Skip to comments.Linder Letter: Republicans Need to Focus on Reagan Democrats (RE: Ted Cruz)
Posted on 02/28/2014 9:29:20 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
I have enjoyed reading the many articles attacking Ted Cruz lately. They remind me of some happy times. I have seen this act before and when the curtain finally fell we were left with some wonderful memories.
Thirty-eight years ago Ronald Reagan announced that he would challenge President Ford for the Republican nomination for President. That excited me and I became one of his campaign leaders for Georgia.
Most of the friends I had in the party at that time made up the establishment. They were beside themselves with anger and fear. They were convinced that Reagan would destroy our party.
Their concern with Reagan was that he just wasnt up to it. What did he know about foreign policy? How could he stand up to the Soviets? Did he understand Realpolitic? Does he have to be so dogmatic? He was just an actor for Gods sake!
During that campaign, as in all campaigns, the establishment sat on the stage at the head table and the rest of us milled around the small round tables below.
After Ford won the first several primaries, his people reached out to the Reagan side. They urged us to switch sides. They wanted to focus on Carter.
They were convinced that Ford could beat Carter and that Reagan could not. No one would take Reagan seriously. The conservatives in the media had a field day ridiculing the actor.
I remember a conversation I had with my friend who chaired the Ford campaign. After listening to his plea I said that, to me, politics is about what you believe. I knew what Reagan believed. If Ford had convictions I had no idea what they were. I urged him to watch Reagan connect with the people. New people were coming into the party every day. And these were not folks you might meet at the Club for lunch. They carried a lunch bucket to work. Or a brown paper bag.
Four years later we had the same fight. The establishment was with George Bush or John Connally or Howard Baker. Again, the Wall Street crowd sat at the head table and Main Street sat down below.
The arguments against a Reagan candidacy did not change. Reagans tax cut idea was a riverboat gamble. The insults from the chattering class were reconstituted. It was a never-ending series of put-downs until New Hampshire. Then it was over.
Reagan won that election with the support of Larry Lunch-bucket and Betty Brownbag. They were called Reagan Democrats. When asked why they chose to vote for Reagan they said, When he talked we felt that he was talking to us. The Reagan Democrats have been ignored since 1984. They are being ignored today.
The establishment doesnt like change. Theyre afraid that their seats at the head table will be taken by those new to the club. Those who so ardently opposed Reagans nomination in 1980 crawled all over each other to chair his 1984 race. The conservatives in the media were in awe. Today they have convinced themselves that they put Reagan in power. His presidency was their presidency. They are the keepers of the flame.
Todays establishment includes elected officials and commentators. They genuflect before wealthy consultants who declare that you must be nice and poll your way to victory. Most important, do not take hard positions. Hard positions are easy for the media to ridicule. We dont want to be embarrassed on the front page of The New York Times.
Larry Lunch-bucket and Betty Brownbag dont read The New York Times. They really do want to know what you believe and how it will impact their lives. They want your positions to be hard positions. They want you to not only believe them, but to act on them. If they hear a choice they will vote. If they hear an echo they will just stay home. They have really important things to do.
Just ask President McCain or President Romney.
>> The Reagan Democrats have been ignored since 1984. They are being ignored today.
What do they want, abortion, and socialized medicine?
Only conservatives and Reagan democrats can save this country.
That coalition would be unbeatable. The real question is are there any Reagan democrats left?
Many voters do not have a check list of issues that wins their votes, the candidate does, Reagan didn’t win only because of his politics, but because by becoming the nominee, he had enough money and media juice to allow the voters to see the real man and his natural conservatism.
A good conservative reflects much of what most humans value in a person, if they can just get to see it through the democrat media, give Cruz a billion dollars worth of media juice and he can win the election.
2ndDVet this why populist like Sara and Cruz strike a nerve with regulars. As nice a man as Romney was I could not connect with him or any of the other elites . There days are numbered but they will never go away.
Reagan Democrats are Republicans today. The rest are dead.
Or President Dole before them.
You're more correct than you know.
Commercials are usually rated on:
...Impact (did it get your attention?)
...Memorability (did you remember the product?)
...Believability (do you believe what you heard about the product?)
