Ronald Reagan began his political life as a Democrat. Later, as we all know, he became a Republican, famously saying that he didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left him. And, of course, he was elected to two terms as California Governor, and served two terms as President, as a Republican. Because of that, his name will always be associated with that party.
But I think his legacy transcends, and will outlive, that once-grand old party as well, as that party moves inexorably away from morally-conservative Reaganism and towards Romneyite liberalism, and/or Ron Paul libertarianism and isolationism, inevitably consigning itself to the same unprincipled ash heap of American politics as the Whigs. Ronald Reagan never left the Republican Party. But the Republican Party is, without a doubt, abandoning Reaganism.
As President, Reagan rose above the mere fact of his party label, and came to represent true Americanism. He clearly saw the vision of the “shining city on a hill” of the gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, and of that great Puritan John Winthrop, and for him it shone ever brighter. He often quoted America’s founding paragraph – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” – and understood the crucial import of those immortal words. He came to firmly stand for the equal protection of the God-given, unalienable right to life of all, including those who have not yet been born, from the first moment of their creation. "Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should be slaves...Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion."
– Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation
He arrived at that place because he was a decent human being, one who reverenced God and respected all of those who were made in His image, not because he was a Republican. Frankly, the elites, even in his own party, would rather that he had just shut up about it.
When he consistently pointed the people back to the Bible and to God, he did so as a Christian, cut from the same cloth as this republic’s wise founders, not as a Republican, and he didn’t seem to care much what the political high muckedy-mucks thought of it. He understood that in fact our national departure from God is at the root of virtually all of our problems."Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid. That's why the Marxist vision of man without God must eventually be seen as an empty and a false faith - the second oldest in the world - first proclaimed in the Garden of Eden with whispered words...'Ye shall be as gods.' The crisis of the Western world...exists to the degree in which it is indifferent to God."
-- March 20, 1981, CPAC, Washington, DC
When he stated his deep belief that the rest of humanity, not just Americans, are also endowed by our Creator with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and expressed his determination to do whatever he could within the legitimate powers of his office to make it possible for millions, or billions, of those men and women to enjoy the Blessings of Liberty that we enjoy, he was representing the best of what it means to be an American."I have seen the rise of fascism and communism. Both philosophies glorify the arbitrary power of the state...But both theories fail. Both deny those God-given liberties that are the inalienable right of each person on this planet, indeed, they deny the existence of God."
– Beijing, China, April 27, 1984
His Peace through Strength policies brought down the evil Soviet communist empire, an historic feat that few outside his closest counsels ever thought possible. But, when he stood at the Brandenburg Gate and demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,”
he was not doing so as a Republican. He was doing it as an American, and the whole world knew it.
When he strictly warned us of the destructive dangers of socialized medicine and every other left-wing incursion on liberty, he did it as an American."One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine...and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known...until, one day...we will awake to find that we have socialism. And...you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free."
– 1961 Reagan recording
Sadly, in 2012, we have come to a point in which the “front-runners” for the highest office in the land in both the Democrat and the Republican parties are determined to take us down that exact road to socialist bondage and the extinction of freedom. Both have also advocated and advanced public policies that deny the fundamental humanity of certain classes of our fellow human beings, namely the unborn.
So, what do we do? Do we fold our hands and give up in the face of these two corrupt political parties and their unprincipled leaders? No, no, no, no, a thousand times, NO! We’re Americans, and we must do what Americans have always done when their backs were up against the wall. We must fight! We must strive with all our might for life, liberty, and the Constitution, for the sake of our posterity.
That is how I intend to honor the memory of the greatest President of my lifetime, Ronald Reagan. I’m going to fight for what is right, no matter the odds. I pray that you will do the same. No matter what it may look like, if enough of us will take up that challenge, we will win – with the help, and by the grace, of course, of Almighty God. Just like the Gipper did.Tom Hoefling is the founder and chairman of America’s Party. Please visit http://www.selfgovernment.us.
*Thanks to American Minute’s Bill Federer for providing the Reagan quotes used in this article.