A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It needed to be said. . .

. . .and there are few people on earth better suited to say it than Victor Davis Hanson. Ronald Reagan has indeed become a sanctified figure among Republicans, and with good reason. What most Republicans have blocked from their reverent minds is that Reagan's canonization has as much to do with his electoral success as his ideology. Reading this piece by Hanson clarifies things significantly.

Had Reagan held the same positions in defeat, he'd have been pushed into a dark corner of the Republican memory as the guy who killed Gerald Ford's chances of reelection. Fortunately, he had an optimistic disposition when the nation cried out for it, a firm set of guiding conservative principles, and the good sense to grab a half-a-loaf with both hands when the opportunity presented itself.

The deservedly sainted Reagan managed to maintain a very collegial relationship with the man who was the bane of conservative existence, Tip O'Neill, throughout his presidency. Yet, the conservatives of today who invoke his name as the paragon of conservatism excoriate John McCain (and anyone else) for being seen in the same room with any Democrat without having said Democrat in a headlock.

As conservatives, we often howl in indignation at the left's tendency toward historical revisionism. We don't need to sink to hypocrisy in order to embrace our heroes. And we shouldn't resort to intellectual thuggery when our candidates don't measure up to our idealized vision of Reagan; especially when Reagan himself didn't.

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