This has been such an encouraging week. Out of the wreckage of the Republican Party, so many voices have risen to speak for the need to return to our core principles. From the ashes, a conservative renaissance is leading the way back to the foundation on which Ronald Reagan built the Party during 1964-89.
But naturally, like any movement rooted in truth and hope, it has its nay-sayers. One theme that these nay-sayers echo is the idea that the world has changed so much over the last 20 years that the principles that worked for Ronald Reagan won’t work any more.
Yes, the world has changed, in some good ways, and in some bad ways. But not in any way that affects long-term fundamentals.
Economic and political freedom, individual responsibility, and finite government are not matters of personal preference. Nor are they matters, as the wealth-spreaders like to claim, of greed, unfairness, or un-neighborliness.
They are principles that work. They foster prosperity, in the full sense of the term.
If this understanding has diminished, if these principles have lost some luster over the last two decades, that’s in no small measure due to the big-government Republicans who gave them lip service while collaborating with liberals in undermining them. And this craven collaboration is part of why the world faces economic trouble.
Republicans can continue to kow-tow to the whiners who want government to kiss away all their boo-boos, to bail them out of the consequences of their own irresponsibility, to regulate life into comfort and fairness.
And they will continue to lose. The dream of life enveloped by state-sponsored cushions is more than just the cop-out of weak and cowardly souls who think everyone else is responsible for taking care of them. It’s a prescription for impoverishment. When government micro-manages peoples’ lives, when it spreads the wealth around, when it overturns the natural justice that rewards virtue and punishes vice, it makes life worse; it dampens the human spirit, and human flourishing diminishes.
When government adheres to its proper, finite mission, the people prosper. A party that leads the way to prosperity is a party that can win.
Ronald Reagan once said, “I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things.” Those great things are true, and they don’t change.