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Change or Change Back?

"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order - or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, 'The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.'"

-Ronald Reagan, October 27, 1964

The above quotation came from Ronald Reagan's speech, "A Time For Choosing," which he delivered in October of 1964. Isn't it amazing how timely his words are forty-four years later?

This year's election cycle was all about change: "Change we can believe in." But what does that really mean? There is no question that voters are looking for change, but I wonder if perhaps they are truly seeking what used to be. I believe the people want to go back to the days when government did what it was designed to do: "form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

Where does the ever-expanding role of government in our everyday affairs fit into that description? Do taxpayers really want to be told how to raise their familes, educate their children, care for their personal property, and run their businesses? Do they believe that government should come to the rescue of giant corporations that are facing bankruptcy? Do they trust government to provide for the general welfare? Or do they recognize that these actions are leading us "down to the antheap of totalitarianism"?

I belive that we as Republicans need to lead this nation in a return -- a change back -- to the abiding principles that made this the greatest nation on earth: those principles that put trust in the people, that empower each individual to chart his own course, to succeed without government's assistance, and to reach "the maximum of individual freedom, consistent with order."

It is time to begin the long journey back to core principles. These principles, if we articulate them, believe in them, and carry them out faithfully, will provide the best opportunities for all our citizens to achieve the things they dream about for themselves, their families, and their businesses. Now is our opportunity. Are you willing?

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Reader Comments (3)

I sincerely hope that conservatives continue to delude themselves that this election was just an aberation, and that they will be returned to power if they just more closely adopt the orthodoxy of the right wing zealots. It will be a sure loser for them in the 21st century.
November 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLee Parks

Well said Jack. Keep up the good work. It's time for a re-revolution of liberty and limited government.

November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKCuz
Lee - I'm ambivalent about responding to your comment but will do so anyway. Your comments weren't exceptionally clear, so I'm forced to make some assumptions. I assume you're saying that conservatives are right wing zealots. And, I assume also by "zealot" you mean something negative. Would Reagan, by your definition, be conservative, zealous, and bad? I assume you'd say "yes". Personally, I'm of a different opinion.

I agree with Reagan, though I hadn't read the quotation at the top of this post before. Freedom is something for which we must be zealous. Now, of all times, we must be zealous for freedom. I do agree with you on one point -- that this election was not an aberation.

I think Republicans failed miserably to communicate their message -- not just in this election, but over the last 4-6 years. I cannot compromise the premium I place on freedom simply because the masses have been deluded into sacrificing it. Many, many millions were 'wowed' by Obama, utterly unaware of the implications of his policies being enacted. We have a lot of work to do. It will not be solved or achieved quickly -- certainly not within 4 years.

Since you were so forthcoming with expressing your hopes, I will express mine. I sincerely hope that you get clear about what you value. If you value freedom, then join us in reforming the party. Jack, in the few years I've observed him in politics, is nothing less than zealous -- for your freedom, for your rights, for the principles that made this country great. You may not agree with him on every issue, but you can trust him to do what he says he'll do. You can trust him to unify the party and lead a counter-revolution that will inspire -- not just with great rhetoric but with practical, can-do grit.
November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDan from Detroit
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