No, Your Candidate Is Not A Reagan 2.0
Image Credits: Washington Times
As people, we tend to put politicians on pedestals and idolize them. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, however I feel like most of you need to hear this: Ronald Reagan is gone and as much as you would like your candidate to be like Reagan, it’s not happening.
Ronald Reagan was a phenomenal president. In his terms from 1981-1989, the country saw a “restoration of prosperity at home, with the goal of achieving ‘peace through strength’ abroad.” Reagan fought the good fight, but as Dana Loesch said at CPAC, “we need to stop chasing his ghost.” We constantly hear that this candidate is the “next Reagan” or that this specific candidate is going to “take Reagan’s mantle” and quite frankly, I am sick of it. As amazing as Reagan was, he was not perfect–he had his faults.
Now, before the tomatoes start being thrown, let me just say that it is okay to miss Reagan. It is okay to wish you were alive during his presidency. The man started off as a liberal then converted to conservatism and became a Republican icon. His wit and charm won over the hearts of the American people. When Ronald Reagan was president, our enemies feared us and our allies trusted us, which is the opposite of how we are viewed under the Obama administration. We currently have a president that has accumulated the most national debt than any other president. A president who went to Cuba and posed for a picture in front of a mural of Che Guevara, a cold-blooded killer who hated African American and executed homosexuals. A president who went to a baseball game with a dictator while Americans mourned the terrorist attacks that occurred in Brussels. All of this and more has to make you wish that we had a president more like Ronald Reagan, so I understand the frustration. Instead of taking a step back, though, we need to move forward.
I am sure we can agree that the 2016 election has given us all a good amount of headaches. We started off this cycle with so much promise and potential, with candidates ranging from conservative Rick Perry to libertarian Rand Paul. Through this journey, we have experienced frustration and even heartache when our presidential pick suspended his or her campaign. We even had Michael Reagan say that candidates such as Rick Perry, Marco Rubio and John Kasich were most like his father. To be honest, I was thrilled when he said those things considering I was a Rick Perry and a Marco Rubio supporter at different points in the election. Over time, though, I realized that neither of these candidates would ever be Reagan and it’s time that we all let the man rest in peace. As Reagan said, “A tree is a tree. How many more do you have to look at?” A politician is a politician. How many more do you need to look at?
Both Ronald and Nancy Reagan are gone now. Not only is Reagan’s legacy as a president appreciated at by Republicans, but his relationship with Nancy is something a lot of people strive to have. You could see the love they had for each other from how Ronnie would light up as Nancy entered the room, or how adoringly Nancy looked at her husband when he spoke. Ronald wrote Nancy countless letters and she would leave notes and cards scattered for her husband to find. They truly could not bear to be apart. Nancy wrote once, “If either of us ever left the room, we both felt lonely. People don’t always believe this but it’s true. Filling the loneliness, completing each other – that’s what it still meant to us to be husband and wife.” Now if that is not #RelationshipGoals, as the kids say, then I don’t know what is.
The Reagan’s are always going to be people that we will admire, but can we stop acting as if he is a sort of conservative savior? I understand that at this point in the election, we are beginning to feel hopeless. We can see that the general election has a likely chance of being Hillary versus Trump, and that is not only terrifying, it is disheartening. As Dinesh D’Souza said, “How badly we need a Washington, a Lincoln, a Reagan. Well we don’t have them, but we do have us.” It is time that we stop idolizing Reagan and living in the past. It is time that we begin to understand that not all politicians are perfect. It is time that we work with what we have and stop comparing everyone to Ronald Reagan. It is time that we let the Reagan’s rest in peace.