The Next Gipper

By: Leigh Patrick Sullivan

As we find ourselves in the midst of the transfer process, moving from the era of Dubya to Obama-nation, the inevitable healing process is underway over in the GOP camp.

After any loss the vanquished party goes through a metamorphosis. Lessons are learned (next time, could we have a right-wing candidate? It is the Republican Party, after all.) New ideas and direction is debated, often resulting in a refreshing of the brand.

Post-Clinton, the Democrats went through the pain of losing their eight-year long grip on the White House by rebuilding internally, while throwing out the wooden Al Gore and the, well, wooden John Kerry as fodder for the Bush machine.

All the while their search for the Next One intensified. Their process is brilliant in its simplicity: find the next JFK.

The legend of Jack Kennedy has long been devoid of any remaining semblance of reality. His death turned a man of numerous failures and mistakes, questionable character and even more questionable policies into a martyr for the American public and more specifically the Democratic Party.

The Dems have placed JFK as their benchmark, playing the Next One card in the hope of stirring up the emotions of voters. Give them credit: it works.

In 1992, the message from the Democrats was – wait for it – change! Shedding America from the Old Guard Bush/Reagan establishment to the fresh, hip, Fleetwood Mac-loving Bill Clinton was largely the result of the selling of Slick Willie as ‘the next JFK’. It’s amusing now to look back at the proclamations by newspapers and pundits that Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea constituted the ‘next Camelot’.

The lasting image of the Clinton years is of a double-talking, dishonest, horny, shallow little man of low moral standards who benefited from the economic decisions of a previous president while showing little respect of the Office. Come to think of it, maybe Clinton WAS the next JFK after all…..

The selling of the JFK spin has worked once again with Obama. He’s the next JFK! (Should that make First Lady Michelle nervous about the impending intern interviews?)

Here’s the lesson for the Republicans: find the next Reagan.

Of course there will never be another Gipper. There will only ever be one Ronald Reagan. But a firm move back to the historical values of the party through a real conservative leader is a must.

As much as I respect John McCain, we have seen that given a choice between a liberal and a conservative who would rule as a liberal, the public will choose the liberal every time.

The Party of Reagan can’t be afraid to be the Party of Reagan. Any belief that a move to the center or even the center-left would hold any benefit to the Republicans is misguided.

The search for a candidate with a strong sense of patriotism, unabashed love of his country, willingness to take a conservative stand on social and economic issues, and who possesses the courage to continue the fight against those who threaten our freedoms must be the priority of the GOP.

Four years of a socialist, soft on terror president should be enough for the American public to lose their Bush aftertaste and to embrace a real, honest to goodness conservative president once again.

The Republicans need another cowboy. We need the Next Reagan.

About The Author Leigh Patrick Sullivan:
The Moderate Separatist

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