust from the beginning (remember the story of the frog who gave a scorpion a ride across the river?).

Rick Kriebel 2016

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Reagan made some compromises, knowing what he was doing going in; after all, he had to deal with a fully Democrat-controlled congress for most of his two terms. Yet even many of his compromises provide lessons for those with eyes to see and ears to hear: he gained a heck of a lot more than he gave up, which should be the objective for anyone serious about their values.

I was in Europe at a Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) base when Reagan achieved the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, eliminating an entire class of intermediate-range nuclear missiles belonging to the Free World and the Soviets. Reagan managed this treaty from a position of strength, not weakness and timidity. It was made possible not through blind trust, hopes and dreams, but through solid verification procedures on both sides (I helped guard some of those Soviet inspection teams who came to our bases to ensure our compliance with the treaty). Only an idiot makes a deal with a scorpion and then jumps in the river…and though Reagan made some mistakes, he was no idiot. Indeed, he engineered the end of the Soviet Empire not through begging and pleading with these evil men, but by overpowering them through strength and uncompromising resolve.

Unfortunately, too many of today’s Republicans seem unwilling or incapable of doing what Reagan himself certainly would have done–learning from his mistakes. Democrats (liberals in general, really) have resoundingly and completely proven that they are untrustworthy to keep tomorrow a bargain that was struck today. They have also proven an unwavering commitment to dismantling every principle and institution that has made America the greatest nation on earth.

Woodrow Wilcox

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Only a fool would compromise with such liberals unless it was completely and totally unavoidable, or you could with ironclad certainty gain a lot more for America than you would give up.  Sadly, it isn’t even foolishness or naïveté that leads some “Republicans” to disingenuously claim Reagan would be as mushy and liberal as they are; they are simply using Reagan as a “human shield” to excuse their own lack of courage and infatuation with liberalism.

It’s overdue for today’s Republicans to stop acting foolishly and flirting with liberalism, and overdue for the American people to hold them responsible for it.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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