Ronald Reagan

Time For Pro-Lifers To Leave The Republican Party?

As Virginia Republicans meet this weekend for their annual "Advance," there will be plenty to talk about. From this year's election results to this week's stunning announcement in the Virginia's governor race (which we were one of the first to blog about), there's plenty of debate going on between the so-called "establishment" and the "grassroots" of the Republican Party. As usual, the primary target of some in the debate is pro-life voters. Many words have been spilled from pundits and politicians over this debate, not just this year, but in nearly every election cycle as far back as many of us can remember. It's important to recall that in 1980 the political experts told Ronald Reagan to "tone down" the rhetoric on abortion and talk only about the economy. Of course, most will remember that the 1980 election focused almost entirely on the economy, foreign policy and moral decay. Abortion wasn't a major "theme" of the election or of Reagan's agenda.

But when asked, he wasn't ashamed to be pro-life. In fact, he used the opportunities his leadership position presented to persuade people to his position — one he believed most Americans shared. Was he offensive? No. Was he restrained? Never. He simply was willing to talk and sought to convince people of the legitimacy of his position that the unborn should be protected.

Unfortunately, in our culture of "all or nothing" politics, even those seeking to be incremental and strategic in advancing conservative causes with reasoned rhetoric are labeled and attacked as "putting ideology ahead of winning."

It's time we pro-life, pro-family, pro-limited government, pro-religious liberty conservatives require the candidates we support hold strong, principled — dare I say — ideological positions, but who also are able to persuade people in a logical, approachable, reasonable way that those principles are really what is best for America and our commonwealth.

Why must we so often have to choose between angry belligerence and cowardly silence? Is there no room in the Republican Party tent for reasoned, rational and principled pro-life voters? Certainly, as evidenced by this year's Democrat convention, there's little room in that party's tent for pro-lifers.

In a recent opinion piece in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a well-known political commentator made the statement that wherever I go, "a fight breaks out." Truth be told, I believe The Family Foundation has been very good at using reasonable and logical arguments to persuade people to our position, never personally attacking people or throwing "rhetorical bombs" that drive people away. After 10 years of doing this, we're still attacked by the media as the group that "picks fights," while it falls at the feet in worship of those who were arrested on the Capitol steps in violation of the law, and who daily use vile, vulgar rhetoric (click links to see examples).

Let's face it: We live in a commonwealth where those who believe that women making the sad choice of abortion should enter sanitary facilities with emergency equipment are attacked by the media and secular left as "extreme" and "out of touch." All the while, those who support abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy (as our president does) are considered "centrist." That's the environment, that's the playing field. We can whine all we want about how unfair it is, or we can do something about it.

We live in a culture of cynicism and skepticism making it even more difficult to persuade. But giving up is not an option, and neither is compromising our principles. We, the whole of the conservative movement — not just social conservatives — must figure out a way to improve our message. Then, perhaps more importantly, find new ways to go around the Mainstream Media to get our message out. Blogs aren't enough. Social media isn't enough. Cutesy Facebook posters won't cut it.

Could the answer be going back to the basics (and hard work) of grassroots organization and mobilization? It's how conservatives changed the course of the nation before. Its successes are proven.

So, back to the question at the top. Is it time for pro-lifers to leave the Republican Party? Frankly, trying to answer that question is a colossal waste of time. While many are debating it, secularist liberals are unified and mobilized to take our state. Let's stop arguing about 30-year-old partisan struggles that may never be resolved. Let's start telling others about our principles, and let's put together the plan that will save our commonwealth.

Are You Better Off?

National Republicans are nearly weeping with excitement at the flubbed response of Maryland's Democrat Governor Martin O’Malley to the question Sunday on Face the Nation: “Are people better off than they were four years ago?” It has become the new mantra of Mitt Romney's campaign; a question uttered by Ronald Reagan more than three decades ago, and it has forced Democrats to go on the defensive. It could very well be a question that remains constant for the remainder of the election, as most Americans likely don’t feel better off than when Barack Obama was elected four years ago. I’ve seen it asked by many conservative Facebook friends recently, and it is certainly a fair question to ask. It’s just that it’s the wrong question to ask.

Primarily, the implication is that if you’re not better off, well it’s the government’s fault (see President Obama) and by default, if you want to be better off, it’s the government’s job to make sure you are. And, if you aren’t better off four years from now? Well, whose fault is it then?

Except conservative principles that Republicans theoretically believe and want to apply don’t guarantee anyone that they’ll be better off in the future. Not by a long shot. Conservative principles guarantee only that we’ll have more freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness, but along the way, you might just lose a few times, and that's okay.

