This one actually made me laugh out loud when I read it last week — and then I promptly forgot about it because it seemed so ridiculous, it was hardly worth a post. I’ve changed my mind about that part of it, however. Here’s what made me snort my morning gin out my nose:
So as Republicans survey the Trump defeat and the debris of yesterday’s unseemly chaos in the nation’s capital, we would do well to reflect on past moments of success and consider how we can recapture the moral high ground, the policy initiative, and the hearts of American voters in the next election.
I submit the following question for consideration: Can we consider, once more, some of the guiding principles of Ronald Reagan? To be sure, these principles are not exclusive to Reagan, but he seemed to bring the right blend of substance, vision, and communication skills that made these ideas consequential.
Yup… here we go again with the old (and failed) “moral high ground” argument, where it’s okay to lose as long as you do it with style and grace. It’s called the “magnificent loser” mentality, and Republicans have, over the years, turned it into a high art.
The problem (for those of my few Younger Readers who never heard of the man, another topic for another time) is that Reagan managed to communicate his vision and policies in an era when the Press was not a bunch of rabid Leftist dogs and Congress was not the cage fight it is today. It was, amazingly enough, a more gentlemanly era, maybe the last gentlemanly era in American politics, where one side listened respectfully to the argument of the other, admitted its good points, and then set about coming to some kind of compromise because Reagan wasn’t the Worst Thing Since Hitler, his policy initiatives were not Eeeevil Rayyycism and the consequences of White Entitlement, and all Reagan’s supporters were not NaziFascist scum who should be sent to reeducation camps.
Reagan’s governing style was very much a product of his time — actually, it was a style which hearkened back to a still-earlier time than the 1980s, but a style which most people (both Right and Left) not only recognized, but respected.
It should also be remembered that while Reagan did a lot of good, many of his policies would prove to be an abject failure — “Just Say No To Drugs” being perhaps the most egregious of them all, as we have since discovered.
Reagan’s adherence to the Marquis of Queensberry’s Rules of Boxing, in other words, wouldn’t work today when the other boxer brings his brother into the ring with him armed with brass knuckles and a baseball bat, the referee turns a deaf ear to his protests, the judges award his opponent twice as many points for the same number of blows landed, the Boxing Commission always rules against his appeals, the Press think that he’s a cheating bastard, and half the public is in favor of banning boxing competition altogether.
That is the world we conservatives find ourselves in now, and even to imagine that a return to the rules of a bygone era has any chance of success is not only idiotic, it’s subversive — which, to be frank, the Gentry Republicans have always been towards actual conservatism anyway.
And no greater example of idiocy can be found in the article’s title, which suggests that “Trumpism” is something to walk away from, despite the fact that more people voted for Trump (both in raw numbers and as a percentage of total registered voters) than ever voted for Reagan — this number coming in spite of many conservatives not voting for Trump because they despised him, but still more not necessarily liking Trump the man himself, but voting for him anyway because they approved of his handling of the economy, foreign policy, trade policy and immigration policy.
That is the point of Trump’s presidency: if you ignore all the petty stuff like those annoying off-the-cuff tweets and silly personal attacks on not only opponents but sometimes supporters too, Trump’s achievements would actually rank right up there with the records of any U.S. Presidents, and a lot better than many (Carter, Obama coff coff ).
And this is what Establishment Republicans (GOPe) want us conservatives to walk away from?
No wonder I laughed.