Well, it’s that time of year when most of us have unwrapped all our gifts, eaten too much ham and pumpkin pie, and started to think about making a New Year’s resolution. We’ve spent time reflecting and pondering what aspects of our lives, personal or professional, we would most like to improve.
But today, I have a recommended New Year’s resolution for all of my fellow conservatives across the country — one that has nothing to do with losing weight, quitting smoking or reading more. Instead, it has everything to do with saving our country.
I am resolving to work with party activists, candidates, elected officials, organizations, donors and conservative voters across the country to find those issues and ties that bind us as Republicans rather than revert to the internal attacks that will set back our party — and our nation — for decades to come. I am resolving to move forward, and I hope I can count on each of you to join me!
The 2010 midterm elections will give Republicans an opportunity to reconnect with voters across the nation and set the stage for an even stronger 2012 cycle.
That’s why I am resolute in my conviction that we can no longer afford to wage the type of attacking and bitter intraparty battles that have weakened our ability to coalesce in opposition to the wasteful and damaging policies coming out of Washington, D.C. That’s not to say we shouldn’t engage in spirited primaries in an attempt to put forth the best candidates.
But once a Republican candidate is victorious in a primary, all Republicans should give them their full support. Moreover, this support must not stop after the ballot has been cast.
The days of “not conservative enough” or “too conservative for me” should be erased from our political vocabulary once the primary process is complete. At that stage, we must join together to help our candidates win elections and begin the critical job of stopping the flow of liberal policies coming out of the capital and numerous states across the land.
The challenges ahead are too great for us not to make this resolution together. For if we fail, I fear our nation will pay a hefty price — but hopefully not an irreversible one.
So as we approach this new year and reflect upon 2009, and think of ways to improve our situations in 2010, I ask that my fellow Republicans join together to have a respectful debate during our upcoming primary process and then give their full support to our selected nominees even if there remains some philosophical differences. I know this is the approach my father personally took, and I cannot think of a better beacon of light than his legacy to help us once again find our way.
Have a safe and prosperous 2010.
But before we get distracted by our future hopes for the White House, we have much work to do. With 36 governorships up for election and the ever-important state legislative battles that will help shape the future political landscape through redistricting, our efforts are only just getting under way.
Michael Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation (www.reaganlegacyfoundation.org).