Michael Reagan's Plea to Romney Supporters
On townhall.com today was a great article by Michael Reagan discussing why his father, former President and conservative icon, Ronald Reagan would have backed Senator John McCain in his pursuit of the Presidency if McCain had beaten him during a primary.
This is an extremely important article for those who are still on the fence about whether or not they want to jump on the McCain team after investing so much time, energy and money into a candidate that was thought to go all the way. Particularly, without being explicit, this article targets Romney supporters.
Putting this in a historical context, M. Reagan spoke of the 1976 race between Ford and his father, where many thought Reagan was the best candidate for the job, but in the end it was Ford who prevailed and got the nomination.
M. Regan writes:
In 1976 the Ford vs. Reagan campaign for the Republican presidential nomination got so heated it looked as if my father and Jerry Ford would never again talk to one another.
Sound familiar? This has been something that has been going around the blogosphere since the summer; the obvious tension and dislike for each other that was sensed between McCain and Romney.
When it was over and Ford had won, what did Ronald Reagan do? He simply went all-out to help Ford win his re-election, as did I and as did my sister Maureen. My dad simply followed his rule of backing the Republican candidate no matter who he was.
This is almost exactly what Mitt Romney alluded to in his speech at CPAC and this is something that I wish so many Romney supporters would realize. Remember, while you don’t have your candidate to fight for, you still have the party he represented and everything great that the party represents.
Assuming that John McCain will be the Republican nominee, you can bet my father would be itching to get out on the campaign trail working to elect him even if he disagreed with him on a number of issues.
Do any Romney supporters doubt Romney’s pledge that he would help McCain do whatever it takes to defeat the Democrats? He is a smart man, who knows what is at stake and I’m certain that after a few days of much needed rest and reenergizing he’ll be doing whatever he can to help McCain raise money, build coalitions and win this race.
Even so, I’ve seen many Mitt Romney supporters call it quits on the ground, on their blogs, in their fundraising, acting as if this race is over, somehow forgetting what it was that Mitt Romney was trying to pursue.
I’ve even heard people (usually on the ultra-right) say that they are going to sit this one out, simply because they can’t fathom the idea of voting for John McCain, who supported McCain-Feingold (which increased the amount of money that goes into conservative nonprofits significantly), was a part of the Gang of 14 (which led to the nomination of Sam Alito) and opposed the Bush Tax Cuts (favoring an even more hard hitting tax plan). Wow, he’s a real monster.
I think Michael Reagan really does a great job of summing up what could happen if history repeats itself and people stay home and not support the eventual nominee, John McCain:
Unlike my father, a lot of conservatives stayed home in 1976, and we got four years of Jimmy Carter, whose main legacy was to drive the Shah of Iran from power and create the Islamic Republic of Iran with a bunch of wild-eyed mullahs running the show. He also gave us 20 percent inflation and long, long lines at the gas pumps. And don’t forget 440 days of Americans held hostage by the mullahs.
By staying home those conservatives made possible the future election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
We are still suffering from the legacy of James Earl Carter, thanks to the conservatives who refused to follow Ronald Reagan’s example and instead sulked at home while the nation was being handed over to the worst president in American history.
We were still in the middle of the Cold War in those days, and by staying home conservatives risked losing that war by allowing an incompetent leader to become commander in chief.
Four years later Ronald Reagan took over, the hostages were immediately released, and he went on to win the Cold War. Now we have another world-wide war going on with a hidden enemy sworn to kill us all, and the policy of the Democrats running for the presidency is to throw up their hands and withdraw from the battlefield, leaving it to the enemy — and our fate in the hands of Osama bin Laden.
Is that what the let’s-stay-home-on-election-day conservatives want? Do they want the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama, as their president? Do they want the pseudo-Marist Barack Obama — who reportedly has a photo of the murderous Castroite thug Che Guevara hanging in his Houston, Texas campaign headquarters — hanging that photo in the Oval Office?
Do they want Hillary Clinton, the duplicitous former first lady, back in the White House enjoying all those furnishings she and her husband tried to swipe from the mansion?
Do they want a Democrat spending even more money that the government doesn’t have on scores of programs right out of Karl Marx’s playbook?
That’s exactly what they’ll get if they sit out the election and stay home on Election Day. That’s called biting off your nose to spite your face. Or even more to the point, political suicide.
Let me say this. There has been plenty of battling in the primaries, and I’ve been in the middle of the battle, but until now haven’t committed myself to any candidate, waiting until we had a nominee.
If John McCain is the nominee of the party, this Reagan will happily campaign with him. The alternative is unthinkable to anyone who loves this nation.
There is a lot at stake here. People need to decide now if they are in our out, but really consider the consequences of sitting out. Even on the blogosphere, if former Romney supporters could post just one thing about the McCain campaign, even if its holding him to the fire, the GOP will have one more ally in defeating the quickly growing, heavily funded online armies of the Left.
Looking at what is at stake, I think its a relatively small price to pay.