By taking my official presidential portrait of Ronald Reagan to get framed sometime in 1992, I acknowledged that Bill Clinton would defeat George H.W. Bush and win election to the White House. Placing the Gipper’s smiling face on my mantelpiece reminded me of the optimism and political ideals of our nation’s fortieth president during a campaign where his designated successor failed to articulate them.
This year, I think I must have known Barack Obama was going to win when I vowed to buy The Reagan Diaries the day after the election should John McCain lose. A large part of that defeat stemmed from the Republican nominee’s difficulty applying Reagan’s ideas to the current economic situation.
Now, our task as conservatives who wish to rebuild the Republican Party is to do just that. Of course, we can’t mindlessly ape the Gipper’s past platforms, but need consider his vision, his confidence in the American people and private institutions, proposing solutions to contempary problems that rely on the ingenuity of individuals and avoid the instrusions of government intermediaries.