Today would have been Ronald Reagan's 97th birthday. I wonder what his parents would have thought if someone told them in 1911 that in 2008 Republicans would be arguing over who is more like their son, or that conservatives would be pining away hoping for another Ronald Reagan to emerge.
I heard today about the CPAC convention tomorrow and I checked out their website at http://www.cpac.org/ . On that site I found transcripts of Reagan's speeches to CPAC throughout the years. I didn't have a chance to read all of them, yet. While reading the speeches of 1974 and 1975 I kept thinking that so much of what Ronald Reagan said can be applicable today. There are so many parallels to the state of conservatism then and now. I'll give you just a few excerpts from Ronald Reagan's speech of 1975, because he said it so much better than I can.
"I don't know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, 'We must broaden the base of our party'-when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents." "Let our banner proclaim our belief in a free market as the greatest provider for the people. Let us also call for an end to the nit-picking, the harassment and over-regulation of business and industry which restricts expansion and our ability to compete in world markets." "A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent core fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers. I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way."
Ronald Reagan was a great human being. Sadly for many of us, there never will be another Ronald Reagan.