Friday, June 2, 2017
Where Are Those Reagan Republicans?
“Well, there you go again….,”
Remember that little ditty? That was Ronald Reagan’s famous line from the Presidential debate against Jimmy Carter. That line was the “go to” for all mimics and comics when they were doing their Reagan impersonations; don’t believe me? Go check YouTube and other websites. But the real takeaway is, that was Reagan’s way of calling bullshit on Carter. He later used it whenever he gave a press conference and someone in the media, (usually Sam Donaldson) tried to call him on some news worthy story of the day/ week. Whenever he said it, and even when it was used by others to mock him, Republicans LOVED it! It was like a juice box for a 5 year old to them. But this question actually brings me to my point, where are those are those Reagan Republicans today? Back in the 80’s, no matter what the story, the issue, the plan, Reagan had supporters who believed in him and his ideals. The one ideal of Reagan, the one that “made him” for even those moderate Democrats who disagreed with him on all other issues, was his insistence that Russia (Soviet Union) was “the evil empire” and needed to be blocked and countered at every turn. Those less informed and shallow in their understanding of world issues, will still, to this day, credit Reagan with causing the downfall of the Soviet Union and winning the Cold War. But perception is the basis for all reality, or at least it used to be, and that narrative is what Republicans have stood on for decades now. People like George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Peggy Noonan, Karl Rove and others cut their teeth at the Temple of Reagan. Those guys and others would have never stood by and let anyone, let alone a “Republican” and especially a Republican President, stand in the White House and praise Russia! Where is the righteous indignation, that feigned outrage that they, (and others) had when Barack Obama “had the nerve” to put his feet up on the Oval Office desk while he actually WORKED on things to make America great, as opposed to just making grandiose photo-ops when he’s signing more ceremonial executive orders like Trump does.
Being a Reagan Republican became a cottage industry where fortunes were made but “true” patriotism was never questioned. I have gone on record as saying the most troubling aspect of this Trump Presidency is his refusal to accept and explain truth before the American people. Ronald Regan never needed to exaggerate the size of his Inaugural audience. He didn’t need to; he didn’t WANT to, that wasn’t important to him, but it is important to Trump. Ronald Reagan, despite what Obama haters want to have you believe, didn’t shy away from talking to people he disagreed with; enemies or allies. Ronald Reagan cozied up to “our European cousins” as he called them, he didn’t try to publicly embarrass them. Ronald Reagan went to Europe and praised and supported NATO, he understood that the very best defense America had in keeping Russia and the Soviet Union at bay in Europe was NATO. The lessons of World War II were not lost on him, because whether you agreed with him or not, Ronald Reagan understood that a united Europe was a deterrent to Russia from expanding westward. For the life of me, I don’t understand why those Reagan Republicans that were banner men for him and those principles aren’t speaking up against the things that Trump is doing today. Every 4 years, since 1992, Republican Presidential candidates flock to the Reagan Library and pay homage and swear undying fealty to the teachings that flowed from the jaws of “the great man”. Yet despite that, all those same Reagan Republican candidates and aficionados have seen and heard from Trump’s tweets and mouth since the 2016 general election is contrary to everything Reagan stood for. The Trump administration after less than 150 days more resembles the Nixon White House during the Watergate cover-up or that Reagan White House during the Iran Contra cover-up. The scramble to cover lies and fabricate new narratives for obvious flubs is clearly embarrassing, yet none of those Reagan Republicans are calling shenanigans. Just the most innocuous mistakes, like a typo during a late night tweet, have to be spun into some murder mystery plot just in order to keep the façade of infallibility alive of this man. Why?!?! What is this obsession to be better than anyone he’s followed? Obama, Dubya Bush, Clinton, H.W. Bush, and of course Reagan, all admitted at some point in time that they made a mistake in a policy or even misspoke; it is really OK.
Now, to be fair, men like John McCain, David Frum, and Lindsay Graham have started to finally raise an eyebrow about all of this confusion and ask serious questions about serious concerns about Trump’s refusal to at least posture towards Russia and Putin. But where are the Pat Buchanan’s, the Newt Gringrich’s? Where are all of the people who proudly called Reagan “The Cold Warrior” and stood at his side when he declared “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” when he went to West Germany to support our NATO allies? Why is it so hard, or is it that they all sold their souls to this man so that they could get control of the Supreme Court, to call out Trump on this debacle? How is it those Reagan Republicans are now blind to things like firing of the Director of the FBI in an obvious clumsy attempt to deter an investigation?
Look, I never supported Ronald Reagan; I never voted for Ronald Reagan; I never LIKED Ronald Reagan. But I knew Ronald Reagan and I respected Ronald Reagan; trust me, Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan and unlike Ronald Reagan, he has no moral compass and cares nothing for those people that voted for him. This however is the administration that those woolen covered eyed voters wanted. As my mother is fond of saying, “you ordered shit, you eat shit”. I hope it tastes good as you drink it with a glass of Russian vodka.