Wanted: a new Reagan

While we bid the wonderful Ronald Reagan a fond and sad farewell, and while we honor him for his great historic achievements in slashing taxes, energizing the economy, defeating Soviet Communism, putting liberalism on the ideological defensive, re-legitimizing the proper use of American power, and restoring American confidence and patriotism, let us not forget the following: (1) Reagan did not reduce the size of government; (2) he did not dismantle any of the statutory and constitutional infrastructure of modern liberalism; (3) the liberal state has continued to expand its illegitimate power in the 15 years since Reagan left office; and (4) in those 15 years, the conservative movement and the Republican party have given up even the pretense of challenging either the scope or the unconstitutional basis of the modern liberal state.

We need a new Reagan to pick up where the old one left off.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 11, 2004 05:06 PM | Send


I have been “looking” for another RR for years, and noe have come forth. I am of the growing opinion that another does not exist.

During the Clinton Impeachment proceedings, I used to think that Rep. Lindsey Graham or now-Dep. TIA wonk Asa Hutchinson were possible replecements. Hutchinson looked like a Do Do bird the other night (seen on video at americanpatrol.com) stumbling to explain why those drone aircraft have not yet been put in place, behind schedule and with thousands of illegals streaming into our country in the Tuscon area, daily. I also used to like former Rep. Joe Scarborough as a leader, but his very young intern mysteriously died in his office and he resigned, a story that was covered up and never explained. Former Rep. Bob Barr went off the deep end after losing his re-election bid and now sides with the ACLU on certain matters. The only true conservaitve leader, Rep. Tom Tancredo, is not considered “presidential material” by many conservatives because of his lack of charisma.

So, who IS out there? I think RR was an American original and it is useless to ponder who could replace him. You can’t replace an original, and sadly, that kind of man/leader simply doesn’t exist today.

Posted by: David Levin on June 12, 2004 2:31 AM

The problem with “looking for another Reagan” is that one man can’t do it. The GOP establishment, the Bushes in particular, eventually outlasted him. It would take an entire political party with strong Traditionalist beliefs to effect a turnaround of our situation. A strong leader is needed, but there have to a lot of other political figures with him. This, the so-called conservative movement was unable to produce.

Posted by: David on June 12, 2004 11:51 AM

David’s post of 11:51 AM hit the nail on the head. The problem we face is a systemic problem in the Republican party. I’m not certain if it is even possible for conservatives to have an actual voice within that party anymore.

Reagan was able to do some very great things, but the Country Club wing outlasted him. The political naivite of Christian conservatives like James Dobson is part of this equation as well. The conservative voters who follow Dobson will likely go out and vote for Bush out of sheer fear of Kerry this fall. The Republican leadership will not have to make any sort of deal to get these votes or pay any sort of price. One thing that could help would be for those like Dobson to actually play hardball with Bush and Co. The Country Clubbers may own the party, but there aren’t nearly enough of them to actually win an election. Chrsitian Conservatives need to realize that CCR’s not their friends, but only temprary allies - much like the Soviet regime was during WW II.

Posted by: Carl on June 12, 2004 4:50 PM

Amen to Carl’s post of 04:50. Despite the stereotype of Christian Conservatives as intolerant fanatics on the verge of taking over the country, the reality is its leadership seems quite satisfied with taking whatever rhetorical bone the GOP Establisment condescends to throw it. You’re exactly right, they need to make the GOP pay a price for their support. And it that means losing an election, well, so be it.

Posted by: Allan Wall on June 12, 2004 6:07 PM

But because the conservatives have not been making any noise, if the GOP does lose, that will not be seen as the result of a loss of conservative support.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on June 12, 2004 6:26 PM

Carl—I “third” your nomination for hitting the ball out of the park!

