( – promoted by Patrick)
Let us all remember that a very wise conservative once said that “Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican.” I think far too many of us forget those sage words that formed the Reagan Creed.
As Alexander Hamilton warned us, nobody is exempt from the perils of faction so yes, not only will we be polarized into Republicans and Democrats (and granted, I assume the vast majority of us here are Republicans) we are also torn apart between conservatives (again, I assume the vast majority here) and liberals. However, let us not forget that far more unites us rather than divides us. Ronald Reagan also believed in an 80% rule and I will wager that even those so-called “RINOs” agree with us at least that amount of the time. It does none of us as either/both conservatives or Republicans to engage in divisive & perhaps even spiteful rhetoric and invective. I won’t claim that we are all friends here, although undoubtedly many of us are away from the blogs, however we should and I believe that we must be brothers-in-arms!
“You” may or may not agree but I consider myself a man of conservative principle. I literally grew up as a child of the Reagan Administration. While I admire Barry Goldwater and I’ve tried to marinate in the words of Bill Buckley as an adult, it was Ronald Reagan who made an indelible impression upon me and while it may have been Rush Limbaugh back when I was in the 8th grade who lit the spark and Newt Gingrich kindled the flames, it was Reagan who provided the tinder. I fully and firmly believe that we as conservatives and Republicans – for I am the latter because I believe that I am the former – that we need to return to our core principles and raise up great thinkers like the Buckleys, Reagans, Gingriches, et al who will carry on conservatism not only through my Generation X but through the Next and well beyond. The Republican Party still provides the best vehicle for that agenda. I will never claim to be such a prophet but I hope and pray that they rise to the occasion while I’m still a young Republican!
Not long ago the Republican National Committee circulated a quarterly issue of “Rising Tide” with the title “Republican for a Reason” that listed the core Republican reasons: 1) Individual Responsibility, 2) Strong National Defense, 3) Limited Government, & 4) Lower Taxes. If a person can rally around those 4 principles then I will welcome them as a Republican. Those are also some pretty conservative principles as well although I personally add 5) Traditional Social Policy. That being said, I of course always look to support the most socially conservative Republican candidate to support. Balancing principle with pragmatism, I proudly supported our former governor, Mitt Romney, as my preferred candidate for president over the possibly so-called “pure conservatives” of a Tom Tancredo or Duncan Hunter who, my apologies to their supporters, were unelectable from Day 1 in my eyes – even if I agreed with them in heart & mind more often than not. Once Romney took himself off the table, and before he officially cast his support to the senator, I committed myself to the man who will become our Republican presidential candidate and the next President of the United States, John McCain. Is McCain my perfect candidate? No, he is not. Is McCain a man who I can support? Yes! And with vigor – I will do whatever I can to try to ensure that Bristol County helps elect John McCain as our next President! To borrow Buckley’s phrase about both presidents Bush, McCain may not be a conservative but he is conservative. In the face of liberal Democratic opposition I will settle for the conservative any day. Now, I’m not going to rehash my previous post on this subject but it still stands.
I have made no secret of my support for Jeff Beatty. I am proud to personally endorse a man with his stellar credentials in service to our nation. He is perhaps the first Republican candidate to actually and actively court the SouthCoast Republicans and I cannot understate how greatly appreciated has been his time & attention. I hope that it is not out of place to say that I’m pleased to consider Jeff to now be a personal friend. That being said, I have absolutely no personal animus against someone who I hope to consider a personal friend: Jim Ogonowski. Indeed, I am very appreciative that he came down to Dartmouth in order to attend our Christmas Party. I don’t know Jim nearly as well but I have tried to follow him as closely as possible from down here since he first threw his hat into the special election against Nikki Tsongas. I believe that both candidates are gentleman and while I expect that their battle to be hard fought I also expect that we, as conservative Republicans, will rally around whoever is our eventual nominee. It does us no good to tear asunder either man or our party in the process. I’m fully aware of previous rifts: Cellucci/Malone, Healey/Rappaport, etc, etc. However, I refused to participate in them & I will not perpetuate such a thing now between Beatty/Ogonowski. I support strong & tough comparisons and vigorous campaigning and come the primary, may the best man win!
I refuse to risk a retreat and regrouping. I will fight until the bitter end. I will fight until Hell freezes over and then I’ll fight on the ice. I will not condemn us to take the first steps into a thousand years of darkness, or more realistically perhaps 4-8+ years of liberal Democrats. Think back prior to the 1994 Republican Revolution – we had spent 40 years wandering around in the wilderness. I refuse to wait until my 70th birthday for the Grand Old Party to regain political power! Whether I’m quoting Tom Delay’s autobiography or Leonidas: NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER! Let us remember that it is not always easy to command the soldiers of Allied Forces but it is only through such a grand coalition that we are able to fight the good fight up & down the ticket but most especially for our grassroots & state legislative candidates! That is where our blood, sweat, tears, & treasure will yield the greatest rewards!
For all my conservative Republican zeal, hellfire, and brimstone I realize that – at least in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – that we are perhaps a minority of a minority. I recognize the need to build coalitions with as many Republicans and unenrolled independent voters as humanly possible. I will never sacrifice my principles but I will work with the proverbial “Big Tent” in order to achieve my conservative agenda over the long run. That is why I ask that we refrain from the rhetoric and vitriol. That is why I hope that despite our profound differences that we ultimately recognize our commonality and put an end to the proverbial urination contests. Let us never forget that without gaining and holding on to political power we simply cannot pass much less implement our conservative agenda! We are all on the same side of this fight. Let our ships all sail in the same direction and let us all march behind the same banner of Republicanism. Yet, all the while we must never stop promoting and crusading for conservatism. We must perpetually evangelize to win the hearts and minds of ALL our fellow citizens – especially those most inclined to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the trenches! My philosophy can be best summed up by a quotation of Pat Buchanan from his autobiography Right from the Beginning, “In the early days of the French Revolution, the Abbe de Sieyes declared: Now is the time to get more, after which we will demand and get everything. That is the correct mindset for our conservative counterrevolution.”