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If the Gipper were facing off against Obama: What would Reagan say?
Ronald Reagan was famously known as The Great Communicator.
Were he still among us, and were he, through a wave of a Harry Potter wand, standing in front of the 2012 Republican National Convention to accept the GOP presidential nomination — what would he say?
Fortunately Ronald Reagan has left behind countless speeches, radio scripts and a few books. And as a young White House aide I listened personally scores of times, standing along the back of the wall with my peers as the President related conservative philosophy to this or that event of the day. It really isn’t hard to piece together the kind of things he might say were he able to survey the political landscape of 2012 — and directly confront Barack Obama himself.
He would regard what one might call the “contempt and command” Obama era with considerable disdain.
So with the help of Ronald Reagan, here is Ronald Reagan’s acceptance speech of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Updating and combining a bit from a few of his talks across the years beginning with his famous 1964 speech for Barry Goldwater, the acceptance of the 1980 Republican nomination, his speech at the 1986 Centennial of the Statue of Liberty, and ending with his farewell address to the nation in 1989.
Herewith the speech the Gipper might deliver were he standing at the podium in Tampa next month to accept the 2012 challenge to President Obama.
Mr. Chairman, Mr./Ms. Vice President to be, this convention, my fellow citizens of this great nation:
With a deep awareness of the responsibility conferred by your trust, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States. I do so with deep gratitude, and I think also I might interject on behalf of all of us, our thanks to Tampa and the people of Florida and to this city for the warm hospitality they have shown.
I am very proud of our party tonight. This convention has shown to all America a party united, with positive programs for solving the nation’s problems; a party ready to build a new consensus with all those across the land who share a community of values embodied in these words: family, work, neighborhood, peace and freedom.
More than anything else, I want my candidacy to unify our country; to renew the American spirit and sense of purpose. I want to carry our message to every American, regardless of party affiliation, who is a member of this community of shared values.
The major issue of this campaign is the direct political, personal and moral responsibility of Democratic Party leadership —in the White House and in Congress — for this unprecedented calamity which has befallen us. They tell us they have done the most that humanly could be done. They say that the United States has had its day in the sun; that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems; that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities.
My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view. The American people, the most generous on earth, who created the highest standard of living, are not going to accept the notion that we can only make a better world for others by moving backwards ourselves. Those who believe we can have no business leading the nation.
I will not stand by and watch this great country destroy itself under mediocre leadership that drifts from one crisis to the next, eroding our national will and purpose. We have come together here because the American people deserve better from those to whom they entrust our nation’s highest offices, and we stand united in our resolve to do something about it.
We need rebirth of the American tradition of leadership at every level of government and in private life as well. The United States of America is unique in world history because it has a genius for leaders — many leaders — on many levels. But, back in 2008, Mr. Obama said he was all about “Hope and Change” And a lot of people trusted him. Now, many of those people are out of work, unable to save their own homes, much less save and invest for the future.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?