And forty years in the ad biz taught me that the most important aspect of a spokesman in a radio or TV commercial is believability.
As an agency, we became very successful by employing this insight.
And that's what Reagan did for conservatism. He came across as a genuine, authentic person -- a man you could trust. He could sell conservatism as the answer to our problems -- and people would believe what he said.
Plus, they would disbelieve his opponents.
We need a candidate who genuinely believes in conservatism and can communicate that belief in an authentic fashion. So far, Cruz appears to fill that bill.
Didn’t read the article. Republicans need to concentrate on their base.
I don’t know how old you are, but back then the Reagan Democrats were part of the base.
There are millions of Reagan democrats and there are millions more of the old Perot bloc of blue collar conservatives.
The final analysis on 2012 showed the demographic that did not vote were the 5 million + strong Reagan democrats and the 6 million + strong Perot blue collars. They were not inspired to vote for Romney and more importantly they didn’t trust him. Romney just recently came out and urged Brewer to veto the Religious Freedom bill in AZ. Yet on the campaign trail he was for traditional marriage. What a fraud he is!
It’s really true what John Linder says, that Larry Lunch-Bucket and Betty Brownbag are the demographic that the GOP establishment should focus on. But instead they are led around by the nose by the US Chamber of Commerce to pass amnesty.
Ted Cruz is on the right track. As soon as the Reagan democrats and the Perot blue collars tune in to him, it’s over. He will carry the GOP base and two-thirds of independents and win by a large margin, very possibly a Reagan type landslide.
Thank you to John Linder for an excellent recap of the Reagan years and the historical parallel with today’s developments. I remember John Linder always as a conservative leader. Glad to know he is still with us.
Especially, now that we know the Democrats have expressly abandoned the working class.
“Reagan Democrats are Republicans today. The rest are dead.”
This is delusional. Democrats are communists. End of story. I was a Reagan Democrat and re-registered in 1982.
Old enough. The GOPe is shunning the base, I.e. the TEA Party and trying to attract a small percentage of minority voters. Losing proposition. Reagan Conservatives were Heterosexual White Christians BTW, the same group the GOPe is pushing away.
I dont know how old you are, but back then the Reagan Democrats were part of the base.
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Of course Reagan had the ‘good luck’ of following J Carter.
And, fortunately, Carter wasn’t smart enough to turn 47% of the population into ‘government dependents’.
BO got this going for him and definitely there are enough complete fools in the 53% to put him over the top.
I am ‘afraid’ we are going to have a MOOCH/BO ticket and we are going to end up with a Supreme Court that will make Ginsberg/etal look like Conservatives.
Picture the likes of Holder - Clinton (either) - and their minions sitting on the court....Or even set a precedent of the FIRST married couple on the court.
Of course by then if that gets elected, it won’t matter any more anyway.
“Reagan Democrats are Republicans today. The rest are dead.”
Not true, in every swing state, turnout by white-working class males was way down. The Bain Capital ads broke any bond Romney might have developed with them. There’s lots of Reagan democrats; what makes them messy for the GOP-E is that they respond well to issues like illegal immigration, guns, abortion etc. Those issues send our GOP leaders in to a short period of hyperventilation after which they flee and speak darkly of the tea party conspiracy.
Fact is, you don’t talk to those voters effectively without the forbidden three isues.
My point seems to have been misunderstood. Those folks who were Democrats who voted for Reagan in 1980 and 1984, most of whom have long since already come over to the GOP. The older ones at the time have already largely died off. The “youngest” of those who were teens are already in their 50s.
What you’re talking about is leftist Willard trying to appeal to the Conservative White working class (many of whom are already Republicans, otherwise we wouldn’t have a majority in the House) and it falling on its face. I didn’t vote for Willard because he was a ringer for Zero, never going to win (I voted for Virgil Goode in the general).
The irony is that if we still had the same demographics and voters of 1980 and 1984, even the execrable Socialist Willard would’ve won, despite his being a faker.
I still have my old “John Linder For Congress” yard sign hanging on the wall in my basement.
“I remember John Linder always as a conservative leader.”
Rep John Linder was my rep in the 7th Dist of GA for many years. I was a fine person and he always voted the right way. He also did a lot to promote the Fair Tax.
Memo to the GOPe.