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Jerry Shenk


2016's Ronald Reagan

by Jerry Shenk
 

I've never been impressed by the term "RINO," or "Republican in Name Only."
If one is a registered Republican, one is, indeed, a Republican. There are
significant differences between wings of the party, though. The more
progressive, "moderate" Establishment, or Institutional wing of the party
has more in common with many Democrats than it does with its conservative
base.

In fact, GOP establishment regulars use the same language as liberals do in
describing their conservative Party co-members. For example, Congressman
Charlie Dent, described as "the unofficial spokesman for moderation within
his party "jackasses," to characterize conservative colleagues, and has expressed his desire to boehners-departure-raises-question-can-house-gop-be-led> "marginalize" conservatives.

Party differences are evident among the 2016 GOP presidential field, too -
and not for the first time.

In 1976 and 1980, the Republican Establishment declared one presidential
candidate "extreme," divisive," "too conservative," "unelectable," among
other less-charming epithets. Some in the liberal media and even in the
institutional wing of the party called him "crazy." The 1976 convention was
brokered to nominate the "electable moderate," Gerald Ford. Following his
loss to Jimmy Carter in 1976, Ford persisted, and, in 1980, called the same
candidate "unelectable." In 1980, establishment pundit George Will first
endorsed moderates Howard Baker and, later, George H.W. Bush over the
eventual nominee.

The nominee, of course, was Ronald Reagan. Reagan won in a landslide.

The only way to avoid being "divisive" in Washington is to stand for
nothing, to go along to get along. The only way to change course there is to
be divisive - and smart.

This year's "Ronald Reagan" may be Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz is a limited-government constitutional conservative who graduated with honors from Princeton and high honors from Harvard Law. He was Solicitor General of Texas, the State's
chief lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court, served as the Director of the
Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission and as Associate
Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice. Before that, Cruz
clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Cruz knows the
ropes in Washington.

Next year, Americans will hear a lot about Cruz's "extremism." Democrats,
the media and GOP regulars are saying the same things about Cruz as they did
about Reagan, and worse. Cruz has directly engaged the Washington
establishment, made all the right enemies inside the Republican Party power
structure - and Democrats fear him, too. If they didn't, they'd ignore him.

Addressing twenty-five years of Washington policy errors and corruption will
be difficult. Institutional Washington will fight to the death against
threats to their power, perks and control of the process. The Republican
party has several excellent candidates, but, in my judgment, the one who can
be counted upon to take on the Washington system and faithfully honor his
oath to uphold our Constitution, pursue American interests, and protect
American citizens is Ted Cruz.

American voters would do well to pay attention to Cruz and objectively
examine the motives of his critics.




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