A Reagan Country & Celebration
James Michael Pratt
We are at a crossroads leading to greater freedom or more government control as we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Ronald W. Reagan’s birth. Even Barack Obama intuits that studying and channeling Reaganesque speak, attitude, and likability is the only chance he may have of rescuing a 2012 re-election bid.
Since 2009 Americans have risen from passive participation in elections to grassroots active proclamations that we are a Reagan country and not an Obama nation. Interviewing these Americans at rallies for two years leaves me with the opinion that the American people will elect a person and legislature more Reagan-like in tone and principle in 2012. Here’s why:
The 2010 elections evidence a deep public hunger for men and women who cherish traditional values and constitutional guarantees of freedom, and who will behave with an optimistic belief in them; the kind Reagan offered as their servant.
Reagan offered his commitment and vision of what an American should be in his famous Goldwater speech of 1964, adding his favorite line from the Declaration of Independence:
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny; we’ll meet the challenge in the days ahead or we’ll trail in the dust as the golden hope of mankind for years to come. Are we a different breed of American? Has life become so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains of slavery? Or, will we ‘pledge our lives and our sacred honor?’
In the course of my research surrounding conservative values and constitutional governing, I have interviewed both former Lt. Governor, John Harmer, author of Reagan, Man of Principle, and Edwin Meese III, former US Attorney General and author of The Heritage Guide to the US Constitution.
Mr. Harmer stated that whenever Reagan quoted the line including the words “to pledge our lives and sacred honor,” a noticeable emotion filled his voice. His years of conduct as a governor and president, including taking a bullet in 1981, evidenced this personal belief to an American public.
I asked Mr. Meese about a Reagan versus Obama attitude on the Constitution and he very forthrightly offered this:
“Obama’s idea of the Constitution is more like those I believe in Europe where under their ideas of government people cannot do anything unless permitted by the government. Ronald Reagan’s idea of government is people could do anything they please as long as it doesn’t violate the Constitution.”
Ronald Reagan further clarified his feelings succinctly, exclaiming:
“The US Constitution is a document where we the people tell the government what it is allowed to do. We the people are free.”
The people knew an optimistic Reagan who offered hope for a change back to expansion of personal liberty, limiting government to its fundamental constitutional role, fiscal responsibility, and empowering the states where governing is always done best – at the local level. He understood the empowering entrepreneurial drive epitomized by American exceptionalism. Obama’s two years in office evidences hope for a change to the opposite and in his words, “A fundamental transformation of America as we know it.”
Reagan knew how to appeal to the American spirit and love for constitutional guarantees. He proclaimed an imagery of freedoms’ polar opposite with these lines from the same Goldwater speech of 1964:
“‘Daniel Webster said, ‘Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster. What has happened once in six thousand years may never happen again. Hold on to your Constitution for if the Constitution shall fall, there will be anarchy throughout the world.’
It has been said that if we lose this way of ours, this traditional freedom, history will report with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent it happening.”
What Reagan had was principle and honor backed by sixteen years of action and proof as a chief executive officer of a state then a nation. What Obama has is a record of teleprompter shattering talk with style but no substance.
People are looking for the next Reagan. The next President of the United States will be elected based upon how close to a Reagan “gold standard” for conduct, principle, conservatism and constitutional governing he or she can come; I guarantee it.
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James Michael Pratt is a New York Times bestselling novelist of Hallmark Hall of Fames’ The Lost Valentine, a non-fiction author, CEO of PowerThink Publishing, public speaker, Op Ed writer for The Daily Caller, and Founder of Reagan Revolution 2. His creative work may be reviewed at www.jmpratt.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org