For example, let’s say that a new President and a new Congress are elected, government regulations are repealed to get out of the way and you decide to act on that amazing business idea that you’ve come up with. Once free of government bureaucracy, you leave your safe and secure current job and venture into the world of small business self-employment.

And you flop.

The possibility exists that you will not be better off than you are now, in a purely material and fiscal sense. Will that be the President’s fault? Government's? An unfair marketplace? Amazon.com's?

Or, perhaps, your idea is just a bad one. It’s called risk, and the free market (the real free market) and conservative principles allow you to take that risk, and fail. Miserably.

Better off? Nope.

More free? Absolutely!

And that, my friends, is what this election should be about. It’s the question all of us should be asking.

Even Democrat Governor Martin O'Malley admits we are not better off than we were fours years ago. We're not as free, either.

Despite Atheists' Efforts, National Day Of Prayer Celebrations Go On Stronger Than Ever

Thursday, May 5, is the 60th annual National Day of Prayer observance. This year's theme comes from from Psalm 91: "A Mighty Fortress is our God." Earlier this month, in a case in which The Family Foundation filed an amicus brief, the Seventh U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the right of Americans (see Sarah Pulliam Bailey at Christianity Today) to continue this observation of God's involvement in "the affairs of men," as Benjamin Franklin so aptly put it at the Constitutional Convention more than 220 years ago. A nefarious group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed the suit.

In 1952, President Harry Truman signed into law a declaration that every president must proclaim a National Day of Prayer on the day of his choosing. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan took President Truman's declaration one step further and set the first Thursday of May as the official National Day of Prayer. Since then, Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have marked the day with a White House observance and all presidents have issued commemorative proclamations. Many years, a special prayer service is held in the East Room.

At noon on May 5, many localities around Virginia and the nation will hold observances with state and local officials, pastors and ministry leaders. Click here to find an observance in your area at the National Day of Prayer's web site. Please be careful to note the specific details and locations of each event. Also, many churches are open for prayer services at noon and throughout the day. You may also click here to learn more about the 7 x 7 Campaign to pray for the seven centers of power in our country seven days a week.

If you cannot attend an observance, please consider taking some time out of your day to specifically pray for our nation, President Obama, Governor McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bolling, Attorney General Cuccinelli, U.S. Senators Warner and Webb, your congressman, your state senator and delegate, as well your local elected leaders. Each of these people has a powerful effect on the lives of Virginians.

Sad But True: It's Mourning In America

This new ad from Citizens for the Republic — a knockoff of the classic Ronald Reagan 1984 re-election ad, "It's Morning in America" (see here) — pretty much sums up where we are under the Obama-Reid-Pelosi regime:

It's mourning in America now for sure, but we can make November 3 a morning to remember, and restore our country.

Reagan Confronts Today's Left Wing Thirst For Control Over Our Freedoms

One of our avid readers sent this to me. It's a fantastic reminder of how relevant Ronald Reagan remains. It's as if he's calling out today's Far Left. The video is a mash-up of RR's 1964 "The Speech" with some of the most notorious quotes from within the last year by Washington's liberal leaders — Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Frank, Durbin; they're all here, with a supporting cast every bit as fanatical about control. That's a thirst for control over your health care, your earnings, over how you spend your earnings, over the economy, over how your children learn, over the legal process . . . you name it, they want control over it. U.S. Representatives Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.), respectively, say it most pointedly:

give us more authority and more ability. ...  

And:

. . . put the legislation together to control the people.

Hear it for yourselves:

Ronald Reagan calls out today's Far Left just as he did in 1964.

October 28, 1964: Ronald Reagan Gives "The Speech"

Forty-five years ago tonight, a call was sounded that lives on and is as true today as it was then. More so. Ronald Reagan: Great president. Better prophet? Here is what is simply known as The Speech in its entirety (29:33). Enjoy.

The Great One gives the Great One. Perhaps the most memorable political speech in modern American history, it launched the career of America's greatest modern president on values and policies that resonate now more than then because they are the enduring principles of a constitutional, limited, God fearing government . . . the simple principles upon which the country was founded.

Ronald Reagan: As Great As Ever, As Important As Ever

This audio of the Great One has re-emerged recently, but if you haven't heard it, take a listen. It's Ronald Reagan in 1961, warning of the evils of socialized medicine. Rhetorically, he's excellent, as usual; as well as intellectually right on, historically insightful, and perhaps more relevant and important for us to heed now than then. Rallying the troops and preaching the cause, he's as inspirational as ever.

