“Our country now stands at a crossroads. There is widespread doubt about our public institutions and profound concern, not merely about the economy, but about the overall direction of this great country…The American people are clamoring for change and sweeping reform…What kind of change can we Republicans offer the American people?” –Ronald Reagan
This season’s Republican National Convention is just around the corner, with Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan poised to officially accept the Grand Old Party’s nomination for the contest in November. While we prepare to march forward and take on whatever history might throw at us, it’s salutary to pause and consider our history.
On this day, August 17th, in 1992, Former President Reagan addressed the Republican Convention that nominated his sometime vice president George H.W. Bush for reelection. The outcome of that race notwithstanding, Reagan’s speech was as electrifying as it is timeless. The eloquent summation of our values and reverent homage to our past achievements served as the strongest reminder of why the project that is America will not fail. America’s greatest moments are always ahead. Every success we forge through our national perseverance is a monument to the power of human ingenuity. Every battle won against the naysayer and idle pacifist is a testament to the endurance of life on the brink of darkness. Our example is as indelible as the Dream embodied in every citizen. We are always the people we’ve been waiting for.
We are facing many crises, but like the Gipper, I’m optimistic that we’ll best every challenge and overcome every obstacle. But optimism alone won’t defeat a recalcitrant status quo. For that, we’ll have to keep fighting. As a certain group of conservative friends at Yale would say:
Keep the faith with cynicism. Cut the opposition down!
You can find the transcript here.