But I do not share your skepticism that Dobson et al will fold and vote for Bush in November. A lot will depend on what Bush does in the next few months and other issues sensitive to Dobson’s group. I do not think the Christian Coalition—since 1) former head honcho-and-cutie-pie Ralph Reed left the CC and showed he was really a RINO, 2) Gary Bauer endorsed John McCain in 2000, 3) Pat Robertson’s occasional strange comments and stands on issues and 4) Jerry Falwell’s fall from popularity—has the power it once had. Too many things have happened within it. Most importantly, its leadership in the recent past has shown a proclivity to move left. Do Christian Conservatives STILL
vote as a block? I don’t think so. And besides, attempts to make Bush 43 out as though he was “a conservative” are not going to be believed anymore. He is a liberal, with that I totally agree with Mr. Auster. I think that—and the years of “caving in” by the House and Senate on so many conservative issues—is why the base is split and will REMAIN split.

I wonder how much actual clout the Christian Coalition has these days. My gut feeling is there are too many Independent conservatives like me out there who march to a different drummer and not in lock step with the CC.

Let’s face it. There is a “crying out” among many conservatives for a third (conservative) party. That “movement” has legs AND a torso. The CP is not the answer. We shall know more after the election. Conservatives are clearly not represented by either party. There is no other choice but to form our own party.

Posted by: David Levin on June 12, 2004 6:44 PM

In response to LA’s post of 6:26, it seems there are two choices. If conservatives continue their complacency, and don’t make waves, a Kerry victory will be seen as the electorate’s turn to the left. The other option is for conservatives to start making waves and make it clear that their support is contingent on real conservative policies from the Bush administration. Of course, at this late date it’s probably too late to trust Bush anyway. What would be advantageous is for a public repudiation of the Bush campaign by prominent conservatives, followed by a significant portion of conservatives voting for the CP, or writing in Tom Tancredo or Ron Paul, or even not voting for president, or some alternative to the Skull-and-Bones twins. A Bush defeat must be linked publicly to conservative disaffection with the Bush administration.

Posted by: Allan Wall on June 12, 2004 8:44 PM

In response to David Levin’s post of 8:44 (thanks for the email by the way) you really hit the nail on the head when you wrote that “Conservatives are clearly not represented by either party.” Also, we should make it clear that “Christian Conservatives” is a more inclusive term than the “Christian Coalition”, that is all Christian Conservatives have never been in lock step with the organization known as the Christian Coalition. You are certainly correct about Ralph Reed, who strikes me as being on the PC side.

Posted by: Allan Wall on June 12, 2004 8:49 PM

Thanks to Allan Wall for keeping this very important topic alive. What with RR’s death and Bush’s continued slide to the left and with the Invasion continuing, uninterrupted from Mexico, there doesn’t seem to be a lot for conservatives to get excited about. My above post was to let those who read VFR know that the concept (of our own, conservative party) is not “D.O.A.” as some would have us believe.

From what Mr. Wall said in response to my comments about Robertson, Falwell and other “leaders” of The CC, I gather that The Christian Coalition is no longer the powerful, monolithic voting block it once was. That seems to indicate a shift to “Independent” for many conservatives who are sick and tired of the GOP—I mean, they HAVE to have gone SOMEWHERE! They didn’t become Democrats, and they didn’t likely become Libertarians. They are STILL conservatives, perhaps even moreso now after being shafted by Bush 43 and the House and Senate Republicans for 3.5 long years. They are people without a party, without representation.

In my opinion, Independent conservatives can be a real “force” in American politics IF they can coalesce around a few country-saving issues (as halting illegal immigration, deporting all illegals and closing the borders). If Christian Coalition conservatives wish to join, they may. The “make-up” of such a new conservative party and a possible platform are subjects for another thread some day, hopefully at VFR.

Posted by: David Levin on June 12, 2004 9:35 PM

The Christian Coalition is pretty much finished, which isn’t a bad thing as I will explain. A few years ago, I would talk politics and current affairs with my section boss in the large corporation I work for. We would have to look over our shoulders while talking for obvious reasons.

He would agree with me on a lot of things, but wouldn’t come over to the conservative side and strongly opposed impeaching Clinton. The reason? My boss indentified conservatism with the Christian Coalition. He was terrified of the CC, thinking they were going to rule the country if Clinton was impeached. I assured him that the CC didn’t have much power, but he was still frightened of them. This thinking is common among suburban voters. Still, these people voted for Reagan in his Presidential victories.

