The GOP - a party in distress
, by Mark M. Alexander
... Ahead of the 1964 presidential election, Ronald Reagan delivered what is now considered the defining declaration of 20th-century conservatism: "A Time for Choosing." Reagan said, "This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves." He went on to define, with typical clarity and resolve, a political agenda designed to "conserve" our national heritage.
Today, conservatives and Republicans again face a time for choosing.
In 1977, Reagan outlined "The New Republican Party," noting, "Our party must be based on the kind of leadership that grows and takes its strength from the people. Any organization is in actuality only the lengthened shadow of its members. A political party is a mechanical structure created to further a cause. The cause, not the mechanism, brings and holds the members together." Reagan was steadfast in his leadership of a Republican Party that derived its strength "from the people." The result was evident in his landslide re-election in 1984.
In order to ensure a Republican victory in '08, the party will have to nominate a conservative who understands the tested principle of a political party that is nothing if not a "shadow of its members."
In the wings, there is such a candidate.
When Fred Dalton Thompson launches his campaign, the current field of contenders will be reordered. More interesting than the shift in support to Thompson from the current poll leaders will be how a Thompson candidacy elevates some of the second-tier candidates like Duncan Hunter and Sam Brownback.
The sooner the better, Fred.
Labels: Duncan Hunter, Elections, Fred Thompson, Mark Alexander, Politics, Ronald Reagan