There is a map. Ronald Reagan started laying out the groundwork in 1964. Everything that needed to be done to make it back to the shining city on a hill was laid out by him and other conservatives like Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley, Jr.
Reagan worked hard and tirelessly clearing the brush and forging a path. He fought to the final breath in 1976, only to find himself shut out at the gates. So he took the next four years to brush up, dust off and prepare and build his army for big push in 1980. Despite resistance from the media and the Republican establishment, Reagan went directly to the people and got them to help him barrel through the gates and into the city.
Reagan stood on Capitol Hill delivering his inauguration speech. He laid out the entire plan that January 21, 1981. The city was grungy. But after four years of hard work, it was morning in America. When he was reelected in 1984, the city sparkled and the city shined. For the next 16 years, the American people would experience a period of prosperity never before seen in our nation’s history.
Ronald Reagan passed away in 2004. For many like me, it seemed that so much of what he had done for America passed away, too. We were on the road to ruin again. Government was growing, taxes were getting higher again. Our budget deficits and national debt were getting larger.
We were on the brink of radical socialism in 2008. Barack Obama spoke of fundamentally transforming America – a code phrase for turning us into a European socialist style democracy to prep us for entry into the New World Order. Americans were asleep at the switch. They believed what the media were telling them. They were sheep, complacently accepting their fate believing that it was a lost cause - that no one was powerful enough to stop the growth of big government and the looming nanny state.
Something happened when John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Suddenly, those who remembered the shining city were electrified. Those who had once thought that all hope was lost saw someone who demonstrated that you could still take on the corrupt and buck a system that favored cronies and good ole boys. Sarah Palin proved to us by her example that the citizen could in fact make a difference if they only tried.
Her vice presidential candidacy was invigorating. She drew enthusiastic crowds to every rally. In retrospect, her rallies resembled what Tea Party rallies have become today. While she was not the founder of the Tea Party, it was her spark and charisma along with Rick Santelli’s rant on the Chicago Stock Exchange floor that got us all to believe that we could do it. Without Sarah Palin and those who formed the Tea Party, we would have been left for dead with the socialist boot on our throats finally crushing conservatism's windpipe
When over a million people marched on Washington in 2009, it was a validating signature event that proved that we were much more than just alive again. It gave millions and millions of Americans the courage and the confidence to know that we could go up against the forces of radical socialism and statist big government. The phrase “you can’t beat city hall” has since vanished from our lexicon. We rally now. We communicate and organize at a level never before seen in the conservative movement.
Sarah Palin has been to the shining city on a hill. She came of age during the Reagan years. Reagan was as much a hero to her as he was to so many other Americans. Yet, only she could capture his essence in her approach to politics. She never sold her soul. While many could recite Reagan’s famous quotes and talk about conservative principles, Sarah Palin lived them. She embodied them. She became them.
She knows the way out of the dark dense forest. She knows how to get back into the city and clean it up. This time, we will set it up permanently and never forget the principles forged by our founders and Reagan before her. History taught us a very harsh lesson. History showed us how easily we were able to lose touch with what Ronald Reagan did because we were not vigilant. But history also gives us the map that Reagan drew.
Those my age and older remember what it was like under Reagan. Those younger than my 47 years either don't or were not alive then. It's these people who hold the future of America in their hands.
There is a swath of teens and twenty-somethings whose political socialization will take place during the Palin years just as mine did during the Reagan years. They will learn the philosophy because they are motivated by Governor Palin.
We look toward the future knowing that we can pull the plug on liberal indoctrination and turn our youth around so that they can become productive citizens as they come into the workforce and grow older.
We all can join together now and be a force for renewing and restoring America.
Don't get cynical and don't be afraid. Like Sarah Palin said, “Look around. You’re not alone. We’re Americans!”
Read more here: The Flame of Youth Burns Bright