Reagan's enduring, and silly, 11th Commandment
By J.J. Jackson
Ronald Reagan is, without a doubt, the best President America was blessed with in the 20th Century. But, when you look at his competition, such was not necessarily that hard of a feat to accomplish. I mean seriously. There were a plethora of left wingers, fascist wanna-bes and so-called conservatives who exhibited a wondering eye for socialist policies. The list includes the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt (x4), Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton. Knock them off the list and who was his only real competition for such a title?
Gerald Ford? Please. The man couldn't even walk straight. He almost was bungling enough to make Jimmy Carter look sane.
Jimmy Carter? Oh, yeah, sure ... he was so incompetent that he makes Obama look like Mr. Perfect.
JFK? The man who wilted in the face of Soviet aggression and caused the Cuban Missile Crisis? Don't fool yourself.
Herbert Hoover? Ok, he did denounce overbearing government regulation as a problem. But then he turned right around and proposed a fair number of unconstitutional and overbearing government programs of his own like the unconstitutional Department of Education. And let's not forget to mention his idea for $50 per month pensions for the elderly, a forerunner to the ponzi scheme of Social Security. He even exasperated the Great Depression by rejecting tried and true laissez-faire economic strategies.
William H. Taft? This is the man that proposed income taxes on corporations. Taxes like this, I remind everyone, are paid in the end by the consumer and just a tax on the people writ large. This is a favorite ploy of the left to soak the working class with hidden taxes and keep them from accruing wealth. He also led a crusade against companies he felt, arbitrarily of course, were too big.
Ultimately, when you boil it all down, Reagan's only real competition for the title of Best President of the 20th Century was Warren G. Harding. And how many people even know that much about Mr. Harding other than the Tea Pot Dome Scandal? How many people even know about that? At least Harding practiced and implemented conservative fiscal policies that made the economic downturn which happened during his time in office short and all but forgotten to history.
Like so many better than average to almost great Presidents in American history, Reagan gets more than his fair share of praise. He even gets a little deified from time to time. That miffs me because people who fall over themselves to praise Reagan do so very blindly. Let us all remember, Ronald Reagan was not a god. Like with other greatly flawed leaders of this nation, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson come to mind, people mindlessly throw Reagan's praises around. They forget his plethora of broken promises and his naive agreement with liberal Democrats who he actually thought would cut spending like they said they would. And let's not forget his insane support of amnesty for illegal aliens. In the process of this blind idol worship those who have placed Reagan upon a pedestal of infallibility fail to think critically about things he actually did which were wrong. When trapped without an answer to these things they haphazardly spout off some quote or belief of his without care to its truth or substance. Which brings me to Reagan's "11th Commandment".
This "Commandment", as if that was not the most arrogant thing one could call words spoken by a mere man, was simply "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." I have heard this Golden Rule evoked more times than warranted in this election cycle and by both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich supporters upset that the other side is attacking their candidate. Some of these attacks are valid. Some of them are not. Some of them are downright lies. And both sides have engaged in them.
Ok, first of all, let's get something straight. This was not even "Reagan's" "Commandment". This actually came from Gaylord Parkinson who was Chairman of the California Republican Party. It was drawn up because of the mindless attacks by the Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party against Barry Goldwater in 1964. But a mindless rule in response to a mindless attack is just, well, mindless.
Think about this for just one second. All you Reagan aficionados who get excited at the mere mention of the man's name in vain settle down. Everyone now, take a deep breath. It is time to think critically. If a "fellow Republican" is a creep, a scumbag or a liar are we seriously suggesting that he not be called a creep, a scumbag or a liar? I am not talking about baseless attacks. I am talking about attacks based on the facts.
I am sorry. But isn't bearing false witness against the laws of God? How can you seriously sit there and ask people to not tell the truth? Well, I hate to tell you this, but when it comes to a choice between the laws of God and the laws of men, or a man, I will choose the laws of God every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Reagan's 11th Commandment is absurd. Those who spout it when anyone dares points out the truth about another Republican and how they often act in most unRepublican ways are mindless partisans who do the Party no favors. Get over yourselves and realize that, oh no, Reagan was, at times, wrong.
I understand all you Newt and Mitt partisans do not like lies being told about your candidate of choice. But you also do not seem to like too much the truth being spoken about them either. That is because both of them have a long and not so glorious past of acting like Democrats.
Personally I will ignore Reagan's silly commandment because it is just that; silly. Reagan was not infallible. And this "commandment" proves it. Truth must be spoken.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.