Star Parker

The liberal media are having a field day trying to portray the Republican Party and conservatives in disarray. The crescendo has reached a new peak this week with Time magazine's cover picture of Ronald Reagan with a tear on his cheek.

But Time's story, "How the Right Went Wrong," is a superficial and simpleminded caricature of what is going on with Republicans.

First of all, as anyone with a passing awareness of political history knows, Reagan himself had anything but a cakewalk in reaching the leadership of the party and the presidency. His landslide victory in 1984 was the culmination of years of political struggle within his party. The beginning of his ascendance into national politics began 20 years earlier with his nationally televised speech in 1964 in support of the Barry Goldwater candidacy.

That same year, Republican candidate Goldwater was trounced by Lyndon Johnson.

The idea that anything as American as differences of opinion within a party and political struggles for leadership would bring Reagan to tears is a joke. The only tears about his party and this country that he shed were tears of joy to be part of this great, free country.

So as we approach an election year with an outgoing second-term president, and a vice president who is not stepping forward for his party's nomination, intra-party strife, as competing candidates try to define their own uniqueness, is as natural and American as apple pie. Ronald Reagan would have been perfectly at home.

It is actually not Republicans who are confused, but Time magazine.

When Reagan said, in 1985, that the "other side" was "bankrupt of ideas," he was right. He meant that Democrats had no answer to the challenges this country was facing other than the big-government materialism that had already been shown to be the problem, not the solution.

This is as true today as it was 20 years ago.

It is also true that the ideological core of the Reagan revolution _ traditional values and limited government _ points the way to our future as much today as it did then. And Time's reporters or anyone else would have a hard time finding conservatives who would question this.

So you have to wonder what world Time's reporters are living in when they write that "everything that Reagan said in 1985 about 'the other side' could easily apply to the conservatives of 2007."

What Time's reporters do not seem to understand is the difference between the challenge of finding the best, hopefully a great, leader and not knowing who you are.

Of course there are differences of opinion within the Republican Party, as there were during the Reagan years.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.