Three Blind Mice vs. Reagan


By: Guest Authors

By: Grant Ellis

The freshly formed National Council for a New America (NCNA) is the “caucus of Congressional leaders” that is sponsoring the so-called Listening Tour launched early in May. The website for this caucus is actually under the republican whip website, which implies that Eric Cantor must be leading the effort. Oh goodie….who?

On review of the website, including the opening video message by Mr. Cantor (unavoidable) I am appalled by the half-baked effort. See for yourself at http://republicanwhip.house.gov/WeThePeople. The disappointment I took away from the site was only eclipsed by the Listening Tour itself which featured Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and Eric Cantor at its first stop. My recommendation: stop this embarrassment immediately.

The vote-begging travesty exhibited by Romney, Bush and Cantor during the first Tour stop was nothing short of pathetic. Here are three learned and experienced men dithering about and groping for favor much like three blind mice searching for their severed tails. Meanwhile, what little is left of the Constitution is being shredded by the current administration in the name of social justice (or whatever the excuse du jour may be).

Visualize, if you will, Ronald Reagan sitting on the panel of this Listening Tour, hat-in-hand, face down with shoulders slumped apologetically, asking: “What do I need to do to get your vote? I’ll do just about anything you say if you’ll only give me a chance”.

I know, it’s unimaginable. It’s unimaginable because Reagan had few doubts. He knew himself, he embraced the essence of liberty and he spoke with humor, vigor and indomitable conviction, even in defeat.

In mind and spirit, we are the same people Reagan appealed to 30 years ago. Our joint commonalities exceed our few differences by orders of magnitude. In 1979, during the run-up to his presidential victory, Reagan did not promise a handout or even a hand up. He did not hold us to a high standard nor did he ask for sacrifice, even in the face of daunting challenges. Instead, Reagan acted on his certain knowledge of the human spirit, as exhibited by free peoples everywhere. He knew that Americans could and would right the nation’s listing ship-of-state if only freed from governmental burdens and high taxation. He knew that the best money is earned money and that self-satisfaction born of hard won accomplishment would breed more of the same. Reagan didn’t just want you to do well, he knew you would do well. The confidence he invested in the American people was wildly contagious and the tangible result was historic.

Today, our elected officials seem intent on undermining our spirit, our confidence, and our natural instinct for self-determination. By sleight-of-hand, we are encouraged to believe that the poor will forever remain poor and that the rich are to blame. Even some Republicans are becoming convinced of this as evidenced by pleas for new ideas. These Republicans could not be more misguided.

The illusion of two Americas merely provides cover for those politicians who would apply taxes unevenly in the name of fairness. The concept of fairness, however, provides nothing more than plausible deniability. In reality these officials hope, at public expense, to benefit from the bifurcation of the country into cheating “haves” and disenfranchised “have-nots.” The evidence could not be more plain; our spirit, the American spirit, is under attack, being offered up on the altar of political gain.

The country is not well served by bifurcating forces. Even in 1964 Reagan knew this in his soul. Reagan respected Americans of every stripe and honored their many contributions large and small. There was no begging or pleading from Reagan, no dithering, only confidence in the same time-tested system that fostered the greatest measure of liberty and prosperity the world had ever seen.

Capitalism coupled with liberty remains elegant: the opportunity for the hard-working employee to become a business owner, for the poor to become rich, is no less real today than it was in simpler times. The fabric of America is not two dimensional nor has it ever been. Yes, one might argue broadly that there are haves and have-nots, but to do so is to betray a shallow view of the American condition…or a subversive intent.

Fearless Conservatives need little more than Reagan’s example and the Constitution for political guidance. Likewise, Conservative candidates for national office would do well to study Reagan’s romance with American values, his belief in a strong national defense and his conviction in limited government.

Be advised I am not suggesting here that candidates disingenuously mimic Conservative conviction outside of their individual belief system. That would be no better than attempts by others to bifurcate the American people for political gain. I am however proposing that Conservative candidates sound the depths of Reagan’s legacy to gain the benefit of his wisdom and to build self-conviction. Absent conviction, there is no political magic, and THAT is exactly what is missing in our intrepid band of blind mice. They and others similarly without bearings are, in fact, doing far more harm than good to the Republican Party. The evident aimlessness in this group is the exact opposite of what made people of all backgrounds follow Reagan. Reagan courageously demonstrated the authenticity of his unwavering convictions and his trust in American values. These old-school concepts, like the Constitution, unfailingly survive critique. To be blunt, gentlemen, if you don’t have a belief system you would die to uphold, you’re pretty much out of modern politics.

In closing, I recommend that you invest 28 minutes listening to Reagan’s Speech to the 1964 Republican National Convention (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt1fYSAChxs). I cannot properly prepare you for what you will hear other than to say this: but for the dated statistics, Reagan’s words are as inspirational as any spoken today, which is my whole point. Conservatism is as timeless as the human condition. We do not need new ideas. We merely need to speak old truths with renewed conviction.



grant@wgellis.com

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