Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reflecting on Real Leadership

I realize that I’ve had a lot of Levin referenced lately (primarily due to the fact that he’s focused so intently on the congressional situation at hand); and for some, I might be driving the message of a weak Republican leadership into the ground. But…if you care about first principles, and are sickened by how ‘our side’ is constantly drifting from them, away from constitutional conservatism, while mindlessly being played by the Left, the reasoning for this emphasis should be quite clear. When our ‘leaders’ attack US with more intensity and animosity for disagreeing with their soft tactics and missed opportunities, rather than what we’ve yet to see of any significant challenge to the socialist policies of the Democrat Party, it is time for REAL leadership to step forward in the Republican ranks! As inspiration for the freshman class, who find themselves under the thumbs of the statist enablers that road into leadership positions on November’s wave, as well as those of US, who grow weary of the betrayal, remember these conservative figures of strength and resilience, and let them embolden our vigilance...

Aside from ‘the Great One’ himself as a source of inspiration, Levin devoted Wednesday’s monologue to the reading of Reagan’s 1977 CPAC speech entitled “The New Republican Party” and elaborated on conservatism, as well as its significant majority. From the show:

Conservatives believe in the Constitution, liberty and the principles of freedom and prosperity - what is so wrong with that? Why is the GOP Leadership calling out the Congressmen who voted against the Continuing Resolution as being extreme? The Left now knows that Speaker Boehner is weak and they will use this against him as they try to further implement their agenda.

And here are some relative excerpts from Reagan’s speech:

Despite what some in the press may say, we who are proud to call ourselves "conservative" are not a minority of a minority party; we are part of the great majority of Americans of both major parties and of most of the independents as well.

Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanaticism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way -- this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before.

The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind. When we conservatives say that we know something about political affairs, and that we know can be stated as principles, we are saying that the principles we hold dear are those that have been found, through experience, to be ultimately beneficial for individuals, for families, for communities and for nations -- found through the often bitter testing of pain, or sacrifice and sorrow.

The American new conservative majority we represent is not based on abstract theorizing of the kind that turns off the American people, but on common sense, intelligence, reason, hard work, faith in God, and the guts to say: "Yes, there are things we do strongly believe in, that we are willing to live for, and yes, if necessary, to die for." That is not "ideological purity." It is simply what built this country and kept it great.

Let us lay to rest, once and for all, the myth of a small group of ideological purists trying to capture a majority. Replace it with the reality of a majority trying to assert its rights against the tyranny of powerful academics, fashionable left-revolutionaries, some economic illiterates who happen to hold elective office and the social engineers who dominate the dialogue and set the format in political and social affairs. If there is any ideological fanaticism in American political life, it is to be found among the enemies of freedom on the left or right -- those who would sacrifice principle to theory, those who worship only the god of political, social and economic abstractions, ignoring the realities of everyday life. They are not conservatives.

The New Republican Party I envision is one that will energetically seek out the best candidates for every elective office, candidates who not only agree with, but understand, and are willing to fight for a sound, honest economy, for the interests of American families and neighborhoods and communities and a strong national defense. And these candidates must be able to communicate those principles to the American people in language they understand. Inflation isn’t a textbook problem. Unemployment isn’t a textbook problem. They should be discussed in human terms.

Our candidates must be willing to communicate with every level of society, because the principles we espouse are universal and cut across traditional lines. In every Congressional district there should be a search made for young men and women who share these principles and they should be brought into positions of leadership in the local Republican Party groups. We can find attractive, articulate candidates if we look, and when we find them, we will begin to change the sorry state of affairs that has led to a Democratic-controlled Congress for more than 40 years. I need not remind you that you can have the soundest principles in the world, but if you don't have candidates who can communicate those principles, candidates who are articulate as well as principled, you are going to lose election after election. I refuse to believe that the good Lord divided this world into Republicans who defend basic values and Democrats who win elections. We have to find tough, bright young men and women who are sick and tired of clichés and the pomposity and the mind-numbing economic idiocy of the liberals in Washington.

Please read the rest before, in between and after these passages. However, I wanted to point these out in particular to illustrate that the same crap was being mucked through into the 70’s and 80’s, yet we managed to straighten out the party then, and we must be resolute to do so again.

It will not only take an adherence to principled politics, but as Reagan expressed, and also as the following clip of Margaret Thatcher illustrates, the ability to effectively articulate conservative principles and the will to stand proudly on them to defend against the forces that would tear the liberties of a nation down!

See, it is not ‘extreme’ to stand on principle, to follow the Constitution, to have a moral compass, or to be unwavering and decisive. Quite the contrary, the extremities lie in the unwillingness to act principally when necessary. And when a nation is physically hemorrhaging from debt of not only economic origins, but of both moral and social degradation as well, NOW is ALWAYS the time to act decisively.

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