Rebecca Hagelin

Just a few weeks ago, newspapers and pundits nationwide were writing obituaries for “Reagan conservatism.” They told us “the conservative movement needs new ideas,” “the era of Reagan is over,” “the policies of the past don’t work today,” blah, blah, blah.

Well, some of us knew better. We knew that Americans still crave individual freedom and believe in traditional values and the potential of every innocent human life. We knew that smaller government and lower taxes grow small businesses and inspire Americans to test new ventures and invest in the future, rather than be forced to sacrifice their dreams to pay still more of their hard-earned money to an increasingly socialist government bureaucracy.

But the elitist “wisdom” changed in a flash with a single speech from an unlikely heroine selected from the hinterlands and thrust into the national spotlight to the cheers of millions of Americans. The unbridled enthusiasm for Sarah Palin now sweeping the nation proves that the purveyors of doom and gloom were, once again, wrong.

With the selection of Gov. Palin as his running mate, John McCain showed that he has realized something very important about America: The American people are starved for leaders who represent strong, traditional conservative values.

America wants conservative leadership a la Reagan. Reagan was a straight-talker who didn’t mince words about his bold initiatives to give the government back to the people. Reagan stood for limited government, free markets, strict adherence to the Constitution, personal responsibility and individual freedom. He celebrated the hard work and ingenuity of the American people, worked to preserve the culture of life, and took great delight in shaking up the Washington-establishment status quo.

The actor-turned-governor-turned-president was as revolutionary a choice in his time as the hockey-mom-turned-governor who hopes to turn VP. Their ideas and core principles are the same. Reagan/Palin conservatism is alive and flourishing, and the American people are celebrating like crazy.

The spirits of many across America -- from the small-town leader to the soccer mom -- were like dying embers as the end of a seemingly endless primary season appeared likely to result in the coronation of career politicians and Washington insiders. These same Americans now realize that Sen. McCain was listening to them, and that he understands the future of the nation will be most secure in the hands of limited government conservatives. His choice to elevate Gov. Palin and the entire slate of Reagan values was akin to dousing those embers with jet fuel, resulting in the launch of his party like a rocket and setting the grassroots ablaze with enthusiastic fire.

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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