Mark Levin explains what we are missing in the new Reagan wannabes.
Reagan helped build and lead the modern conservative movement. That can’t be said of any of the current Republican candidates. He helped give it substance and voice. He fought the Left in Hollywood. He was an outspoken Barry Goldwater supporter when Goldwater was fairly unpopular with the general public. He took on Gerald Ford, challenging him from the Right. Indeed, his candidacies in 1968, 1976, and 1980 were all ideologically based. And he obviously won in 1980 as the most conservative candidate in modern history. And both as a candidate and president, Reagan constantly spoke of conservative principles, as he had since the mid-to-late 1950s. He was not a recent convert. He used his position to educate the people about government’s limits. But he also understood, like Edmund Burke and many others, that changing half a century of liberal government would take time.
So, while he couldn’t succeed in every respect as president, and would reach compromises now and then, he tried to push the massive ship of state in the right direction. And he had many successes (too many people focus on the setbacks). He left a legacy that could have been built upon by his successor, but it was not.
That’s it. That’s where Giuliani, Romney, McCain, Huckabee and others can’t duplicate Reagan — the leadership he showed, not only as President, but as someone who not only believed in conservatism and was willing to fight in the arena of ideas. You can’t buy that kind of resume. You can’t be converted into it. You can still believe in conservative principles to varying degrees, and still not have the ability to fight for and advance those principles as Reagan did while he was our President.
Most of our top tier candidates are more than capable of leading the country in the right direction, but as far as finding a new leader for conservatism, you won’t find one of those in the Republican presidential candidate pool. Maybe we need to look somewhere else for that person, and be willing to settle for someone who won’t exactly be the kind of leader that Reagan was. The future of conservatism is not in the hands of any of these men, or in the hands of the Democrat contenders. So it won’t be lost no matter what happens in the next presidential election. We just have to fight a little harder if Hillary wins.
Tags: ’08 election, Ronald Reagan, conservatism, Republicans