Posted by: David on June 12, 2004 10:18 PM

It’s funny how people can sincerely get a single notion in their head that makes them lose perspective. During Reagan’s first term, even though I felt Reagan was an infinite improvement over Carter, I was still opposed to Reagan, primarily because of the deficit issue. His statements on that issue drove me nuts. I felt he wasn’t being honest, I felt this was a paramount problem for the country. I read articles in the Atlantic and elsewhere that got me really alarmed about it.

At the same time, still being in transition toward become a conservative, I didn’t appreciate the larger picture at all, the importance of Reagan’s defense increases, the tax cuts, his rejection of so much of the liberal view (though even in the early ’80s I supported him on the Pershing missile deployment because I understood that was essential to Western solidarity which the left was trying to destroy).

David’s boss reminds me of myself. He takes this one issue, the Christian Coalition, and blows it up into the paramount threat facing the country, and as a result fails to see political reality properly.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on June 12, 2004 10:58 PM

Thought for Mr. Levin:

While the Constitution Party might not be the answer, I can’t help thinking that, in the absence of other third parties, it might make sense to vote for them this election as a protest vote (I am thinking strictly about the presidential election here). Our main goal in this election is to prove that there is support out there for a conservative third party. After we prove that, it should be easier to form one that is the answer, or it should be easier to get the third parties that are only active in state elections to become more nationally active.

Posted by: Michael Jose on June 13, 2004 2:40 AM

It’s not the collar such people fear, it’s the confessional.

Posted by: Reg Csar on June 13, 2004 2:40 AM

Going back to David Levin’s post of 6:44 PM, what would be your reasons for rejecting the Constitution Party as a valid third party? I’m not terribly familiar with them and wonder where they depart from conservatism as we understand it here at VFR. Mr. Wall is absolutely correct - conservatives are not represented by either major party.However, a new third party will have to address a host of issues along with the national question (important as that issue is).

Regarding some of my earlier points, James Dobson remains a tremendously influential figure who commands a great deal of loyalty among conservative Christians - much more so than Robertson (who basically owns the Christian Coalition) and Falwell. I have no idea what caused Gary Bauer (who has some connections with Dobson)to lose his mind and throw his support behind the loathsome opportunist McCain in 2000, but this action definitely damaged his reputation within the the Evangelical community. Dobson, who really remains behind the scenes in many ways (much to his credit), has indeed made some mild complaints about the direction of the Bush administration - especially the very tepid reaction to the agressive homosexualist agenda. Even so, Dobson and many of those like him will fail to see through the trickery and treachery of the Bushites yet again out of sheer terror of John Kerry - a true hard core leftist.

This is why I maintain that Evangelicals are often politically naive. To give another example, Bush and Rove have managed to convince Christian conservatives that they are solidly against abortion. In truth their pro-life stand is largely symbolic. The partial-birth abortion bill signed by Bush is typically hoisted as the great example of the Republicans’ efforts on this issue. This sham bill was passed for one reason only: to buy the votes of the large number of rank and file Evangelical Christian voters for next to nothing in real political capital. Does anyone here think that Bush and the Congressional Republicans who passed the bill were somehow unaware of the Supreme Court decision from the year before that enshrined the procedure into Constitutional law - and that a Federal judge would certainly decalre it unconstitutional? In the meantime, Bush & Co. managed to pass the wildly unconstitutional “campaign finance reform” law whose main effect is to render conservative grassroots organizations like the Christian Coalition, et al completely powerless, while leaving leftists like George Soros a free hand to buy electoral influenece.

When an opportunity arose earlier this year to take action that might avtually have a true impact on the judicial activism that has created the abortion mess - opposing the notorious pro-abotion RINO Arlen Specter in the PA primary election - the mask came off. Despite Specter’s considerable weakness, Bush and the CCR hierarchy pulled out all the stops to keep Specter in place despite a tremendous and nearly successful challenge from Pat Toomey, where he will be in line to take the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee should the Republicans retain control of the Senate. Specter will make sure that no pro-life judge makes it through the committee. This is the kind of political naivite I’m talking about. The only person in the pro-life movement to pick up on this complete betrayal on Bush’s part was Mark Crutcher. Conservatives need to make Bush, Rove and the CCR hierarchy pay and to make it crystal clear that they are punishing them for their long record of betrayal.

