Thursday, December 03, 2009

Politics & How They Can Lie

Now that the last election cycle is over, (we hope) a number of thoughts have occurred to me. First of all, where has my political philosophy gone to. Back when I was a Young Republican in Orange County California, I was what I thought,a solid core conservative. Many of us were, at the time. We were in essence, the torch bearers for Ronald Reagan, as he approached the decision to run for Governor for the State of California. We all knew he would run, it was the usual pre-positioning that candidates used to get supporters to urge them to run. They did, he did. The rest is history. I was privileged to be personally acquainted with Ronnie, as we called him back then I, at one time had his unlisted phone number when he lived in Pacific Palisades, prior to being elected to the governorship. I still cherish the personally autographed first copy, first edition of his autobiography,"where Is The Rest Of Me."

But there is more to the story than that. You see, we had three layers of political philosophy dividing the Republican party. First, the eastern establishment supported Rockefeller for President. The vast majority of conservatives in Southern California, favored Reagan. The third level was the John Birch Society. Bless them, they were Zealots of the first order. Unfortunately, they were so far out of the main stream as to be inconsequential.

Well, Reagan was elected Governor of California, then re-elected to a second term. It turned out that rather than he being a weak "movie star," he had perhaps much more substance to him. All except the JBS. He just wasn't conservative enough for them. Actually, Genghis Khan was too liberal for some of them, but I digress.

Ronald Reagan was a consensus builder, not a fanatic.He started out by uniting the Republican Party, which was no mean trick. His mantra was, "this party has a large tent, and went on to say,"Speak no evil of those in our party. The other side will do that for us."

Reagan was elected Governor of California at a time that the previous administration and legislature had brought down the financial structure of the state to the degree that Reagan had to raise taxes big time just to keep up with the previous expenditures. This was not popular, especially to those that were used to the free handouts that were being curtailed.

In entering the Governorship, he realized fairly soon that the legislature was ruled by Jesse Unruh, a Democrat. In order to run the state, these two had to find a place they could agree.They did, and the rest is history.

After being elected to the presidency of the United State, he ran into the same sort of problem with Congress. The Speaker of the House was Tip O'Meil, a fellow Irishman. It is rumored that after fighting tooth and nail over legislation, they would as Irishmen tend to do, retire to the living quarters in the white House, where they would sip a bit of the old sod.

There is much more to the story of Ronald Reagan, and how I found myself intertwined in his rise to super stardom, but that can wait for another time. What I want to say today, is that the persons or group or four or five that call themselves Reagan Republicans are not even close. They are riding on coattails that would never have been available had Ronnie been alive. He would literally roll over in his grave to find that people are using his name in vain, and running back to the extreme he so much hated.

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