People are fickle, we all know that, and in no area is fickleness more evident than in politics. American voters change their minds constantly, never seeming to be able to decide if they want Democrats or Republicans to run the country for any length of time. Look at the following list of which party won the Presidency since 1948 (I’ll deal with FDR in a later post):
1988-92—Republican (Bush I)
2000-08—Republican (Bush II)
2020-present—Democrat (Carter, Jr.)
In the last 30 years, Congress has vacillated almost as much.
Do Americans even know what they want?
Notice one very interesting fact here. Only once since 1948 has either political party held the White House for more than two terms: Reagan/Bush from 1980-1992. Let’s examine what made the Reagan presidency so successful and why the Republicans lost again in 1992.
Of course, Ronald Reagan was elected on the heels of Jimmy Carter’s utterly disastrous four years. The Republicans could probably have run an armadillo in 1980 and won. But it wasn’t all Carter’s fault. Let’s give Mr. Reagan a healthy dose of credit, too. Reagan ran on things like a horrible economy, cutting taxes and regulations, law and order, a strong military, and a great America—not just on how bad Carter was. In other words, Reagan’s message was basically the same message the Republicans should be running on today. And Biden and the Democrats call this message “fascism” and “extremism.” Well, to them it is. Any pro-American message is extreme to the hate-America Democrats, and saying that “Make America Great Again” is fascism speaks volumes about the current Donkey Party. Their platform today is child mutilation, release of criminals, sexual licentiousness, a transgender military, sucking up to China, abortion up to and beyond grandparenthood, a totally open border, and driving electric cars and eating bugs. And yet, there are still nearly 40% of Americans who think Joe Biden is doing a good job. That tells us something about the country now, too. Something horrifying.
Ronald Reagan won two terms, and in effect a third with his successor, George Bush, with his strong pro-growth, America-first platform. His biggest mistake was making Bush his VP and not dumping him in 1984. Bush, frankly, was a mushy, Washington Establishment Republican who wasted so much of what Ronald Reagan had accomplished. And, as a result, Bush served only one term. The Bush/Cheney opposition to Donald Trump defines them clearly. Reagan was different, anti-establishment, with apro-America, anti-big government message that resonated with countless millions of people. And he won two national elections, decisively. Bush was a return to politics as usual, lying (“read my lips, no new taxes”) and thinking the American people wouldn’t notice or care. Well, they did, and he paid for deserting Reagan and returning to the Establishment with his defeat in 1992 to an unknown, skirt-chasing Arkansas cur, something Americans are still paying for today because of that lecher’s wife. And since 1992, the American people have again been vacillating, unable to decide which party they want in the White House (or running Congress). Few people like either party nowadays. The Democrats have become far too crazy, and the Republicans are far too gutless. Neither are appealing.
Joe (“Jimmy, Jr.”) Biden will give the Republicans a chance to put another Ronald Reagan in the White House and hold it for awhile. Who are the possibilities? Well, there is Trump, of course (the liberals hated Reagan as much as they do Trump). Ron DeSantis is obvious (he even looks a little like Reagan, ha). Down the road a few years, there are Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton, Kari Lake, Blake Masters, and perhaps a few others. Strong Reagan-type conservatives all. Learning from Reagan would be wisdom personified. Will the Republicans do it? Not if Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney have their way.
It is a different country than it was in 1980, and I often wonder if there are enough decent people left in America to save the nation. In other words, to elect another Reagan for beyond one or two terms. We have to believe there are. What the Republicans must do is find and offer the country another Ronald Reagan. Without a Bush for a successor.
And hope the country isn’t too far gone already.
Christmas is coming! My 2nd Rob Conners western novel, River Bend, is now available. Honestly, I think it is much better than my first book, Whitewater. Both are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Eliva.com. There will be a Kindle version of River Bend soon. And check out my blog at thailandlewis.blogspot.com.