The Goldwater/Reagan Eras – Why America’s Greatest Days Are Still Ahead

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died Sunday at the age of 94.
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died Sunday at the age of 94.

The death of former First Lady, Nancy Reagan, brought up memories.  On Sunday, Mrs. Reagan passed away Sunday, at age 94, seemingly putting a final stamp on the end of an era.  Sadly however, the Ronald Reagan Era ended long ago. What’s next for the conservative movement?  To find the answer, one must look to the past.

Today’s generation of students, (K-12, and even Millennials) only know the Reagan Presidency via the history books or by oral history passed down by their parents or often, the liberal media. But those of us from the generations who came of age in the 1960s and the 1980s must teach them what it was like to be a true conservative, rather than solely an economic conservative, or a so-called “libertarian/conservative”.   They are our children and grandchildren.

Two generations of young people were lucky enough to cut their political teeth during these eras.  The Baby Boomers, who reached high school, college age, and young adult hood during the early 1960s, and their children, the Generation Xers, who did the same during the 1980s.

We Gen Xers were fortunate enough to have the experience of the conservative Boomers as our teachers and our guides.  Now we must guide the next generation, who are ready to hear something good, instead of the negative.

Brief Overview of the Modern Conservative Movement

The modern conservative movement in the Republican party started in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

2016-logoIn 1960, 90 young conservatives came together to draft the Sharon Statement,  which set down a series of principles for the conservative movement. The also founded Young Americans for Freedom, to serve as an organization for conservative activists.  Phyllis Schafly, William F. Buckley, George Dunlop (later aide to Sen. Jesse Helms), conservative fundraiser Marvin Liebman, Brent Bozell, M. Stanton Evans, and so many others were key players of the era.

The young conservatives considered forming a third party and drafting a Presidential candidate, but instead chose to fight the “establishment” in the Republican Party at the time, and drafted Barry Goldwater as their man.  Though Senator Goldwater did not win, the movement continued as the YAF’s membership grew into adulthood and continued with their careers.  It was a heady time to be a conservative.

Ronald Reagan was working for General Electric during this era, and working what he termed “The Mashed Potato Circuit”, as he traveled the nation, giving a series of speeches.  He often spoke to businessmen’s luncheons (only men in those days) and Republican Party dinners.  His name ID grew and gave a nationally televised speech on Goldwater’s behalf, A Time for Choosing.

FILE - In this Dec. 29, 1988, file photo President Ronald Reagan waves to onlookers as he arrived in Palm Springs, Calif. If your're a fan of former President Ronald Reagan and you live in Wisconsin, you'll get a new day starting next winter to celebrate. A provision in the state budget that takes effect July 1, 2011, establishes Feb. 6 as Ronald Reagan Day. It's a symbolic measure to celebrate the Gipper's birthday and has no impact on state spending. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, File)
President Ronald Reagan: Dec. 29, 1988 (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

Reagan become a two-term Governor of California, first elected in 1966.  By 1976, he was ready to run for the highest office in the land, but the nation was not quite ready for him.  In 1980, his time came and he was elected in a landslide over sitting President Jimmy Carter.  The Reagan Era had begun and young conservatives like me were ready for him.

Because President Reagan brought hope and optimism to the American people, young people couldn’t help but be carried along.  Membership in conservative groups soared.  The College Republicans became a force to be reckoned with, even being lead nationally by a young North Carolinian, David Miner.  Generation Xers came of age in a time of great hope that America’s best days were ahead.  We worked hard, fought off the moderates, and elected conservatives.  Then, eight years later, Mr. Reagan’s second term ended and he left office.

Today, it seems that Millennials and students don’t have a lot of hope for.  We’ve had the non-smiling President Barak Obama as President for over 7 years.  The nation seems to be in a fog.  Our military has shrunk. Welfare roles have increased.  The role of the family has been de-emphasized and  we tell our enemies our plans via the media.  Government is larger than ever in it’s history. The FCC, like other Executive Branch Departments, has overreached its authority with Net Neutrality.  Debt continues to add at an alarming rate.  We are no longer a force for good in the world, or at home.