Ronald Reagan: Still speaking to us and more perceptive and more important now than in 1961 — and as great and inspirational as ever.
This speech was part of "Operation Coffee Cup," a program endorsed by the AMA, to defeat government-run health care. It put out thousands of LPs — this was a hi-tech PR operation in its day — to get out information to the people to learn the issues, share the information and influence their representatives and senators. All of which is something else we need to learn from this period, that time (now) has not forgot.

You Know The MSM Is Unhinged When . . .

Even the local Mainstream Media is getting into the act. It can't stand the success of Governor Sarah Palin (who will campaign again in Richmond Saturday) and how she has created an immense amount of enthusiasm, not just among Republicans, but among women and men Democrats and independents of all socio-economic backgrounds to the McCain-Palin ticket (see the ticket's remaining Virginia campaign schedule here). But it's not even the typical MSM. It's the entertainment MSM. Who cares what they think? But they want in on the action, too, I suppose. After Governor Palin's last visit to Richmond, the Richmond Times-Dispatch pop music critic thought it necessary to ridicule the Hank Williams, Jr., song "McCain-Palin Tradition" that he sang as a warm up to the governor's speech (click here to hear). According to the critic, Hank Jr.'s original hit, "Family Tradition," on which the campaign song is based, has some lyrics not in tune with "family values" voters (see article here).She mentions some Democrat instances as well, but clearly aims for what she thinks is a double standard among conservatives. Apparently, we're not allowed to have a good time — or at least it has to be good as defined by an elitist standard. But guess what?Even the celebration of Christmas was based on a pagan holiday. Guess we ought to stop celebrating, then. She continues with a litany of liberal recording artists who have demanded of Republicans to stop using their songs. Hard hitting stuff.

What's funny is this critic's view of Christians, values voters and conservatives in general — a stereotypical view of the types of people she thinks conservative politicians appeal to. It's as if she is saying conservatives don't have fun and live completely cloistered lives. Maybe she's the one who needs to get out more . . . or at least to more diverse entertainment venues to learn about the folks — that there's more out there than smokey bars and concert halls — and stop generalizing.

She also needs to learn some history. She claimed Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign theme song was Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A." Wrong. It was Lee Greenwood's "Proud To Be An American." Then again, he's just a values guy. No one relates to his music, right?

Has The Culture War's Decisive Battle Begun?

It has, according Herbert E. Meyer, who recently wrote a column entitled, "The Culture War's Decisive Battle has Begun," for The American Thinker (read it here). Meyer, who served President Ronald Reagan as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council, and who is the host and producer of the video The Siege of Western Civilization and author of How to Analyze Information, writes the nomination of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for vice president was the battle's shot across the bow. Meyer writes with clarity in defining the two sides in the culture war — "traditionalists" and "Left-Wing Liberals." He writes that the differences are so irreconcilable that we are experiencing a second Civil War and that in every war there is a decisive battle. That battle won't end the war, but it becomes the tide that changes the course of the war and decides its fate. For example, Gettysburg, he writes, during the Civil War, or Midway  during WWII (although, he must mean the Pacific theater; certainly D-Day was the turning point in Europe and perhaps for the entire war).

He then defines the two types of wars: Military ones, which are relatively short; and ideological wars, which can last decades, such as the Cold War. Such is America's culture war. He writes:

And there are long ideological wars, such as the Cold War, in which short bursts of fighting are separated by long periods of political maneuvering.  In these long ideological wars, the outcome isn't determined by firepower but by will. That's because the aggressor's objective isn't to kill the defenders, but to wear them down until they no longer have the courage and stamina to keep resisting.

The defenders win only when they stop merely resisting — in other words, trying just to not lose — and start playing offense. For example, by the late 1970s the Free World's will to resist the Soviet Union's endless challenges had nearly evaporated. Détente was just a palatable word for surrender. And then — unexpectedly and virtually at the same moment — three individuals most people had never before heard of exploded onto the scene and into power.  They were Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John-Paul II — none of whom, by the way, had any foreign policy experience before taking office. Their objective wasn't to "not lose" the Cold War, but rather to end it with victory for the Free World.  Together they threw the switch from playing defense to playing offense, stunning the Kremlin's over-confident leaders who believed that history was on their side. Within a decade, the Cold War was over and the Soviet Union had ceased to exist.

More than interesting, it is a profound observation. As much as John McCain is not perceived as a culture warrior by some Christian conservatives, maybe it took a Cold Warrior to understand what it takes to win an ideological war. McCain is one of the last still-in-office politicians to have been at the political forefront during the Cold War — certainly at its height. Two minor disagreements here: Ronald Reagan certainly was well known, for a variety of reasons, including a 1976 run for president and two terms as California governor, and who had met plenty of world leaders. John Paul II had plenty of "foreign policy experience" as it were: He had been fighting, ideologically, the Nazis and then Soviet communists inside the Iron Curtain his entire life. But as for his larger point, of leaders with a clear, unwavering vision of right and wrong, and the importance of defeating wrong, we agree.

