Vail Daily letter: Real Republicans
“Real Republicans” should have one over-riding theme of responsible and pragmatic fiscally conservative policies and steadfastness in national defense. Real Republicans don’t have to cross the “church-state separation” tradition. Real Republicans don’t have to soil the nest left to their grandchildren. Finally, real Republicans don’t have to resort to extremist ideology.
Let’s test the above statements with Republican administrations from 1952 through 2008 to see if these statements hold true:
• Starting in 1952, Eisenhower inherited the Korean conflict; created the interstate system —overcoming his own party’s “no big government spending, ever” ideologues.
• Nixon inherited the Vietnam War; opened talks with China; Watergate aside, pushed through the Clean Air, Safe Drinking Water and EPA legislations — overcoming his own party’s “don’t slow down capitalism, ever” ideologues.
• After Nixon resigned, Ford united the nation as he fought many ideological naysayers regarding pardoning Nixon; note Vail being much indebted to President and Betty Ford with giving of their names and time for so many years.
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• Reagan was steadfast in the cold war; overcame the Beirut troop loss, while then setting up a model for well-defined missions with the Grenada invasion; initially lowered taxes, only to recognize later that responsible and pragmatic tax increases were required for the highway trust fund, Social Security and general deficit reduction — overcoming his own party’s “no new taxes, ever” ideologues.
• Herbert Walker Bush used the Grenada model in the responsible and pragmatic, mission-specific Desert Storm invasion to free Kuwait from Iraqi occupation — noting less than 130 USA military killed, much of the $60 billion initial U.S. costs borne by foreign governments; came into office as the “environmental president” — although with a mixed record, considering his warning of mandatory greenhouse gas reductions on jobs.
George W. Bush was elected in 2000, perhaps too recent for the history to be written — except possibly overly influenced by strong-willed advisor ideologues:
• Following 9/11, showed strong leadership in declaring the war on terrorism — including combining over a dozen departments into the new Homeland Security Department.
• Started two regime change wars, with the wisdom still debated considering blood and treasure costs.
• Questions about crossing church-state separation by funding unvetted faith based groups and protection of the planet with Enron, but no environmental group, at energy policy meetings.
• Pushed through the Medicare prescription drug program.
• Along with the Fed, did not recognize the house of cards housing market that led directly to the Great Recession.
So are there common themes from Eisenhower through George W. Bush administrations? Do my opening statements hold true? My next letter as an independent will tackle real Democrats.
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