Early in my inbox this morning (and I do mean early), I received an email from our conservative friends in Botetourt County. In it, Delegate Marshall (R-13) offers his opinion about the race for the 6th District Chairman. To follow are his comments:
Can you take four to five minutes from your busy day to think about a decision that will have effects on you, your family and Virginia for years to come?
I am talking about the Sixth District Republican Convention race where you and other fellow conservatives will set a course for our Virginia Republican Party.
The decision is yours to make, not mine, although I do have a preference for the Sixth District.
I would just like to first share with you the benefit of my experience of my more than 32 years in Republican politics, 19 years as an elected official, and 6 years as a Congressional staff aide.
Clearly, the most successful American politician of the last part of the 20th Century was President Ronald Reagan. He called himself a conservative, and did not apologize. He ran as a Republican. He said he was 100% pro life because it was a moral issue. He opposed high taxes because he thought it weakened American families. He called the Soviet Union the Evil Empire because it was. He would not compromise any moral principle for political gain. He won the presidency twice after serving as Governor of California.
In 1975 Ronald Reagan criticized the spending policies of Republican President Gerald Ford for adopting the deficit spending and debt increasing habits of the Democratic controlled Congress. Sad to say, the current crop of debt-loving liberal Democrats in Congress can point to the debt increases approved by congressional Republicans who voted to grow the debt on our children when George Bush was president. Unfortunately, the record shows the Democrat critics are correct!
If we depart from our own principles “just a little bit,” we are not in a good position to criticize Democrats when they do it with gusto.
By voting for Danny Goad for Sixth Republican Chair on May 22 at 10:00AM in Lynchberg at the Towns Alumni Center, Liberty University, we can bring back that successful Reagan formula of combining conservative social and economic principles to win elections.
Danny Goad, father of six, is a Mechanical Engineer with an MBA. Danny has been involved in conservative Republican efforts and elections for 18 years. He has been vice-chairman or chairman of three local Republican units. If ever our nation needed principled individuals willing to lead it is now. Danny Goad is a committed conservative and is willing to serve as Sixth District Republican Chair.
Ronald Reagan did not win victories in Virginia and across America by himself. He had the support of a Republican Political Party structure, people like you and me, who were largely conservative.
We, you and I together, can do that again for Virginia with a vote for conservative Republican Danny Goad on May 22.
Thank you for all you do to preserve our Republic and our Liberties. If you have any questions, call me on my cell phone at 703-853-4213.
Delegate Bob Marshall, R – 13th District of Virginia
P.S. I have included excerpts from Ronald Reagan’s 1975 and 1977 speeches to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with a few comments of my own so you can see for yourself how Ronald Reagan combined practical experience with conservative principles to revive and rebuild a conservative Republican Party.
Ronald Reagan 1975 Speech to CPAC — Excerpts
“Since our last meeting we have been through a disastrous election. (November, 1974) It is easy for us to be discouraged, as pundits hail that election as a repudiation of our philosophy and even as a mandate of some kind or other. But the significance of the election was not registered by those who voted, but by those who stayed home. If there was anything like a mandate it will be found among almost two-thirds of the citizens who refused to participate.
Bitter as it is to accept the results of the November election, we should have reason for some optimism. For many years now we have preached “the gospel,” in opposition to the philosophy of so-called liberalism which was, in truth, a call to collectivism.
Now, it is possible we have been persuasive to a greater degree than we had ever realized. Few, if any, Democratic party candidates in the last election ran as liberals. Listening to them I had the eerie feeling we were hearing reruns of Goldwater speeches. I even thought I heard a few of my own. …
But let’s not be so naive as to think we are witnessing a mass conversion to the principles of conservatism. Once sworn into office, the victors reverted to type. In their view, apparently, the ends justified the means. … Can we live with ourselves if we, as a nation, betray our friends and ignore our pledged word? …
Americans are hungry to feel once again a sense of mission and greatness.
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.
It was a feeling that there was not a sufficient difference now between the parties that kept a majority of the voters away from the polls. When have we ever advocated a closed-door policy? Who has ever been barred from participating?
Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people? Let us show that we stand for fiscal integrity and sound money and above all for an end to deficit spending, with ultimate retirement of the national debt. …
Let us explore ways to ward off socialism, not by increasing government’s coercive power, but by increasing participation by the people in the ownership of our industrial machine. …
In his first address to Congress, the president asked Congress to join him in an all-out effort to balance the budget. I think all of us wish that he had re-issued that speech instead of this year’s budget message.
What side can be taken in a debate over whether the deficit should be $52 billion or $70 billion or $80 billion preferred by the profligate Congress?
Inflation has one cause and one cause only: government spending more than government takes in. And the cure to inflation is a balanced budget. We know, of course, that after 40 years of social tinkering and Keynesian experimentation that we can’t do this all at once, but it can be achieved. Balancing the budget is like protecting your virtue: you have to learn to say “no.” …
A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain 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 1977 speech to CPAC–Excerpts
The percent of Americans now calling themselves “conservative” vs. “liberal” was higher at the end of 2009 than in 1976 when Reagan was addressing CPAC below. A recent Gallup survey found the following breakdown: conservatives 40%; liberal 21% and moderate 36%. Additional Gallup breakdowns show that 71% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 21% of democrats call themselves “conservative.”
Reagan recognized that there were varieties of conservative, which he identified as social and economic. No Republican president since Reagan has been able or been willing to replicate the Reagan union of social, economic and defense of foreign affairs conservatives. Reagan said:
“Despite what some in the press may say, we who are proud to call ourselves “conservative” are not a minority of a minority party; we are part of the great majority of Americans of both major parties and of most of the independents as well. A Harris poll released September 7, 1975 showed 18 percent identifying themselves as liberal and 31 percent as conservative, with 41 percent as middle of the road; a few months later, on January 5, 1976, by a 43-19 plurality, those polled by Harris said they would “prefer to see the country move in a more conservative direction than a liberal one.”
You know, as I do, that most commentators make a distinction between they call “social” conservatism and “economic” conservatism. The so-called social issues—law and order, abortion, busing, quota systems—are usually associated with blue-collar, ethnic and religious groups themselves traditionally associated with the Democratic Party. The economic issues—inflation, deficit spending and big government—are usually associated with Republican Party members and independents who concentrate their attention on economic matters.
… In short, isn’t it possible to combine the two major segments of contemporary American conservatism into one politically effective whole? I believe the answer is: Yes … This will mean compromise. But not a compromise of basic principle.” …
“And let me say so there can be no mistakes as to what I mean: The New Republican Party I envision will not be, and cannot, be one limited to the country club-big business image that, for reasons both fair and unfair, it is burdened with today. The New Republican Party I am speaking about is going to have room for the man and the woman in the factories, for the farmer, for the cop on the beat and the millions of Americans who may never have thought of joining our party before, but whose interests coincide with those represented by principled Republicanism. If we are to attract more working men and women of this country, we will do so not by simply “making room” for them, but by making certain they have a say in what goes on in the party. The Democratic Party turned its back on the majority of social conservatives during the 1960s. The New Republican Party of the late ’70s and ’80s must welcome them, seek them out, enlist them, not only as rank-and-file members but as leaders and as candidates.” …
My friends, the time has come to start acting to bring about the great conservative majority party we know is waiting to be created.
And just to set the record straight, let me say this about our friends who are now Republicans but who do not identify themselves as conservatives: I want the record to show that I do not view the new revitalized Republican Party as one based on a principle of exclusion. After all, you do not get to be a majority party by searching for groups you won’t associate or work with. If we truly believe in our principles, we should sit down and talk.
Talk with anyone, anywhere, at any time if it means talking about the principles for the Republican Party. Conservatism is not a narrow ideology, nor is it the exclusive property of conservative activists.”
Although unfortunately I still haven’t spoken with Mr. Goad, Delegate Marshall offers many strong words of praise, going so far as to compare him to President Reagan. Given his stances, I do hope to meet Mr. Goad sooner or later. On a related note, it is interesting to see as more and more of my Facebook friends line up on one side of the aisle or the other. With the election a mere three days away, the camps are clearly forming.
In retrospect, I wish I were attending the convention down in Lynchburg this Saturday. Nevertheless, I expect that both of the candidates, Danny Goad and Trixie Averill, will serve the Republicans of the 6th district well. It should be exciting to see who wins!