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Ronald Reagan, Ted Cruz, and the Tea Party at Five

Reagan and Cruz

Last night our friends at Tea Party Patriots hosted a five year birthday party for the Tea Party movement with Senator Ted Cruz delivering a keynote address encouraging Tea Partiers to be “filled with the promise that we’re going to turn this country around.”

Cruz’s remarks and his confidence that we can “turn this country around” took me back to election night 2010 and then back to 1980 and a victory party for Ronald Reagan that saw many conservatives say much the same thing.

Reagan’s 1980 victory realigned American politics for a decade and created a winning national coalition behind the policies of a strong national defense and active opposition to world communism, growth-oriented economic policies and a socially conservative cultural agenda.

As ConservativeHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie likes to say, in welcoming social conservatives into the Reagan coalition, Reagan took the existing wobbly (and not politically effective) two legs of the conservative Republican base, added social conservatives, and created the more stable three-legged stool of economic conservatism, national defense conservatism, and social conservatism.

And through three presidential elections the Republican Party won the White House running on the issues that brought together the Reagan Coalition. 

The 2010 campaign and the landslide victory of Tea Party movement-backed candidates in the 2010 mid-term elections showed there is a new national coalition developing behind the ideas of reducing, not just slowing, the size and scope of the federal government, balancing the budget and eliminating the government intrusion into the privacy and personal decisions of citizens that is exemplified by Obamacare,  but the Tea Party landslide of 2010 brought about no such victory for Mitt Romney in 2012.

What happened? 

The difference, as Mr. Viguerie has observed many times, is that in 1980 Ronald Reagan and the wise Party leaders who built the Reagan coalition, men such as Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt, Lyn Nofziger, Dick Allen, Ed Meese, Marty Anderson, Jeff Bell, Tom Ellis, and Judge William Clark, had the insight—perhaps genius is a better term—to welcome the newly politicized social conservatives into the Republican Party.

The power-hungry leadership of today’s Republican Party has displayed no such wisdom with regard to the newly politicized limited government constitutional conservatives of the Tea Party movement.

Rather than embrace these new additions to the conservative coalition Mitt Romney, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Reince Priebus and other leaders of the Republican establishment did exactly the opposite.

Instead of working to bring new voters and supporters into the Republican Party, Speaker of the House John Boehner refers to conservatives as “knuckle-draggers,” McConnell has undercut the Tea Party legislative agenda at every opportunity and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus cravenly caved in to demands from the Mitt Romney campaign to strip Ron Paul supporters and Tea Party leaning delegates of their credentials and exclude them from participating in the 2012 Republican National Convention. 

Of course when Reagan and his team built their coalition it helped that Ronald Reagan actually shared the beliefs and concerns of social conservatives—most people have long forgotten that Ronald Reagan actually wrote and published a pro-life book while he was President; Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation, the only book to be published by a US President while he held office.

To the extent that Boehner, McConnell, Romney, Priebus and their ilk have an ideology, it is the same Big Government Republicanism that cost the Republicans control of the House in 2006 and left them neutered until the Tea Party came roaring to life in 2009 and ran against the Republican establishment and Obama in 2010.

In short, they are for the same policies that got Republicans on Capitol Hill consigned to “permanent” minority status for most of the fifty years from the dawn of the New Deal to the election of President Reagan in 1980.

Ronald Reagan didn’t accept the “me-too,” big government on the cheap philosophy of the Republican establishment, and especially its leaders on Capitol Hill. 

Reagan built his coalition by taking all the discontents within the Republican Party and molding them into a coherent conservative ideology and a winning coalition that defeated the Republican establishment in the primaries and beat incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter and renegade Republican John Anderson’s third party run in a landslide that carried forty-two out of fifty states.

It took sixteen years from the defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964 to build, organize and solidify the coalition that elected Ronald Reagan in 1980. 

Michael Patrick Leahy, Jenny Beth Martin, Mark Meckler, Amy Kremer, Eric Odom, Stacy Mott, Christina Botteri, Lorie Medina, and the dozens of others who helped organize the first “Nationwide Chicago Tea Party” get the lessons of Reagan’s 1980 victory. They are working mightily to build a new Republican Party around limited government constitutional conservative principles and after five short years they have made great progress thanks in some measure to the help of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and other Tea Party movement-backed members of Congress, but mostly through the hard work and patriotism of the grassroots limited government constitutional conservatives who are the Tea Party movement.

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Tea Party at 5

Scary! I fear that if your crystal ball and wish fulfillment were correct and the TP actually gained power, following the format of the "American Destroyer," our national debt would exceed 30 Trillion dollars. No thanks!

Ted Cruz for President in 2016!

Ted Cruz has the moral fiber and courage of his convictions to be one excellent occupant of the oval office. The way he stands up for freedom, against the threat of communism, speaking out and taking action against threats to the electorate such as the socialized health care bill (a stand that was fully supported by at least 2/3 of the electorate and over 83% of physicians), this is precisely the quality of candidate that we need on the Republican ticket for 2016. Ted Cruz for President, to the rescuing of the American way of life!

Ted Cruz for President in 2016!

Ted Cruz has the moral fiber and courage of his convictions to be one excellent occupant of the oval office. The way he stands up for freedom, against the threat of communism, speaking out and taking action against threats to the electorate such as the socialized health care bill (a stand that was fully supported by at least 2/3 of the electorate and over 83% of physicians), this is precisely the quality of candidate that we need on the Republican ticket for 2016. Ted Cruz for President, to the rescuing of the American way of life!

Ted NOT Qualified

How many times do I have to say this? Ted Cruz is probably one of the greatest Senators' of our time, but because his father was not an American citizen at the time of his birth, he cannot qualify for President, as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 5.

MARK MY WORDS: Ted Cruz will NEVER become President, because there are over 8 million principled conservatives who would rather sit at home than vote for someone who is Constitutionally unqualified, regardless of the consequences. You cannot, and WILL NOT, win without these people voting for President. They will never vote for him for the same reason they despise the current occupier of the White House - they believe he does not meet the Constitutional requirement for President, and rightly so.

Continue insisting on this stupid, moronic, myopic, ignorant campaign, or we'll all have front row seats to the end of our Republic with the Hillary Regime.

You have been warned. Ignore reality at our Republic's peril.

three-legged stool

Reagan may have won with the three-legged stool of economic conservatism, national defense conservatism, and social conservatism but times have changed.

I suggest a new three-legged stool of economic conservatism, defend our borders, and federalism.