My co-blogger and I have been having a heated discussion, here and at the comments section of Babalu about Ronald Reagan, his record, and whether or not he was an ideologue an idealist or both. We've also discussed whether the term ideologue means parochial and blindly dogmatic.
My view is that Reagan was both an ideologue and an idealist. And I believe you can be an ideologue without being strictly dogmatic. By the way three dictionaries agree with me on that point while only one agrees with SrCohiba.
I was perusing the Heritage Foundation's web site today for inspiration since I'm very depressed that my fellow Republicans got duped into nominating a closet lib for the most important office in the land and I found this page called What Would Reagan Do?
Heritage asks the following question:
How did Reagan unite conservatives and lead them to victory?Of course the answer is 3. Because Ronald Reagan was an ideologue, that is he was an advocate of a particular ideology. He did compromise with his opponents to obtain the parts of his agenda which he deemed indispensable. But that was a pragmatic tactic to obtain the ends to which he was guided by his ideology.
1) He compromised principles in order to establish common ground among conservatives.
2) He led a PR campaign that frequently adjusted strategy to reflect the latest polls and trends.
3) He inspired conservatives—and Americans of all parties—by standing up for fundamental principles and ideas.
As I explained to SrCohiba, the problem with John McCain is that he no longer has any discernible ideology guiding him. His opinions and the policies he has advocated for in recent years are a hodgepodge of contradictory positions that leave one scratching one's head. He opposed tax cuts twice. He sponsored the law that limits what we can say about a political candidate before an election. McCain took on a personal crusade against Ultimate Fighting which certainly is not a Federal issue. He also has made no secret of his belief that global warming is man made and has proposed legislation that essentially creates new taxes and regulations based on that belief.
It's not that Democrats are forcing him to compromise on some of these issues it's that he stands in stark opposition to the ideology his Party professes to espouse and thereby joins the Democrats on these issues. These are just some of the issues we know about. Who knows what's cooking in his brain. The problem for all of us conservative Republicans is that whatever it is there's about a 4 in 1o chance that it won't be something we'll be happy about based on McCains most recent ACU ratings.
Being an ideologue is not a bad thing. It lets people know what you believe and why. John McCain is wildcard. Giving him power is like giving Jayson Williams some booze and shotgun.
I ask SrCohiba or anyone else out there to name one major issue, ONE ISSUE, on which Ronald Reagan bucked his party and stood with liberal Democrats. I don't mean places where he caved in to liberal Democrats because they held control of congress or in exchange for some other agenda item. I mean an issue in which Reagan said "my party and conservatives are wrong on this and my friends on the other side of the aisle are right."
Well, we're waiting...