April 21, 2012

How Hard It Can Be to Make the Change from Democrat to Republican

I know from personal experience how hard it can be to make the change from Democrat to Republican. I also know that there comes a time when you look in your heart and realize that it may be hard to change, but it’s just something that you’ve got to do. Party loyalty can be mighty fierce, though.
We all know that story about way back when—probably one of the first Republicans was running here in the South for office, out soliciting votes, and he was rejected by one gentleman who said to him, ‘I’m a Democrat, always been a Democrat, my pappy was a Democrat, and my grandpappy was a Democrat.’ And the candidates made the mistake of saying, ‘Well, if your pappy was a jackass and your grandpappy was a jackass, what would that make you?’ And he says, ‘A Republican.’

~ Ronald Reagan, Remarks at a Fund-raising Luncheon for Senator Jeremiah Denton in Birmingham, Alabama, June 6, 1985. Read the full text here.

President Reagan will be remembered as one of America’s most popular and beloved presidents. But history will also remember him for his outstanding sense of humor, which formed a critical part of his bond with the American people.

He used humor to address a wide array of issues, ranging from his relationship with Congress and the press to dealing with Democrats, bureaucrats and Communists. He also used a lot of self-effacing humor, a strategy that increased his popularity and helped him defuse specific issues such as his age and the accusation of not being a very hard worker—to which he used to respond with this characteristic jibe: “Hard work never killed anyone, but why take the chance?”

I must confess that his sense of humor is one of the reasons why I’ve always been a big fan of him. As Mark Twain once put it, “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.”


  1. The wise never take themselves too seriously, because they have reached the point of wisdom where they know they don't know anything. Similarly to Ernest Renan (French philosopher and historian, 1823-1892) famous phrase : "Our opinions become fixed at the point where we stop thinking".
    But despite Reagan's wisdom and humour, his generous concession of validating political alternation at an epoch when it was probably still necessary, might be regarded today as belonging to the past, especially regarding political ideologies.

    Hollande, for example, has declared that if he is elected, he will govern as a socialist, his government will be made up of socialists, and on no account will he invite members of the opposition to be part of his government. This would mean that if he's elected he would only represent socialists, and not the French population as a whole. It also means that he intends to impose ideological restrictions that can only do more harm than good.
    This partisan attitude contrasts starkly with President Sarkozy's inviting several members of the socialist party and the centre to join his government after his election in 2007.

    As the world gets smaller and the political, social and economical constraints become increasingly international, (as clearly demonstrated by the economical crisis) national political alternation could be considered dated to the extent of becoming only a pointless power monopolising pretext. This simply because external and internal obligations no longer permit inflexible, partisan politics. There can no longer be a right wing, a left wing or even a central way of governing. There can only be the best possible way determined by the ever evolving national and international economical and social circumstances, engagements and restrictions.

    It seems to me that today, more than ever, the criterion is no longer party ideology, and partisanship, but the qualities of the personality who the people choose to elect.
    (This consideration, for example, could be regarded as an excellent reason for the French not to vote for Monsieur Hollande).

    1. Hey man, at first sight it might seem that you are a bit worried about what might happen today in France… But please consider taking a few minutes looking at things from a different point of view:

      "No matter who wins, things are going to change. Of course, Sarkozy would be less of a break with the past.
      Many believe that, given the economic situation, change is not the right recipe. But more and more people say that austerity will trap Europe in a long recession, which will bring high unemployment, violent protests and less income. The alternative is to increase taxes, thus impoverishing the middle class.
      A socialist victory in France could offer a different, less suffocating recipe against the crisis than the one that has been unsuccessfully adopted so far by many countries. Spain’s Mariano Rajoy and Italy’s Mario Monti are not likely to be very upset about that, as they will have a chance to review their goals in order to prevent the economies of the countries from collapsing."
      Read the rest.

  2. No Rob, I see no logic in such reasoning, because I'm aware of Hollande's projects which can only make the situation in France worse. He's not really concerned about the interests of France, and even less of those of Europe or of anywhere else. He just wants to be President, also for the sake of socialism. If he succeeds it's more a question of on verra, for what happens afterwards. But he will be obliged to make allowances for Mélenchon, who represents one of the last communist parties in Europe. Apart from Hollande's demagogic measures and dated ideology that will be extremely costly and ineffective (recruiting 60,000 teachers, to 'improve' education, for example), his election will not be warmly received by financial establishments and shareholders, for good reasons.
    In any case, whatever one's political inclination, no one can benefit from the election of an impostor except Tartuffe himself