The Reason the Right Went Wrong

“Realistically, it will probably take until the year 2016 before the movement regains anything resembling its former glory.” Richard Viguerie in Time discussing the conservative movement.

The Reason the Right Went Wrong
Joe Leonardi

I just read Time’s article, “How the Right Went Wrong”. Though I doubt we would have ever witnessed President Reagan cry — if he were alive today I could understand why he would.

Of course, many on the right expressed outrage at Time magazine. How dare they photoshop a tear on Ronald Reagan and put it on the cover no less. It was the dreaded “liberal” or “drive by media” doing the usual hatchet job on the Republican party. I guess these commentators never heard of Patrick J. Buchanan’s book of almost the same title. The Right having gone wrong is not a manifestation of Time or any other liberal organization, it is — an unfortunate reality.

Ronald Reagan gets most of the credit, which he deserves, for the rise of Republican conservatives. However, he also deserves all of the blame for the their fall. Sacrilege you say. I could see the conservatives ready to burn me in effigy, if not in reality. Please, just give me a moment.

Ronald Reagan is, to me, both a personal and political hero. I served in the Navy during his Presidency and he was the first person I ever voted for in a Presidential election. I served the President and I respected the man.

In 1980 former Governor Ronald Reagan finally pushed his way through the country club, Rockefeller controlled Republican Party. For the first time since the nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964, a true conservative was on the precipice of becoming President of the United States. A man, not only of ideas, but of convictions, Ronald Wilson Reagan was a Horatio Alger story come to life. He was a man who embodied America and the American Dream. So how can I dare speculate that Ronald Reagan, an individual I hold in such high esteem, is responsible for today’s decline of conservatism and the Republican party?

Easy, I can say it with the confidence of 20/20 hindsight. President Reagan’s grand error can be summed up in one action, the Vice Presidential choice of George Herbert Walker Bush.

George H.W. Bush’s loss to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 primary would more than likely have been Bush’s last hurrah. Being a moderate to liberal Republican he would have had very little influence in the Reagan era.

There is much speculation as to why Nominee Reagan chose his conquered primary challenger as his running mate. Many of the reports seem to be of the consensus that a deal between the Ford and Reagan camps had fallen through and Bush was all that was left. Reading articles and historical accounts I am baffled as to why Ford was ever approached, but I am genuinely less questioning of the Bush decision.

Although ideologically apart, the unfortunate truth of Presidential elections is: the quest for the popular vote is not the goal, it is the electoral college absolute majority that determines the victor. In the equation of electoral math Bush would have been the ideal choice. In the thinking of the time; Reagan brings California, where he was Governor, and the midwest, where he was born and raised. Bush bring Texas, his adopted home state and New England, where he was born and raised. It makes perfect electoral sense, though most accounts state this was not the reason.

I still can’t grasp why Reagan didn’t pursue a more conservative choice for his running mate. President Reagan was convinced that the liberal/moderate wing was so detrimental to the party that in 1976 he did the unthinkable. In the primary, he challenged his party’s incumbent President. Demonstrating that type of conviction why he would chose Bush, who was pro-choice and adamantly opposed to Reagan’s supply side economics, is an enigma. But, for whatever reason, Reagan bit his tongue and put H.W. on the ticket, beginning the decline of conservatism and my beloved GOP.

What did this decision have to do with today’s decline? Simple, it paved the way for the emergence of George W. Bush’s political career and the Neo-Con power grab. To quote Paul Harvey, “now you know the rest of the story.”

Joe Leonardi

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6 Comments

Filed under Conservative, Election, NeoCon, President, Reagan, Republican

6 responses to “The Reason the Right Went Wrong

  1. Jim
    March 23rd, 2007 at 6:56 pm · Edit
    Joe
    I just went to you article on what is happening to our wouned veterans. I am answering it here because I have an interest in this too. Your coverage of the issues mirror my own and I like what you have to say.
    I get angrier by the minute as to the healthcare of our soldiers because now I have a 3rd son who is in the process of joining the Marines and I am sick of Bush saying how much he cares for them and what is happening at the likes of Walter Reed while he as the Decider is the one who gave the okay to close Walter Reed and privatize healthcare there and he plans on cutting the funding for medical care once again in 2008. I am so sick of the two faced underhanded crap Bush continues to get away with.
    Ronald Reagan: Yes Reagan would be crying today! Especially if he listened to the East Berliners who now want the wall back up. He would also be sickened as he sees the horriffic result of the new order he set in motion.
    He would realize what is happening here and around the world is the result of George W. Bush, a Reagan wanabe trying and failing to emulate him.
    I always say that is you have to work to be like someone else you have already fallen short. It must come from you naturally and it does not with Bush. He is a failure and always has been. So what do they do? They elect him as President so he can cheerlead their new order through but it will fail miserabley to the demise of all of us!

  2. Jim wanted his comment here so I have moved it.

    Joe Leonardi

    March 23rd, 2007 at 6:56 pm ·

    Joe
    I just went to you article on what is happening to our wouned veterans. I am answering it here because I have an interest in this too. Your coverage of the issues mirror my own and I like what you have to say.
    I get angrier by the minute as to the healthcare of our soldiers because now I have a 3rd son who is in the process of joining the Marines and I am sick of Bush saying how much he cares for them and what is happening at the likes of Walter Reed while he as the Decider is the one who gave the okay to close Walter Reed and privatize healthcare there and he plans on cutting the funding for medical care once again in 2008. I am so sick of the two faced underhanded crap Bush continues to get away with.
    Ronald Reagan: Yes Reagan would be crying today! Especially if he listened to the East Berliners who now want the wall back up. He would also be sickened as he sees the horriffic result of the new order he set in motion.
    He would realize what is happening here and around the world is the result of George W. Bush, a Reagan wanabe trying and failing to emulate him.
    I always say that is you have to work to be like someone else you have already fallen short. It must come from you naturally and it does not with Bush. He is a failure and always has been. So what do they do? They elect him as President so he can cheerlead their new order through but it will fail miserabley to the demise of all of us!

  3. THS IS NOT BOUT RONALD REAGAN

  4. this not bout ronald reagan 😡

  5. It's the C.I.A. stupid

    Pursue the connection between Bush, the C.I.A., and the Iranian hostage situation and it will all become perfectly clear.

  6. Of course, what a great site and informative posts, I will add backlink – bookmark this site? Regards, Reader.

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