It’s a sad time…or is it?

The Hon. George Dunlop
The Hon. George Dunlop

At the Conservative Leadership Conference, (sponsored by the Civitas Institute), I was fortunate enough to hear a Baby Boomer-age leader speak.  George Dunlop discussed the 1976 Reagan-Ford primary, and North Carolina’s importance in it.  He also talked about the conservative movement, it’s future, and why there IS hope.

The self-described right-hand-man of the late Senator Jesse Helms brought up a topic from the bible that made me reconsider that America’s Best Days are behind us.  Normally, conservatives are optimists and tend to be generally happy people, but our current president has managed to squish the last bastions of it from me, and others like me.

While in the U.S. Senate, Jesse Helms never gave up, even when he was alone in his beliefs.  Today, we must use the example of Sen. Helms and President Reagan to motivate us to rally, work hard, and share conservative visions with high school and college students.  We must encourage them to work hard, and share this vision with their peers.  We also must work to bring home now-forgotten evangelical vote, just as Helms did.

Mr. Dunlop then stated something profound:

The Lord never fails to preserve a remnant of the people.  He will always preserve a remnant so that conservatives can rise up and become conservative again, just like the Israelites did.  We don’t need everyone.  Just a remnant.

Get these people to work hard.  Recruit people as delegates to the conventions that are true conservatives, not these libertarian/conservatives or moderate conservatives.  We must go to our county conventions, district conventions, and our state convention with people who are like ourselves.  “Spend the time and effort to get credentialed” and others like us credentialed.

That’s how we win.  That’s why we have hope.  The Lord preserved a remnant.  While many were running away to become libertarian/”conservative”, the remnants didn’t.  It’s time.  It’s time for us to rise up and re-energize the conservative movement.

 

Note: My own parents are boomers who cast their very first vote for President for Barry Goldwater in 1964. (The voting age was 21 back then.)  I was fortunate enough to go through high school and college during the 1980s.)

Tillis: WOTUS Expands Govt, Regulations

photo of Thom Tillis
US Sen Thom Tillis (R-NC), courtesy of the Charlotte Observer

This week, Senate Democrats blocked a vote to override President Obama’s veto of legislation disapproving of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which would enforce crippling regulations on local communities and small businesses across the nation.

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) remarked:

“The Obama Administration’s WOTUS rule is the latest federal government land grab that will expand the scope of federal authority over land and water at the expense of farmers, ranchers, landowners and business owners across the country. Under this rule, virtually every nook and cranny of the country will be subject to EPA control, and

I am disappointed with this Administration’s never-ending attempts to add layer upon layer of bureaucratic red tape for hard-working Americans to deal with.”

Senator Tillis spoke on the Senator floor about the WOTUS rule in November:

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Cong. McHenry’s SOTU Thoughts

banner-2015Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC, 10th), shared his opinion of President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union speech:

“This week, for the final time, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address to Congress. Tuesday night’s address covered little new ground for President Obama. Instead of laying out a clear plan to destroy ISIS or confront the bellicose regimes in Iran and North Korea, President Obama used his address as a victory lap.

“This was odd considering there is little to celebrate after seven years of President Obama’s failed leadership. Obamacare has driven up healthcare costs for my constituents. His Iran nuclear deal has empowered a rogue regime that is more committed to destabilizing the Middle East than becoming a member of the international community.”

President Obama’s speech was exactly what we’ve come to expect from him: grand rhetoric accompanied by little substance.

“Fortunately, it was the last time we had to hear it.”.

Gov. Pat McCrory on Refugee Background Checks

Gov. Pat McCrory
Gov. Pat McCrory

How can you have thorough background checks on people from a country in which there is no embassy?

That’s the question Governor Pat McCrory poses to viewers after Obama’s final State of the Union speech.  He appeared with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business News.  The two were discussing Syrian refugees, particularly the one at the SOTU.

