Friday, July 13, 2007

Why we hearken back by Vegas Art Guy

So why do many hearken back to the Reagan presidency anyway? Was the world that much simpler? Are we simply viewing those 8 years through rose colored glasses? Too much red state kool-aid? What is it about his administration that makes us all warm and fuzzy?

It's a few things actually. First and foremost, Reagan understood something that many in the GOP have forgotten. In most cases government is the problem, not the solution! He understood that in order to make our country as successful as possible that government needed to get out of the way and allow her citizens to do what we do best. He cut taxes, instructed his cabinet to go on a diet, cut red tape and then we did the rest.

Secondly he was not afraid to call evil, evil. He understood that you can't appease dictators and that the USSR was an 'Evil Empire' that needed to be defeated. In order to do this he did a couple of things. He supported anti communist forces like the contras. He increased military spending and development, trusting that we could not just increase the size of our military to match the USSR but that we could and did develop better tanks, aircraft and naval craft. You can't leave out SDI either. "Star Wars" as the press decried it was the final piece of the puzzle. It rendered MAD obsolete because we could shoot down their missiles and they could do nothing in return. It worried the USSR so much that they tried to get Reagan to cancel it during the 1986 talks in Iceland. Reagan not only denied this request but simply walked out of the meetings. What we didn't know at the time is that the Soviet economy was on the brink of collapse because Reagan simply out spent the Russians, knowing that their economic system was a corrupt as their political system. In addition he was not afraid to take military action either. After shooting down two Libyan MiGs, the Libyans bombed a nightclub in Germany killing some servicemen and innocent civilians alike. Once we knew that Libya was responsible, Reagan slapped them around, bombing military and economic targets alike. The result? We didn't hear much from them again until they gave up their WMD programs a few years ago. (The MSM really covered that story as well didn't they?) He knew that if this challenge went unanswered, that the terror would only increase. He did the right thing despite the howling from the democrats and the far left.

Finally, he came into office with a clear set of goals that he wanted to accomplish and then picked good people to put them into place. As long as the methods fell under his general guidelines his subordinates could come up with the best solution for the problem. This meant that from day 1 his administration could get to work and in addition it allowed them to drive policy and kept the press from controlling things because they were constantly reacting to the administration and not the other way around. As I remarked earlier, this was his one weakness and led to the Iran-Contra scandal because John Poindexter and Ollie North took advantage of their relative freedom and went down a path that Reagan didn't see coming and didn't want to go down.

Because the GOP had forgotten the Reagan model and his beliefs, they got their butt's kicked in 2006. If the GOP wants to retain the White House and regain control of congress and the senate, they're going to have to go back to the Reagan model. If it's not broke, don't fix it.