What It Means to Be a “Happy Warrior” Now

The most successful Republican of the last 100 years was Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States from 1981-1989.

Two epic landslides in both the popular vote and Electoral College, and the most meaningful shift in U.S. foreign and security policy since WW2.

And, you talk about “party building”—you can’t count the conversions from Democrats coast to coast, who voted once or twice for Reagan, and his down-ballot fellow GOPers.

But today, let me just mention how he did it, not what he did.

If you are too young to remember Reagan’s presidency, and campaigns, pull up some archival YouTube and you’ll see what I’m getting at.

The 1960s and ’70s were times fraught with economic and war fears, and visible decay in everything from American power to our physical and spiritual infrastructure at home.

Many a politician, preacher and pundit described and lamented these things in detail. And it’s a natural inclination of conservative people to put on their big-boy pants and face the stark realities of it all.

Reagan let others do the doom-and-gloom. He knew you were seeing it, and had heard it.

His response was a constructive, strategic optimism. Not patting us on the knee as if we’d slipped off our tricycle. Making the case, instead, that something is only worth fighting if you have a plan for winning, and from global Communism to domestic hopelessness, he did intend to win.

They called him a “Happy Warrior”, which is from a Wordsworth poem, and had been applied to other political figures before Reagan. It suited him.

The former California governor made his campaign’s case with a smile, with a joke, with ebullience. He described a country worth fighting for and worth saving, and I ran to the Horace Mann elementary school on Watertown Street to cast my first vote for his reelection in 1984. At the age when you can be most cynical, I believed.

And still do.

We have made our points about 2020, about election rigging and fraud, about millions of dark dollars and even darker electoral procedures. We have let it be known that we know. We have seen the massing of the cultural and commercial institutions against us, from Bud Light to Target. We see you, we know, and you know we know.

Same with the regime’s faithful ink-stained wretches of the press. Point made, and their audience numbers show it very clearly.

I think the only path forward is Reagan’s path.

First, to not give up. He won on his third run for president, and in a year where he was given no chance. EVERYONE said the GOP was wrecked hy Watergate, and couldn’t escape it. He won, not by crying or preaching end times, but with the sunshine of optimism: he had watched FDR do it half a century before, and he instinctively knew it was the right approach. Even better, it was how he really saw things. He was a man of the West, the Western United States, which was the destiny of the country, and the West, as in Western Civilization, which is the hope of the world.

Crying helps your enemy. And it’s a cop-out—a way of preparing the excuses for your own defeat. What party, aiming for victory, would keep harping on its most recent defeat?

If you really can’t win, you shouldn’t even try.

If you want people to believe better things are possible, in our families, in our schools, in our streets and in our world, you have to SAY THAT and SAY WHY.

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