“I guarantee you the refugee the president invited to the State of the Union speech received a more thorough background check than other refugees.”

Watch this brief clip for yourself.

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Liberal Z. Smith Reynolds Funds Anti-Police Hate Group

Ignite NC is an anti-cop hate group that is organizing demonstrations against the UNC Board of Governors.
Ignite NC is an anti-cop hate group that is organizing demonstrations against the UNC Board of Governors.

The liberal Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, is at it again.

According to the Carolina Partnership for Reform, ZSR funded Ignite NC, an anti-cop hate group that is organizing angry demonstrations against incoming UNC President Margaret Spellings and the UNC Board of Governors (BOG).

Ignite NC is one of the radical fringe groups demanding the BOG fire Spellings before she takes office. Along with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU, with whom SEANC is affiliated), Ignite NC attempted to disrupt a recent BOG meeting.

Ignite NC is a project of the Southern Vision Alliance which is funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

On their website, Ignite NC endorses Black Lives Matter, accusing the police of ”murdering ” Michael Brown in the shooting that sparked the Ferguson, Missouri riots. (We all know EVERY LIFE MATTERS.)

They state:

“Young people across the country are building a movement against police violence in our communities. The movment began as grand jury’s decided not to indict the officers involved in the murdering of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. People have taken to the streets to disrupt business as usual and demand that power holders take action and law enforcement be held accountable. Ignite NC stands with the #BlackLivesMatters movement. We have helped with actions, die-ins, rallies and protests throughout NC. Take a look at some of the pictures from actions.”

However,

No less an authority than President Obama’s Justice Department proved the murder claim Ignite NC perpetuates is a lie.

The Justice Department adds:

“The U.S. Department of Justice has cleared the air with its detailed and authoritative investigation into the death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown last August in Ferguson, Missouri. Its important conclusion? Former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, did not violate the civil rights of Brown when he shot and killed the black teenager last August.

The encounter sparked protests in Ferguson and beyond and revealed distrust between police and many in the black community.

The Carolina Partnership for Reform says:

“Belief that Wilson shot Brown in cold blood as he tried to surrender continues to circulate; it ought to be put to rest by the Justice Department’s report.

Credible witness accounts and DNA evidence instead confirm a struggle while Wilson was still in his patrol car, as Wilson testified, and that Wilson fired on Brown after Brown charged him in the street, according to the Justice Department report.

Repeating a lie that a policeman murdered Michael Brown ought to qualify Ignite NC as a hate group. And supporting Black Lives Matter, an organization advocating cop killing, clearly makes Ignite NC a hate group.

When Jihadists were slaughtering people in San Bernadino, Ignite NC, Black Lives Matter and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation didn’t run toward the danger. The police did. Mrs. Spellings and the BOG should stand up against the cop haters. Toss their demands in the trash .”

CPFR adds this thought: When President Ross left the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, former UNC BOG General Counsel Leslie Winner took his place.

They should show some class and tell their foundation buddies to stop funding groups trafficking in violence inciting hate against the police.

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation was once lead by outgoing UNC President Thomas Ross.

Find out more about the Carolina Partnership for Reform, here..

AT&T: Net Neutrality – More Government Regulations

In Tuesday’s State of the Union speech, President Obama will focus on the so-called Net Neutrality.  ATT has released a statement agreeing with conservatives that Net Neutrality is simply his plan for the government to regulate the Internet.

Jim Cicconi, senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs called any regulation of the Internet a “mistake to the Internet and the U.S. and national interests.  He added that’s it’s a “complete reversal of the bipartisanship relationship that has been in place since the  Clinton administration.

Read the entire press statement here.

More coming in a future post!

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Obama’s Plan for America: Repeal and Replace

Bye Bye Private Sector!
Bye Bye Private Sector!

