Reagan’s rules being ignored

Ask any Republican older than 50 who they most admire in their lifetime, and the answer will almost assuredly be Ronald Reagan.

Reagan won 49 states in his re-election in 1984 and united the country in a way no one had seen since he left office.

It’s hard to fathom his re-election was 40 years ago.

Reagan provided two very important creeds that his party has seemed to have forgotten — something that is hurting our nation as a whole.

The first rule is “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.”

That premise is not only gone, it’s actually thought of as sacrilege.

If you want to see a violation, start with Matt Gaetz and his two-faced effort to oust Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House.

Gaetz claimed that McCarthy worked with Democrats to pass a temporary spending measure known as a Continuing Resolution to avoid a government shutdown. 

But to oust McCarthy, Gaetz relied on only eight Republicans and every Democrat to vote to kick McCarthy out. So, the very thing Gaetz accused McCarty of doing, he did with Democrats.

Earlier this week, Marjorie Taylor Greene tried to make a name for herself by trying to remove Speaker Mike Johnson, again a Republican on Republican crime and contrary to Reagan’s Commandment.

This time, however, she was thwarted when the House killed her attempt with a vote of 359 to 43, and only 11 of those 43 were Republicans.

People like Gaetz and Green love to throw the term RINO around as if they have a lock on what it is to be Republican.

But Reagan’s party wouldn’t recognize Green or Gaetz. There were politicians like them in the 1980s for sure, but the people did not take them seriously. 

Which leads us to Reagan’s Second Commandment — “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.”

Somehow we believe we are supposed to get 100 percent of what we want 100 percent of the time.

Both Speaker McCarthy and Speaker Johnson had to pass spending measures they didn’t completely support.

Remember, also, that Democrats control the Senate and the Oval Office. Republicans barely control the House, and without a unified Republican Party, they don’t really control that. If just two Republicans disagree with the rest of the caucus, Republican control is gone.

Why would one or two hold out? Because they are just like the people we see protesting on college campuses. They aren’t in Washington, D.C. to help govern the nation. They went there to promote an ideology.

It’s an ideology I support, but as Reagan said, you aren’t going to get everyone on every bill every time.

Different regions of the country have different priorities. That will lead to some crossover, or at least it used to.

Now, the extreme fringes of the parties control the actions of the whole, and it requires 100 percent compliance.

That’s not what Reagan said, and it’s not how he governed.

He pushed for what he wanted, and we loved him for it. But almost every bill he signed was a compromised piece of legislation. 

For six of Reagan’s eight years, he worked with a Republican Senate and a Democratic House, and his final two years saw the Democrats take control of the Senate.

Still, he governed alongside Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and Speaker Tip O’Neill.

And often was the time when Dole and O’Neill would reach a  compromise and take a bill back to both parties for support.

That’s unlike today where the 20 percent compromise is seen as 100 percent traitor, or RINO.

It’s no surprise Joe Biden is listening to those same extremists in his party and withholding military aid to Israel. We have let the fringes run both parties rather than realize that 80 percent of the time, we can reach common ground. We can compromise without being villainized.

We need leaders like Reagan who didn’t attack their own when they were compelled to compromise on some of the issues for the greater good of the nation rather than the banner of the party.

Americans were lied to when they were told this Biden would govern from the middle. Republicans need to prove they are willing and able to meet in the middle.

Editor |

Earl Watt is the owner and publisher of the Leader & Times in Liberal, Kansas. Watt started his career in journalism in 1991 at the Southwest Daily Times. During his career, the newspaper has won a total of 17 Sweepstakes awards from the Kansas Press Association for editorial content and 18 Sweepstakes awards for advertising. Watt has been recognized with more than 70 first place awards for writing in categories from sports and column to best front pages, best sports pages and best opinion pages. Watt is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and is the descendant of several patriots who fought for America's freedom and independence.