By Mike Kersmarki
Ronald Reagan’s iconic 11th commandment to “not speak ill of any fellow Republican” is meaningless without context.
And such historical reflection is especially relevant in the current Republican primary, a viciously divisive clash that has overwhelmed and angered the average GOP voter with weeks of negative campaigning.
“As Republicans, we are better than this. Let’s end it once and for all!”
- Jim Waurishuk, chairman of the Hillsborough County Republican Party wrote to party members earlier this week.
How did we get here?
Is this the new normal spawned from the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary because President Trump derided his rivals as Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco and Low-Energy Jeb?
Then again, if you can’t take a sucker punch or two, you shouldn’t be in politics. It’s not a game for the faint-hearted and maybe we just need to get over ourselves, move past the primaries and come together again to win this November.
Or, are these primary excesses a symptom of something far more insidious than a few political jabs?
Have we become overwhelmed by the Democrat’s dark vision of America, allowing justifiable frustration with the DC and media cesspool to poison our hearts against each other?
For me, it comes down to a quick look at some of the history behind Reagan’s famous 11th Commandment pledge for the California governor's race in 1966.
A cynic might say that the future president was just trying to head off some internal political opposition.
But if you look deeper, he really was working toward a much larger goal: Republicans had to recover from the disastrous national elections two years earlier when Democrats gained TWO-THIRDS majorities in BOTH houses of Congress.
We are saddled to this day with the colossal failures of Democratic domination in the mid 60s - from President Johnson’s Great Society madness that literally drained trillions of dollars from our country’s future, to the horrific legacy of the 1965 Immigration Act.
Ultimately, that led to a new era of mass immigration that has devastated the lives and futures of literally tens of millions of Americans and their families.
"First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same ... Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset ... Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country … In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think."
- Senate immigration subcommittee chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
This fall, the cost of failure could be extraordinarily high. Do we really want history to repeat itself?
The primaries are almost over. Either find a way to come together or lose.
“Your choice is simple … pursue your present course and face obliteration … The decision rests with you.”
- Klaatu, Michael Rennie’s iconic character in the 50s’ science-fiction classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Mike Kersmarki is a former business journalist now living in Tampa who worked on the Communications Teams for the 2012 Republican National Convention and the 2008 McCain Presidential campaign. Currently, he is researching a domestic policy book: “Worker’s Party: How Republicans Can Help ALL Americans Achieve Their Full Economic Potential.”