These are very dark times for this civilization and for all we hold dear. The one thing that was truly inspiring about the death of President Reagan was the fact that it reminded us of a similar time of darkness back in 1964 - and of Reagan’s refusal to lay down his sword.

Posted by: Carl on June 13, 2004 2:51 AM

Carl’s excellent reply to me in his above post of June 13 02:51 AM is difficult to argue with. He makes some very salient points.

I had forgotten about “the Specter squeaker” that was due to Bush & Rove where Toomey would have been an excellent alternative. I had also forgotten about the Bush Campaign Finance Reform Act and was not aware of its effects on the CC. Carl’s pointing out that “evangelicals are often politically naive” was something I hadn’t considered previously and he is probably right.

We shall see how conservative christians vote this time around. I have to believe that they are as “split” as the entire GOP base is—with a growing number of them opting to vote The CP or writing in someone or not voting for president at all.

Carl asked me to explain “why” The CP is not a valid political party and where they differ from VFR folk on the issues. I second his comment about knowing little about them—except for what I have read of Mr. Peroutka’s own statements. There has not been a lot of discussion here at VFR about The CP. Howard Phillips is “lurking” somewhere behind the scenes of that party, but just “where”, I do not know. I’m talking about “control”. WHO is in control of that party? Or, shall I take their platform as it is stated? The problem for me and I imagine other conservatives is, I don’t really know! The reason is, Phillips and others who founded it won’t come out from the shadows and tell us! Or, if they have, I apologize here for not having read it/seen it. The BIGGEST problem I have with getting behind The CP is their lack of vociferousness on illegal immigration. I do not hear Mr. Peroutka calling for “mass deportation of all illegal aliens in this country” or “a moratoreum on all immigration”—as Pat Buchanan called for years ago—for 4 or 5 years. I do not see Mr. Phillips or Mr. Peroutka down on the Southern Border, telling us “the Invasion must be stopped for both security and economic reasons.” It’s a very strange party, The CP. It needs to “come out of the shadows” and expain itself before people will get behind it. And I don’t think one can blame the lack of coverage on Peroutka and The CP SOLELY on the liberal press.

There is another reason for not throwing in behind The CP. Conservatives, just like other people, do not want to fail. They get behind something they believe in and can “get their teeth into”. I just can’t get my teeth into The CP! There is something “missing” there, and I don’t quite know how else to describe it. Perhaps its a perceieved “lack of fire in the belly”—I don’t know.

I would prefer that the movement towards a third (conservative) party be more of a grass roots movement combined with an intellectual one—and not necessarily a religious one. I feel Mr. Peroutka, by his invocations of God, may be losing votes by alienating non-Christian conservatives.

I will stick my neck out on this next statement. I nearly mentioned it in reply to Allan Wall yesterday in my 9:35 PM post yesterday. While this may sound blasphemous to some fellow conservatives, I believe that a plausible third (conservative) party must NOT he viewed as “a Christian party”, or it is sunk. I am an Independent conservative. I am not part of a voting block called The Christian Coalition—or of any other religious activist organization. I do not “fear” The Christian Right, nor do I follow them (One of my cousins is very involved with The CC). I believe that a viable third party must be “inclusive” (I didn’t say “diverse”) of non-Christians. Okay, I’ll put myself in stock in the “conservative town square” and take my punishment!

Posted by: David Levin on June 13, 2004 7:29 PM

It should be noted that James Dobson has stated publicly that he voted for Howard Phillips in 2000, not George W. Bush. Let us not assume that all Christian conservative leaders are sheep.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on June 13, 2004 7:41 PM

There are several strains of true conservatives, based on their differing priorities and emphasis. One strain emphasizes the moral issues, the return of religion to the public square, and recapturing the Judeo-Christian heritage of America from the secularists. The Constitution Party has a large dose of these priorities, and indulges in the “Christian Nation” rhetoric about our nation’s history that we discussed here in another thread.

A second strain of true conservatism, as I see it, emphasizes limited government, the rule of law, respect for the Constitution, and eliminating those aspects of government not authorized by the Constitution, e.g. repealing the bulk of the New Deal and Great Society programs. As its name suggests, there is a large dose of this strain of conservatism in the Constitution Party.

