Reagan’s Message Today Would Be Optimistic

By Sal Russo

Since today is his birthday, it is a good time to remember that Ronald Reagan was an eternal optimist. He believed in America, and he believed in the American people. Despite the vicious attacks from the left and even from the Republican establishment, he always soldiered forward, determined to carry the message of freedom. It is a lesson for those of us today who are fighting the battle for the tea party movement. There are setbacks from time to time, but we are right on the issues, and the future will be ours if we can show the same dedication to the cause that we saw from Ronald Reagan.

I had the great fortune of beginning my political career working for Reagan in his first campaign for Governor and then accompanying him to Sacramento into the Governor’s Office. If you think things are tough now, you should see what we faced back then in 1967. The left was outraged that this actor was now Governor of California. The Republican Party hierarchy in Washington wasn’t all that happy about us either.

Even as late as 1980 when Reagan ran for President for the third time, some of the establishment Republicans were not thrilled with the news. A Republican Congressman from Illinois, John Anderson, even ran as an independent because he believed a “right winger” like Reagan could never win – even against a failed President like Jimmy Carter. We had our work cut out for us, but Reagan never wavered over the years, and conservatives rallied like never before to help us win the Presidency.

I find it a little amusing, and I must admit that it is also a little irritating, when I hear liberals today say they wished conservatives were more like Reagan. None of these people said that when Reagan was running for President! They had nothing but harsh words in attacking him and the conservative movement. I noticed even some of the liberal Republicans, who grabbed onto the Reagan presidency and then had the audacity to endorse Barack Obama while claiming to be Reaganites, are claiming that Reagan would not be acceptable to today’s conservatives. What nonsense!

Reagan was always the leader for conservatives since his great speech for Barry Goldwater in 1964 – A Time for Choosing. He has never wavered from those conservative principles that have made America great. He would be standing with us today in the cause of freedom and opportunity. I know it gets discouraging sometimes when our own people act like liberal Democrats; it irritated Reagan too. But he hung in there and did so many great things through his perseverance.

We have to do the same thing. I hope you will keep that Reagan spirit alive and help us at the Tea Party Express carry forward his ideas and principles for our future.