Category Archive '1980 Election'

13 Sep 2012

Seems Like Déjà Vu All Over Again

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Here we are with a presidential election right around the corner. An insurgent conservative Republican is challenging an incumbent ultra-left liberal democrat. The US economy is in the toilet. Unemployment is terribly high. Gasoline prices are high enough to be a burden to American household incomes. The economic experts in Washington have no solutions. And the president tells us that we must be patient, his approach will eventually produce a new and better economy, a more moral economy along European lines.

And now, we have again Islamic militants storming US embassies and violating civilized norms and international law by laying violent hands on American diplomats. What will this president do?

I suspect that, like Jimmy Carter, he is going to wring his hands and spout conventional liberal platitudes while the country frustratedly looks on, wondering why he is incapable of understanding that the nation’s honor has been violated, American blood has been shed, and action is required.

Barack Obama probably fails to understand that this moment, right now, is the turning point in which the 2012 election will either be won or lost. The incumbent president of the United States has been presented with a challenge and an opportunity to exercise leadership in a crisis situation. The voters who are going to decide in under 60 days are watching what he does and how her behaves. His response to the attacks on America all over the Islamic Middle East will determine his fate.

So far Barack Obama is echoing Jimmy Carter and relying on his media allies to protect him.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds for the illustrative video.

06 Nov 2011

2012 Not 1980

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Ready to charge.

William Kristol rather eloquently expresses American conservatives’ yearning for a decisive, game-changing victory next year, a decisive victory capable of renewing both the country’s morale and economic prospects and delivering the country for another generation from socialism and the misrule of sophisters, calculators, and economists, but warns that the fates are not going to be as kind as we would wish.

For every Southern boy 14 years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armstead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a 14-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago .  .  .

—William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust

For every American conservative, not once but whenever he wants it, it’s always the evening of November 4, 1980, the instant when we knew Ronald Reagan, the man who gave the speech in the lost cause of 1964, leader of the movement since 1966, derided by liberal elites and despised by the Republican establishment, the moment when we knew—he’d won, we’d won, the impossible dream was possible, the desperate gamble of modern conservatism might pay off, conservatism had a chance, America had a chance. And then, a decade later—the Cold War won, the economy revived, America led out of the abyss, we’d come so far with so much at stake—conservatism vindicated, America restored, a desperate and unbelievable victory for the cast made so many years ago against such odds.

But that was then, and this is now. Now is 2012, and it seems clear that 2012 isn’t going to be another 1980.

He’s right. We haven’t got a Reagan. I think we are going to have to hope that any Republican can decisively defeat Barack Obama and that any Republican (even one from Massachusetts) will be obliged to run and govern as an arch conservative. While we will not have a Reagan, we can have an administration, like Reagan’s, drawn heavily from the Conservative Movement and dedicated to bringing about a fundamental change in direction.

Fortunately, the democrats have not the ground, the advantage in strength, or the artillery that General Meade had, and if 2012 is not going to be 1980, I think we can feel safe that neither will it be July 3, 1863.

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