The strain of traditional conservatism expressed centrally in this board praises traditional aspects of our heritage, acknowledges the importance of transcendence and the insufficiency of man’s reasoning powers to build a society without recourse to the wisdom embodied in traditions, and focuses on the shared heritage and cultural cohesiveness required for a society to survive and preserve and transmit itself to future generations. This leads to an emphasis on immigration issues, preserving traditional institutions such as true marriage, respecting our legal heritage and the rule of law, etc.

There is a lot of overlap among the three strains I list above. The CP focuses on the first two strains and not on the third, making many on this board uneasy about them. But, can we demand perfection and split the strains of true conservatism into multiple political parties? Will this accomplish anything besides defeat?

I agree with all three strains of what I regard as true conservatism, and would rather work to infuse the CP with traditional conservative perspectives than to start a party from scratch, or try to reform the GOP from within, when it lacks all three strains of conservatism except as minority positions.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on June 13, 2004 7:57 PM

Mr. Coleman: I generally admire James Dobson and don’t consider him to be a marionette in Republican hands - though there are some Christian leaders who seem to swallow any sort of argument proferred by the Republican heirarchy. I knew that GWB was certainly not his first choice among the Republicans running in 2000, though I was unaware of his vote for Howard Phillips - a very principled stand on his part. My only complaint about Dobson (who is by no means alone among Evangelicals in this regard) has been his lifting of the disgusting Marxist abomination Martin Luther King to the status of “great Christian leader.”

Even Dobson, with his fierce opposition to abortion, the homosexualist agenda, the degenerate popular culture and a host of other evils, allowed himself to be suckered on that one - no doubt because he didn’t wish to offend blacks and face the racism charge. But isn’t that yet another example of how so many conservatives have been led down the road to liberalism - the one paved with all of those good intentions?

Mr. Levin, I for one will not put you in stocks in our little town square. I agree that narrowing a party to specifically Christian concerns is unwise. Mr. Coleman’s description of three major strains of bona fide conservatism is quite perceptive, and can perhaps be of use in thinking of a way in which the strains can be allied or amalgamated to form the nucleus of a real conservative party. I think one area where I’ve seen social conservatives fall into a trap is when they approve the expansion of federal power to further a social good or fight a social ill. This is a very dangerous game in which a great deal of trust is placed in an entity whose track record is anything but trustworthy.

T’m thinking specifically of proposal for school vouchers, which could afford many the oportunity to remove their kids from the government school gulag. Same thing for the “faith-based initiatives.” Beware of Bushites bearing gifts in the belly of a large wooden horse! When the government starts funding parochial schools or ministries, do we really think it will not start to dictate what is taught in those organiztions, or who they can hire? It will have been given legal right to do so. All the reassurances in the world to protect freedom of religion will be offered, of course. The changes will be quite incremental and hardly noticeable at first. What’s wrong with teaching the little ones that MLK saved America in the Baptist school? He was a Baptist minister himself, was he not?

Posted by: Carl on June 13, 2004 9:25 PM

I was hoping Mr. Coleman was going to respond to my long post above! And I very much appreciate his “trichotomizing” true conservatism as he has described it. I am assuming that he did not make a FOURTH strain of trad. conservatism—the anti-immigration segment at vdare.com, theamericanresistance.com and other superb trad. conservative sites—as he (Mr. Coleman) wants to throw them all in the THIRD strain, where we at VFR supposedly sit. I don’t see anything wrong with this.

The reason I am not totally trusting of The CP is because they are not necessarily the kind of party I envision as a conservative party. I am not saying they don’t have potential, but I can say almost without hesitation that Mr. Peroutka is not the kind of candidate I envision as one I would walk precincts for. Let’s just say that there must be better candidates on the national scene than Mr. Peroutka.

I made the decision many months ago to write in Rep. Tom Tancredo. I cannot think of a better man to write in—even though he is not running for president. But, that’s just one man’s opinion. There is plenty of room in the conservative tent for The CP. If Mr. Coleman wants to promote that party, I see nothing wrong with it. As for “perfection”, there IS no “perfect party”. Perhaps The CP is as close to it as we will see. In my June 12, 7:29 pm post, I was referring to more of a “populist” party, a reactionary party with people from every walk of life. I don’t get that same feeling from The CP. Perhaps Mr. Coleman can enlighten me on that.