With Tuesday’s State of the Union speech looming and with threats of higher taxes, small government writer Seton Motley stated that he

“believe(s)in the Yellow Pages Rule: If you can find it in the Yellow Pages, the government shouldn’t be doing it.”

 Motley wrote in The Daily Caller, Tuesday that

“just before the 2008 election, soon-to-be-President Barack Obama proudly proclaimed, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”  His transformational aim?  To by any means necessary repeal the private sector – and replace it with government. “

“ObamaCare is an excellent example.  The law’s architect is accidental-video-star Jonathan Gruber – who acknowledges the heads-government-wins-tails-we-lose nature of the law.  In 2012 Gruber said if ObamaCare was not successful at controlling costs “we’ll have to revisit single-payer” – i.e. government-only health care.  And in 2014 he said “if you like single-payer then ObamaCare has to succeed.”  No matter what, we all get government.

Please read the rest of Motley’s piece at the Daily Caller, here.  It’s too good of a preview to miss.  He goes on to compare Obama to Hugo Chavez.

Also in the speech tonight, The President will discuss the so-called “Net Neutrality” proposal.  The NC Beagle will have more on this in a later post today.  Look for it.

Note: 

Seton Motley is a consultant and the founder and president of Less Government, an organization dedicated to, well, less government. He is editor-in-chief of StopNetRegulation.org, a Center for Individual Freedom project. He’s a friend of this blog and an expert in his field.

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NC Americans for Prosperity Announces Legislative Agenda

AFP-NC is promoting their 2015 Legislative Agenda
AFP-NC is promoting their 2015 Legislative Agenda

Thursday, the day after the opening of the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFPNC) announced their priorities for the session.

They are:

  • Passage of a repeal of North Carolina’s Renewable Portfolio Standard;
  • Passage of legislation seeking to push back and limit the EPA’s overreach of power into North Carolina’s electrical grid;
  • Patient-centered health care reform through reform of the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) laws and Right to Try legislation;
  • Defeat of any legislation seeking to expand Medicaid;
  • Medicaid reforms that will prevent the risk of cost overruns by state government;
  • Continuing the path of comprehensive tax reform by reducing the tax burden on North Carolinians and eliminating corporate welfare;
  • Repeal or reform of the state’s capital gains tax;
  • Passage of legislative spending limits that could include a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR);
  • Increasing educational freedom for North Carolina families by expanding the Opportunity Scholarship Program and removing barriers to entry for charter schools;
  • Eliminating barriers to entry for small businesses by reforming North Carolina’s occupational licensure laws; and
  • In general, greatly reducing the regulatory burden on businesses and citizens.

This legislative agenda is being promoted in conjunction with the national AFP’s Reform America 2015.

State director Donald Bryson stated that AFPNC works year round to advocate for good policy, not just during election cycles.

AFPNC uses six region field directors in North Carolina to drum up support for its legislative agenda and then has citizens make their views known to their members.  This grassroots effort is something AFP has been successful with since its founding.  AFPNC has also done well with its national agenda, following the lead of the American’s for Prosperity.

Background:

The group has been so successful that it drew the attention of President Obama.

In a speech at a Democratic finance event in 2009, President Obama insulted the members of AFP thusly:

Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates all across the country.  And they don’t have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are.  You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation.  You don’t know if it’s a big oil company, or a big bank.  You don’t know if it’s a insurance company that wants to see some of the provisions in health reform repealed because it’s good for their bottom line, even if it’s not good for the American people.

Later in the speech, the Obama added:

They don’t want you to know who the Americans for Prosperity are, because they’re thinking about the next election.  But we’ve got to think about future generations.  We’ve got to make sure that we’re fighting for reform.  We’ve got to make sure that we don’t have a corporate takeover of our democracy.

At every national event, the group runs this video to great cheers.

AFP, with its sound fiscal policy ideals, is working for the future.  Just not in the way Obama imagines it.

If you get a call from AFPNC to volunteer or to contact your legislator, please do!  It’s our future to lose.

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