One of the reasons we conservatives so often invoke Reagan’s name and wonder if this or that candidate is another Gipper is that Ronald Reagan, unlike so many Republicans today, was not only committed to certain principles, but could articulate them in a way the average American could understand.
Not just that.Â He appealed to the best in us.
That’s why we’ve so readily embraced Sarah Palin.Â She has the Gipper’s gift of communication.Â Even Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels, while not sharing her politics, agrees, attributing her “huge impact” to “the way she connected with people.”
John McCain, despite his record of leadership, his courage, his fighting spirit, his deep and abiding love for this country and the sacrifices he has made because of that love, lacks the Gipper’s ability to communicate the conservative economic message in terms that resonate.Â He’s much better on foreign policy and defense.
If this election turned on national security, he’d be well ahead.Â In the current campaign, he’s been hurtÂ by the economic downturn.Â It’s not that Obama’s any better.Â It’s that the Illinois Democrat finds himself in the fortunate position of being the candidate of the “out” party in a year when all too many blame that downturn on the party in power.
Over the course of this campaign, I’ve grown to admire John McCain.Â I do believe he will, should he win, put country first and apply himself to promoting policies essential to ensuring growth and reducing regulation which thwarts recovery while retaining essential safeguards.
But, in a year, where it appears conservative policies are responsible for the downturn merely because there is a Republican in the White House, we need a good communicator able to demonstrate how the incumbent’s record, at least on fiscal issues, has been far from conservative.
He need show, in terms the average citizen can understand, how government intervention helped cause the current crisis.Â And how free market ideas can help solve our problems and improve the financial situation.
Ronald Reagan did this.Â Sarah Palin has shown a similar capacity to so communicate.Â We need more such Republicans.Â And not just running for national office.