Posted by: David Levin on June 14, 2004 12:56 AM

I applaud Carl for keeping the Feds out of homeschooling, etc. California has been a battleground for homeschoolers versus the gulag schools. I personally don’t know how homeschooling parents have the time in the day to teach their kids. With families the way they are, split and often working two or three jobs, it seems an impossible task.

I take Bush’s Faith Based Initiatives as an attempt to LOOK conservative to the base when he was actually going in the opposite direction.

Posted by: David Levin on June 14, 2004 1:15 AM

I believe that the Constitution Party is in need of two things: (1) More infusion of the traditionalist strain of conservatism, so that it is broader and does not come across to the public as the political party of the Christian Right exclusively, and (2) more support and involvement across the board from conservatives, so that it can outgrow the problems associated with being a small party (e.g. domination by a few leaders, low funding levels, not many candidates competing for nominations, not many state and local candidates or Congressional candidates, etc.)

I think that their stated positions cover a huge number of issues in a conservative manner. We will never see the likes of that from the Republican Party. The biggest job is educating the American people in conservative principles so that the lack of conservatism of the Country Club Republicans becomes obvious to all. That is the prerequisite to political success, even more so than improving the Constitution Party or starting a new party.

That said, I have a disagreement with the CP over their references to restoring our legal heritage of “Biblical common law” etc. Biblical Judeo-Christian influences were certainly present in the American founding and throughout the history of our European forebears. There were also influences on our legal and political heritage from Greece and Rome that were not Judeo-Christian. In addition to the question of historical accuracy, the Christian Nation rhetoric will ensure permanent minority status as a political party or political movement.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on June 14, 2004 9:01 AM

Mr. Coleman’s description of the various types of genuine conservatism is useful. It reminds me of a similar statement I made at Paul Weyrich’s “Cultural Separation” conference in 1999. On the second and last day of the conference, the group had divided up into working groups to generate ideas for a “Declaration of Cultural Independence” which the whole conference would then join together into a final document. When my working group was unreceptive to my ideas, I wrote my own draft of a Declaration of Cultural Independence and read it aloud to the conference in our final session. My statement, after describing the current leftist dominant culture, continued as follows:

“Various traditionalist groups and individuals reject one or another aspect of the dominant culture, while not agreeing with each other on all particulars. Some cultural separationists are motivated by a primary concern for Christian morality and family life. Others are motivated by opposition to the ever more powerful and unconstitutional government that has developed in this country over the past 60 years. Others are motivated by a concern about the loss of the European ethnic and cultural basis of our society as a result of mass immigration and multiculturalism. Others are simply motivated by a longing for the civility and demeanor and high culture of the past. However, whatever our mutual differences, we all agree in our basic allegiance to the older Western Christian society and the American nation that have been destroyed by the dominant post-1960s culture.”

I felt my coalition idea was a useful contribution. However, my reference to some people’s concerns about “the loss of the European ethnic and cultural basis of our society as a result of mass immigration and multiculturalism” set off the biggest argument in the two days of the conference, most of the participants of which were evangelical Christians. Several people were very unhappy about what I said, even though I wasn’t proposing that anyone had to _agree_ with it. I was just saying that there could be a coalition of various conservatives including those who were concerned about the loss of America’s historic culture. One person said, “Would Jesus oppose immigrants”? William Lind took my side in this discussion. But the disageements over this point, as well as other disagreements, made it impossible for the group to work together and in the end nothing came of the meeting except for a summary of the conference that Lind wrote and posted at the Free Congress website, linked below.

My point here is that evangelical Protestants, thought to be the most conservative faction in American politics, are either utterly clueless on racial/ethnic issues such as immigration and racial preferences, or else they are strongly on the left. So, on one hand, they’re so radically conservative that they’ve withdrawn from mainstream politics and are seeking to re-write the U.S. Constitution as the constitution of a “Christian Republic.” On the other hand, they are so in sympathy with liberal views of race that they want America to be overrun with Third-World immigrants and cannot even conceive that this might be a problem.

