Skip to comments.It's Not 1980 Anymore
Posted on 11/07/2011 9:02:47 PM PST by guitarist
**For every Southern boy 14 years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when its still not yet two oclock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and its all in the balance, it hasnt happened yet, it hasnt even begun yet, it not only hasnt begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armstead and Wilcox look grave yet its going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesnt need even a 14-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago . . .
William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust
For every American conservative, not once but whenever he wants it, its always the evening of November 4, 1980, the instant when we knew Ronald Reagan, the man who gave the speech in the lost cause of 1964, leader of the movement since 1966, derided by liberal elites and despised by the Republican establishment, the moment when we knewhed won, wed won, the impossible dream was possible, the desperate gamble of modern conservatism might pay off, conservatism had a chance, America had a chance. And then, a decade laterthe Cold War won, the economy revived, America led out of the abyss, wed come so far with so much at stakeconservatism vindicated, America restored, a desperate and unbelievable victory for the cast made so many years ago against such odds.
But that was then, and this is now. Now is 2012, and it seems clear that 2012 isnt going to be another 1980. The reality seems to be that were not going to have a chance to replay that election, with (at least in the hazy glow of retrospect) a compelling conservative leader of long standing but ever youthful, a man who stood tall and spoke for us and for America, riding gracefully to victory over the GOP establishment in the primaries and over decadent liberalism in the general election. Assuming the presidential field stays as it is, 2012 wont be a repeat of 1980.
Which is not to say that 2012 cant be a good, even a very good, election for conservatives and for the country. There are other models for victory. In 1992 an incumbent president was soundly defeated by an impressive though flawed candidate who emerged from a weak field, after leading lights in his party refused to run (Cuomo, Bradley, Gore, Gephardt). Bill Clinton doesnt provide a model of successful governance for the next Republican presidentthe next president is going to have to lead, not accommodatebut he does suggest another, less elegant model than 1980 for the defeat of an incompetent incumbent.
And then theres 1932, when a not particularly distinguished four-year governor whod zigged and zagged back and forth to be acceptable to large parts of the Democratic party, and whose political career was at first based partly on his last name, defeated another incumbent. Franklin Roosevelt did turn out to be a consequential presidentbecause of the nature of the challenges he faced, because the country was ready for fundamental change, because there was a movement behind him (or ahead of him) that was full of ideas and energy, because there were strong representatives of that movement in Congress and in statehouses, and because he rose to the occasion.
These other models for conservative success in 2012 need to be studied for their lessons and adapted to our times. Reversing Obamas weakness abroad, repealing Obamacare, restoring solvency and prosperity and limiting government at home, these are tasks too important not to be achieved because of our nostalgic disappointment that we will not, in 2012, replay a moment that is not to be againand that perhaps never truly was.
Still, for every conservative of a certain age, there is the instant when its Election Day 1980, and the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out. . . .
I’d settle for another March 1968!
Don’t let *mmmmf* *mmmmf* hear that or you’ll get e-lynched.
Truth be told he DID solve some of the problems, be he didn't solve ALL of our problems. Back in those days I thought “it couldn't get any worse”. Boy did I have a lot to learn.
We will never have a perfect candidate. Mr. Reagan was about as close as we have come in my lifetime. I will be happy to see the guy currently destroying our country out. I would have said the same thing in 1980. I do hope we are able to nominate a Conservative! Oh Sara, Oh Sara, where art thou?
I'd be more open to that plea if I thought we the people were having any say in who is nominated. I've come to the conclusion that the GOP liberal elite are going to put Romney in the seat and the hell with the voters.
They are going to ram Romney down our throats, knowing that he can't win after they do that. The bastards would rather lose the election than permit a conservative to become the nominee.
The GOP leadership is going to reelect Obama, not the Democrats. There should be a new circle in hell for them.
Ok Ok. .stop with the moralizing. . screw Kristol. . .the true conservatives are being assaulted BEFORE THE PRIMARIES. We don’t want Romney and, by God, we are going to work to get a genuine conservative in the White House. FULL STEAM AHEAD! Hand-wringing while the game is in the second quarter is what losers do. . “oh God, we’re behind by a field goal. . that’s it WE CAN’T WIN”. . .geez. ..go curl up on a blankie will ya. Remember. . .IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL ITS OVER. and it’s not over for Herman Cain. . .he can be the next Reagan. I don’t give a damn about the media circus and I sure as hell don’t give a damn what Kristol thinks.
Man, I hope a new conservative jumps into the Republican primary soon.
Somebody young and fresh and not sleazy or goofy.
As it is, anybody but Romney (or Huntsman or Paul) is going to have to do, but it could be so much better. Jim DeMint? Sarah Palin?
