Since Ronald Reagan left the national stage, many have auditioned for the role of leader of the conservative movement, but no one filled the Gipper’s shoes until Scott Walker came on the scene.
Governor Walker shares with Reagan a trait that has been sorely lacking in the Republican Party for the past 23 years--a refusal to accept the status quo.
In acting to end the corrupt bargain between Democrats and public sector unions, Walker followed Reagan in acting to rollback the failed policies of his predecessors, be they Democrats or Republicans.
Of course, different times bring forth different issues, and in Reagan’s time, the transcendent issue was the fight against communism. Today’s transcendent issue is the fight against the endless and all-consuming growth of government, championed by public sector unions and their liberal allies.
In taking on communism, Reagan had a simple philosophy: we win, they lose. Scott Walker likewise recognized that, in the fight against the growth of government, there can be no compromise--either Wisconsin cut spending and balanced its budget or it didn’t. Anything other than actually cutting spending was merely a debate over the rate at which government grows.
Conservatives have been hungering for a leader who could and would stand-up to the public sector unions and their liberal allies to rollback the size and growth of government before everything else--job creation, economic development, and the prospect of our children inheriting a better life and a better country--goes by the wayside, as it has in much of Europe.
In a blue state, Governor Walker has shown establishment Republicans, including Mitt Romney and the Capitol Hill Republicans, that a bold conservative agenda is a political winner. Taking on the public sector unions and winning the battle to rollback the size and cost of government has made Scott Walker the leader conservatives have been looking for, whether he wants the role or not.