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  • Daniels Makes Controversial Statement About Reagan

    Speaking to  a group in Washington, D.C. Gov. Mitch Daniels made the controversial statement that conservatives and Republicans need to let Ronald Reagan go.  According this source, Daniels said “Nostalgia is fine and Reagan’s economic plan was good…But we need to look towards the future rather than staying in the past.”

    If Governor Daniels was urging us to look to the future and dream big dreams about how we’re going to apply conservative principles to new problems (and Reagan, for all of his good work, didn’t solve every problem, there is much work still to do) then he’s right.  On the other hand, I tend to disagree with him if he was advocating that we move beyond Reagan and stop measuring our party’s leadership by the principles Reagan espoused.  While no individual will ever fully match up to any other individual, it is important that we still stick with the principles that Ronald Reagan lived out in his governing.  The principles weren’t Reagan principles, they were common-sense conservative principles and Ronald Reagan was the great communicator of those ideas.

    Over this past election cycle while there were still numerous Republican presidential candidates, I got tired of hearing each of them claim the mantle of Ronald Reagan.  It is one thing to respect Reagan and quote him, it is another thing to simply say “I’m a Reagan Republican” and let the Ronald Reagan label do your thinking for you.  Labels should never be used as a cover-up for one’s own thought process.  If you believe in conservative principles, instead of telling us you’re like Reagan, tell us what your principles are and how they will influence your decisions.

    This post was tagged under: Governor, Opinion

    0 responses to “Daniels Makes Controversial Statement About Reagan”

    1. Joel Harris says:

      There are three individuals in the modern conservative movement that seem to have been deified by the movement: Reagan, Buckley, and Goldwater. What we have found in this election cycle is that “Reagan” has been cited as magic incarnation that says “I am the guy!”

      From that standpoint, we really DO need to move past Reagan. We also need to quit looking for the “next Reagan”. That isn’t fair to either the memory of the Gipper or to whatever candidate is running. I think I can even understand wanting to move past some of Reagan’s policy proposals, though that would have to be analyzed on a policy by policy basis.

      But if we are talking about the principles of lower taxes, less government regulation, strong defense, and traditional values, then we have a problem. But I really doubt that is what Mitch is talking about.

    2. I think Joel has hit the nail on the head.

    3. I would tend to agree as well. I don’t think Governor Daniels was seeking to denigrate Reagan’s values or legacy so much as saying, we can’t expect to require a candidate to be the next Reagan. They can only be who they are hoping they espouse the same core beliefs as the Gipper.

      While many of the Republican nominees for president invoked Reagan in hopes of convincing voters they were there to carry on his legacy, the simple fact was that some carried a few planks, but not enough to wow the voters. And none could really come forward that packed the same charismatic punch that Reagan did.

    4. scratchman says:


    5. Joel Harris says:

      Josh wrote: “none could really come forward that packed the same charismatic punch that Reagan did.”

      Quite frankly, none (including my guy, Fred) had the intellectual understanding of economics and foreign policy than Reagan. I recently watched an interview that Reagan gave to Buckley on Firing Line on the publication of Reagan’s autobiography/memoir somewhere around 1990. Even though Reagan was not at the top of his game at that point, he demonstrated his great understanding of what is known as “Reaganomics”. I was also incredibly impressed with his rejection of the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). His position was peace through strength, which meant that if the Soviets wanted to start something, we would not both be destroyed–it would be the Soviets who would be destroyed and we would survive!

      Incredibly, Reagan was a combination of both substance (ideology) AND charisma. I would be thrilled with someone with only the former. Having some of the latter would be a nice side benefit.

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