Reagan: Paul Ryan -- A bold, smart choice - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

Reagan: Paul Ryan -- A bold, smart choice

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Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012 9:34 am | Updated: 6:41 pm, Mon Aug 27, 2012.

Choosing Paul Ryan is a game-changer.

Ask the Chicago Gang and its publicists in the mainstream media. They're terrified.

They know that when Mitt Romney chose Ryan for his vice president, it re-defined the Romney campaign overnight.

It proved Mitt was not as boring, cautious and moderate as conservative Republicans feared and the Obama Left hoped.

In one bold, smart move, Romney's VP choice makes it clear that this election is about one thing -- the economy.

And there is no better person on the planet to discuss that issue than Ryan, the young, articulate, spirited, openly Reaganesque conservative who heads up the House Budget Committee and is the leading Republican deficit hawk in Congress.

With Ryan as his VP choice, Romney also took a huge step in redefining what the Republican Party is and reminding everyone what it's supposed to stand for.

For decades Reagan conservatives have been wondering what has happened to the GOP my father loved. He worked hard to shape it into a party that clearly and proudly stood for smaller government, more freedom, free enterprise and a strong military.

But for two decades Republican politicians have been trying to out-Democrat the Democrats. The GOP my father left behind lost its way, lost its nerve and chose to betray many of its core principles to win elections.

By choosing Ryan, Romney has ended the era of Republicrat fuzziness overnight. It makes me think Mitt and his advisers have decided that the way to defeat Obama was to heed the advice my father gave to the GOP in 1975 at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Republicans, disheartened by the post-Watergate thrashing they got at the polls in 1974, were being urged by moderates to water down (i.e., liberal-up) their party's principles to broaden its appeal to voters.

My father told them not to further "blur" the distinctions between the two parties but to "revitalize" the GOP by reasserting its conservative principles and raising them "to full view."

He challenged Republicans to raise "a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear" that their party believed in "a free market as the greatest provider for the people," not socialism.

The conservative conventioneers took my father's wise message to heart, but the nation's voters didn't. Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976 and the country got four years of economic malaise and folly in the Middle East that did not end until my father was elected in 1980 -- as an unabashed conservative.

America today is truly at a crossroads. This election is going to decide the direction we take for the next 50 years. For the first time in a while, the American people will have a clear choice.

Do you want the USA to go down the Obama Expressway to Greece or, God forbid, California? Or do you want to go down the Romney-Ryan-Reagan Freeway to freedom, growth and prosperity for all people?

It's up to the American people to decide where they want to go. It's up to Romney and Ryan -- R & R, two letters that look pretty good together, I'd say -- to sell their message of conservatism.

Americans can't afford to wait for someone to come along four years from now and fix the damage Obama has already done.

Copyright 2012 Michael Reagan, son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). Visit his websites at www.michaelereagan.com and www.reagan.com.

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