He continues:

By choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate — and by staking his own claim to the presidency on "Country First" more than on any specific policy initiative — John McCain has thrown the switch and put us Traditionalists onto the offense. By doing so he has unleashed the energy and the will to victory among Traditionalists that have been dormant for so long the Left-Wing Liberals mistakenly assumed we'd lost. And by taking the over-confident Left-Wing Liberals so completely by surprise, McCain has stunned them into revealing themselves for the vicious phonies that they are.

As a result, what started out as a typical campaign between Republicans and Democrats — each party trying to hold its base while attracting enough independent voters to win — has exploded into the Culture War's decisive battle.  

Commanding the Traditionalist armies is a war hero whose personal courage and patriotism have overwhelmed any disagreements within the coalition about specific policies and issues. His second-in-command is a pro-life hockey mom with genuine executive talent, star quality, and the most valuable asset of all in politics: a common touch. Commanding the Left-Wing Liberal armies is an elegant, eloquent cosmopolitan whose most striking talent is his ability to push past everyone else to the front of the line. His second-in-command is the U.S. Senate's leading plagiarist, whose only undeniable talent is his ability to use Senate confirmation hearings as a platform from which to trash honorable Republican appointees such as Bill Clark, Robert Bork, and Clarence Thomas.

Meyer's column certainly is clearly thought and crafted, with precise analysis. It's also, if not a call to arms to those long-since armed, it's a rallying cry not to lose, for a resurgency, to see through to victory that ultimate, war changing battle, and drive on to final victory. We encourage you to read it, then take action. It's not too late to engage the opponent.

All In The (Liberal) Family

When liberal Hollywood producer Norman Lear, of People for the American Way fame, created the hit 1970s show "All In The Family," he admitted part of his motivation was to caricature conservatives through stereotype. The main character, Archie Bunker, was a bigoted, Second Amendment loving, homophobic, chauvinistic, xenophobic, jingoistic, racist ignoramus. Part of actor Carrol O'Connor's portrayal involved Archie's vicious stereotyping of anyone and everyone different from him — Poles ("Pollacks"), Jews ("Hebes"), Middle Easterners ("A-Rabs") and blacks to name a few. While certainly there are racists in every culture, there is no country where minorities of any type — racial, religious, ethnic — can succeed as in America. Where are these bigots that Lear tried to portray as everyday Americans trying to stunt the progress of our country? There is no country that, when they do raise their disgraceful voices, they are shunned as they are here. Nowhere in America do they hold real power.

The show got huge ratings, some calling it the best sitcom of all time. But Lear discovered the show actually backfired. Despite the buffoonish nature of Archie, what was exposed was the condescension and elitism of its liberal characters and the show's philosophical bent.

For years this has been the case in real life. Now, perhaps thinking the country's culture has moved comfortably toward their leftist view, liberal politicians and elitists are saying publicly what they think and work toward. In the fall of 2006, John Kerry — who wanted to be the Commander-In-Chief — said the military was the option of last resort for the dumb. During the last several months, front-running Democrat candidate for president Barack Obama has said that racism is "typical" in white people and that working-class folks in small town America "cling" to their religion and guns out of fear and nonacceptance of others.

Now, liberal horror novelist Stephen King, as with Kerry, has piled on the military. Speaking at the Library of Congress to a school group (nothing like indoctrinating students), King said:

"The fact is if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don't, then you've got the Army, Iraq, I don't know, something like that."

King, a major donor to liberal candidates and causes, and an Obama supporter, thought he could he get away with his comments, just as Obama thought he could when trashing mid-America in San Francisco. But he forgot about the blogosphere. NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard brought King's belittling comments about the military to light. (Click here.) What's sadly ironic is that it is our military, who handle weapons and implement planning and logistics more complex than King could ever comprehend, secure his right to write his lunatic plots and say his imbecilic comments. (Click here for Sheppard's reply to King's feeble response.)

Ironies tend to come full circle. In this case, what further adds to it is that Archie Bunker was a God-believing, high school drop-out, working class, proud union man; a socio-economic class today described as "Reagan Democrats." (In one episode, years before he was elected, Archie admitted that he wrote-in Ronald Reagan's name for president.) Now, just who is it the Democrats are so desperate to attract? The same people they mock.