There Isn’t Going To Be Another Reagan

All throughout this campaign season….scratch that….since Reagan left office, conservatives have been looking for the next Reagan. Every presidential candidate is compared to Reagan and if you listen to them, they’ll explain to you why they have more in common with Ronald Reagan than any of the other candidates.

However, great Presidents like Ronald Reagan don’t come along very often. Look back over the last century and ask yourself how many truly “great” Presidents there were? By my reckoning, Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt were the only two Republicans who reached that level. Amongst Democrats, Roosevelt was a magnificent war President, but he was a disaster on the domestic front. Truman came close to being one of our better Presidents, but the American public practically ran him out of office on a rail. JFK? He was a good looking, well liked President, from a well known American family who died young, not a wonderful President.

So, we have Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt, and Truman — in 100 years time. So, you want another legendary President? Going by history, we should have another Republican President who is on Reagan’s level probably somewhere between 2040 and 2070 or so.

Moreover, you have to remember that the Reagan we’ve put up on a pedestal is not necessarily the “real” Reagan. The “real” Reagan was extremely conservative, but he did a lot of things that conservatives today would find appalling. He ran up, in large part because of the Democratic domination of Congress, large deficits. He raised taxes. He appointed that mediocrity Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court. He was responsible for the 1986 illegal alien amnesty. We went into Lebanon on a peacekeeping mission and we bolted when our troops were killed in large numbers. At the end of his 2nd term, there was a perception that Reagan was going soft on the Soviet Union. So, many of the people who praise Reagan as a hero today would have — and many of them did — disagree with him on a number of key points.

Now, I don’t bring these things up to beat up on Reagan, I bring them up to remind conservatives that even the best of the best candidates are going to disappoint us from time to time. If Ronald Reagan, the prototype of what most conservatives seem to think that a Republican politician should be, made all those mistakes, then we shouldn’t be surprised when lesser mortals don’t live up to the hype either.

Last but not least, remember that the challenges Reagan faced are in many cases different than those that our politicians face today. When Reagan came into office, we had a decimated military with flagging morale, the worst economy since the depression, and the Soviet Union was our primary adversary. Today, we have a thriving economy, the most powerful military in human history, and we’re going toe to toe with Islamic terrorists.

Moreover, a Republican President also has to deal with a radicalized Democratic Party that works ceaselessly to attack Christianity, to gut American culture, and is practically suicidal on defense issues. Although the Democrats of Reagan’s day contributed practically nothing to our victory in the Cold War, they were still smarter on defense issues, more patriotic, and more willing to stand up for America than the average Democratic politician today.

You also have to consider that the debt and size of government, which were small but significant problems in Reagan’s day, have grown into enormous issues. The same could be said for illegal immigration, health care, and other issues. So, even in the unlikely event that another Reagan came along, he wouldn’t sound like the old Reagan, because the issues we have to deal with today aren’t the same issues that Reagan had to deal with.

Long story short: Republicans should stop waiting for the next Reagan and should just find the best person we can for the job.

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