Cowboy Wisdom for the Week November 9, 2012

Friday, November 09, 2012
by Patrick Dorinson

They say you can’t tell how good a man or a watermelon is without a good thumping.

Well Mitt Romney took a good thumping. And we found out just how good a man he really is. Unfortunately too many of his countrymen believed that he was a cold uncaring rich fella who could care less about them.

This twisted portrait of Mitt was courtesy of the Chicago Gang of Barack Obama and his amen corner in the media. I hope they are proud about the character assassination they used on a man who has accomplished more in his lifetime than they will ever achieve in theirs.

He gave it his best and fell short.

But Romney will be OK. He has his great family who will help him get through this difficult time.

I wish I could say the same for his political family, the Republican Party.

We are about to see how they react to this thumping.

Will they learn from this experience?

Will they sew up the holes in Ronald Reagan’s big tent conservatism?

Will they reach out to not only Latinos and Blacks but to libertarians, Ron Paul supporters and Tea Party people alike?

Or will they listen to the discredited voices of the consultant class and lobbyists in Washington that tells them they can win elections by merely slicing and dicing the voters into different data points like gender and ethnicity?

Republicans always ask where is the next Reagan or what Reagan would do?

Folks, there is not another Reagan and never will be. Like Halley’s Comet they don’t come around that often.

But as to what he would do to rebuild the party? He already gave Republicans the road map.

In April 1967 he gave a speech that has been called the “big tent” speech. What he said back then is just as true today as it was 45 years ago.

Here are some key passages.

We must keep the door open – offering our party as the only practical answer for those who, overall, are individualists.  And because this is the great common denominator – this dedication to the belief in man’s aspirations as an individual – we cannot offer them a narrow sectarian party in which all must swear allegiance to prescribed commandments.

Such a party can be highly disciplined, but it does not win elections.  This kind of party soon disappears in a blaze of glorious defeat, and it never puts into practice its basic tenets, no matter how noble they may be.

The Republican Party, both in this state and nationally, is a broad party.  There is room in our tent for many views; indeed, the divergence of views is one of our strengths.  Let no one, however, interpret this to mean compromise of basic philosophy or that we will be all things to all people for political expediency.

In our tent will be found those who believe that government was created by “We, the People;” that government exists for the convenience of the people and we can give to government no power we do not possess as individuals;  that the citizen does not earn to support the government, but supports a government so that he may be free to earn; that, because there can be no freedom without law and order, every act of government must be approved if it makes freedom more secure and disapproved if it offers security instead of freedom.

 Within our tent, there will be many arguments and divisions over approach and method and even those we choose to implement our philosophy.  Seldom, if ever, will we raise a cheer signifying unanimous approval of the decisions reached.  But if our philosophy is to prevail, we must at least pledge unified support of the ultimate decision.  Unity does not require unanimity of thought.

 Our 11th Commandment is perhaps more profound than we realize.  “Thou shall not speak ill of any Republican.”  To do so means we are inhibited in the support we can give that Republican if he should become the nominee of our party.  Certainly our task is harder if we must challenge and refute charges made by our opponents if those charges were first uttered by us.

A political party is like a big extended family at Thanksgiving. There are many different characters that make up a family. Some don’t get along, some are a bit quirky, Uncle Harry drinks a bit too much but the one thing they share is being a member of a family.

But when the chips are down the family comes together in common purpose.

That’s what Reagan was saying back in 1967.

Argue, holler and discuss amongst yourselves. But when the comes time for partisan battle on Election Day, unite under one banner.

So here is your Cowboy Wisdom for the Week. And it is for Republicans.

When you lose don’t lose the lesson.

Losing can either be instructive or destructive.

The choice is up to them.