I guess at this point I’m hoping for Perry. I guess.. (shrug)
I’ve had this feeling,looking at the numbers from the Ohio polls on Kasich’s bill, looking at how the flame fired by taxes and the debt has dwindled as people fear loss of their entitlements, that conservatives really lost this fight in Nov. 1936 when America reelected Roosevelt, almost by acclamation. Americans really want the goods that a govt can dispense with tax dollars, and many if not most seem willing to take from others to do it while willingly surrendering their liberty to the state that provides. If I am wrong, how is it that no GOP candidate, save Goldwater, ran on the promise of repealing the New Dea? And President Reagan, victor over the USSR, never effected one significant victory in dismantling the New deal?
Not Mittens. The GOP Rinos picked the wrong socialist, conservative hating horse again. I’m an independent.
Its a weird mixture for me of politics and prophecy; I know how it ends but exactly where are we in that mix? I keep a foot in both camps.
Push come to shove..
Romney Never. He’s no better than Ford or even Carter.
It’s true. In the end Reagan wasn’t able to do much on entitlements. But his appointment of Scalia was worth all the effort of getting him elected. Anyone who’s interested should read Scalia’s dissents from the many idiotic Supreme Court rulings of the last 25 years.
I think it’s crazy to say that the establishment is forcing Romney on us. It’s up to us to decide. Vote for the best candidate in the primary, and vote for whoever is the Republican alternative to Obama in November.
If this madness doesn’t turn around, we could be headed for another 1865. As volatile as things are, that would be very bad news.
Perry is on record as opposing the New Deal.
Not this time. Remember that Appomatox was time out, a long one, but time out just the same.
0bambi thinks he can subjugate us by pitting one against the other. He and his fellow travelers think that they can control the mobs of malcontents and America-hating scum. St. Paul exhorts us: “For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap.” Galatians 6 True then, true now.
All that remains is THE spark.
Where are the ELITE in THIS picture??
You tell ‘em!!
Wake up and smell the VICTORY!
“.....and I sure as hell dont give a damn what Kristol thinks.”
Good post, and that line highlighted all needed to be said. Thanks for that.
Ohio Issue 2 will lose because of union demagoguery as opposed to a true addiction to entitlements.
Its up to us to decide!
I will not vote for Romney.
His election will do nothing to advance our interests.
At the risk of showing my age...I was a senior in highschool, too young to vote by a few months. But, Reagan was President during my flight into the 'real world.'
Funny, I did not and still do not view him as our solving problems. I view him and inspiring me, our country, to solve our own problems. He didn't just give us hope that 'someone' would rescue us, he inspired us to rescue ourselves.
November 6, 2012 will be the Picket’s Charge of the GOP if Romney is the candidate.
His speeches made me want to stand up and CHEER! He was INSRIRING and made me proud of my Country. When I read anything he had written, It caused me to think.
Ronald Reagan was a GEM and a truly GREAT man.
Your point is well made and I should have said as mush when I posted. Thank You
We are ‘his generation.’ Right now we have the children of the 1960’s-70’s running things. The generation of the 80’s had two roads. One group was the children of the ‘me generation’ the other was the generation of Reagan.
I like Cain. I like Perry. I like Santorum. I like Bachmann. Romney or Gingrich only if we must, and if we find we must, it is only becuase our other guys didn't have the staying power for the whole race. We will face that fact only IF we must!
That said: every one of them a damn site better than the Carter II that we have there now.
Onward to victory in 2012!
Based on who his advisers and co-workers are now, it would be expected that his supreme court appointments might be as good as W’s (Roberts and Alito), and almost certainly would be nowhere near as bad as Obama’s. To someone who understand how the country works, that’s enough reason to crawl over broken glass to vote for any of the current Rep’s over O.
Screw the RNC! I want a CONSERVATIVE not a REPUBLICAN!!!
I am sick and tired of being told by the Republican party that we conservatives had better support whatever liberal piece of trash RINO they throw at us or else. Well, or else what, dipshits??? We’ll get the RINO liberal or the DNC liberal?? What the Hell is the difference???
Romney?? Liberal, Obama like Romney??? Romney gave Taxachusettes Hillary Care, and gave power to the rise of Obamacare. All the same crap! Is that crap what the RNC thinks we are supposed to support?
This is not an 8th grade girl’s club whose only job is to “win”. This is our country the RNC keep playing around with. This isn’t party-over-country. The RNC had better step up and stop playing around.
I’ll ONLY give my vote to a candidate I can support. If neither candidate is anything but a liberal, I’ll write in a name.
If I wanted to take Bubba and FDR as role models, Bill, I’d be a Democrat.
And again, Kristol doesn’t get it. Ronald Reagan wasn’t perfect, either. No candidate is. Yes, 1980 ::was:: amazing. Morning in America.
If you’re trying to convince conservatives that Mittens should get our vote if he is the nominee, you’re you-know-whatting in the wind. It’s not happening.
Therein lies the problem. Now. The person he's running as now is not the same Romney before he decided to run as a conservative candidate. What'll he change into next? He's not trustworthy.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.