It is total divisions like this within conservatism that make any genuine concerted conservative movement impossible. Such a movement will only become possible if the different conservative factions can find common ground. That was what my coalition idea was about. I think efforts to create such a coalition must continue. But we must also be realistic about the obstacles that stand in its way.


Also, the Weyrich conference has been previously discussed at VFR:


Posted by: Lawrence Auster on June 14, 2004 2:08 PM

Don’t say the Republican party can’t be reformed from within, Mr. Coleman. It is a question of the balance of power. There are more traditionalist conservatives in the GOP than you will find anywhere else. In fact the grass-roots activists of that strain are a probably a great majority of the grass-roots activists. The question is how they can get effective political power.

The party leaders make electioneering decisions all the time, thus palliating the conservative message of the grass-roots. Those decisions may be legitimate, or they may be corrupted by fear of the slings and arrows of the socialist elite and its running dogs in journalism and academia.

For an example of grass-roots Republicanism, I refer you to the standing platform of the Republican Party of Minnesota at www.gop-mn.org. (The changes from last weekend’s convention are not yet posted.)

The next Ronald Reagan would probably be a leader of conservative Republicans who can appeal to conservative independents and Democrats. That said, recall how quickly the Whig party collapsed and was replaced by the Republicans.

Posted by: Bill on June 14, 2004 2:30 PM

I think the issue of European heritage needs to be approached carefully, thoughtfully, and in great detail, rather than with summary statements, in order to avoid knee-jerk reactions based on the liberal Zeitgeist. To avoid a terribly lengthy posting, let me throw out some statements that could each require lengthy justification, for which I will provide none unless asked.

Our Anglo-American heritage provides unique benefits to our society. While our artistic and literary heritage has much in common with all of Europe, our legal and political heritage benefit especially from our British heritage. The mixture of Greek, Roman, and Judeo-Christian influences can be seen all across Europe, but not all European nations provide equal access to the legal and political freedoms that we enjoy. Due to what some would call Divine Providence, and others would call the accidents of history and geography, certain nations, such as England and Switzerland, developed a more advanced protection of freedom than other nations. England also had a unique history with respect to what is called “dissenting Protestantism” as opposed to monolithic state religions, although it had its religious persecutions at times. This historical development helped our ancestors develop a form of pluralism and tolerance within Judeo-Christian boundaries that was exemplary among European nations.

The political, legal, and religious heritage of the Anglo-American tradition are thus extremely valuable, distinctive, and worthy of preservation. NOTE THAT THE OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WHOSE PROTECTIONS OF THESE FREEDOMS ARE HELD TO BE INFERIOR TO ANGLO-AMERICAN PROTECTIONS ARE JUST AS WHITE IN SKIN COLOR AS THE ANGLO-AMERICAN PROTESTANTS. Thus, this admiration of our Anglo-American heritage, and the desire to preserve it, are not a matter of racial triumphalism, theories of Aryan supremacy, or whatever other racial bugaboo readers might associate with claims that one heritage is better than another.

Having disclaimed skin color as the basis of our heritage, it is nevertheless prudent to note that not all persons on this earth have been indoctrinated in the same heritage. Some have been indoctrinated into group rights, religious intolerance, corrupt governments where nepotism etc. are the norm, and other ways of thinking that are not compatible with our own precious heritage. As a result, we will not want to endanger our liberties by importing those who do not appreciate and understand them. Prudent restrictions on the immigration of those who are not compatible with our culture will have a racial impact that is not proportionate across all races, because of the different histories of different racial groups with respect to our core freedoms. The protection of our heritage is the primary intent, and skin color issues are secondary.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on June 14, 2004 3:56 PM

Probably there are not many VFR regulars who believe a new Reagan could come out of the Bushes. Should there be any, I hope this latest performance by the current head Bush will be illuminating: http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/25744.htm. Only a liberal could pay such tribute. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on June 15, 2004 5:55 PM

[Regarding the linked article.] Well. what do we expect? What an utter blithering fool. Hopefully, Lord Hee-Haw’s portrait was painted on black velvet - at least it should have been. Just when you think that it can’t get much worse - it does!

Posted by: Carl on June 15, 2004 6:58 PM
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