Back in 1964 when I was PR director of the GOP Truth Squad in the Goldwater presidential campaign, a film of a Ronald Reagan speech was broadcast on the local station in the city where we were campaigning at the moment.
Reagan, then a private citizen, was electrifying. He laid out exactly what was at stake in the campaign while providing an explanation of what America was all about and the philosophy that makes us what we are: a nation operating under a Constitution that spells out exactly the very limited role that government is allowed to play in its citizen's lives.
Reagan described just how far we as a nation had strayed from observing the conditions laid down in that document, and was so persuasive that we recognized that what has since become known simply "The Speech" could become a major asset in Barry's campaign if it were given wide national exposure.
Convinced it could play a key part in educating the American people as to what was really at stake in the election, I got a copy of the speech and with Sen. Carl Curtis, the Squad's co-chairman, I flew back to Washington to play it for the campaign bigwigs and urge them to see that it was used as a major campaign weapon.
Our pleas fell on deaf ears; but the speech itself helped propel Ronald Reagan into the upper ranks of national politics and, eventually, the presidency.
History has just repeated itself. Another speech by another famous American has surfaced. Just as exposure to Reagan's 1964 speech was limited, this new 17-minute address by Fred Thompson could be seen and heard only on the Internet, broadcast solely on YouTube.
Thompson is spellbinding as he explains, in his Southern-grandfatherly way, where we are and were we should be if we will start observing the Constitution once again. If the great mass of Republican voters are given the chance to see and hear this speech I have no doubt that he will be the GOP presidential nominee for 2008.
It reveals him to be the candidate all Republicans have been saying that want to carry their banner this year.
Fred Thompson is for real.
What you see is what you get: a solid, thoughtful man firmly wedded to the principle of federalism and disabused of the notion that the solutions to all of our problems lie in Washington D.C.
Rush Limbaugh complains that what is lacking in the GOP field are "the right people to express our conservative ideas and principles."
Said Rush:"when conservative truths are heard, it's an affecting and effective message. People have revelations when they hear it. They just haven't been hearing it from people who want to lead the party and who want to lead the country. So what's lacking here is not ideas and not principles, but the right people to speak them and the right people to develop strategies to win elections based on those ideas and principles."
He went on to say "What's lacking here is not ideas and not principles, but the right people to speak them and the right people to develop strategies to win elections based on those ideas and principles. What's lacking, if you will, is intellectual and political leadership.
"Let me be even more specific. Where's the Russell Kirk? Where's the Bill Buckley? Where's the Milton Friedman of our day? Where's the Barry Goldwater, the Ronald Reagan? We have people who claim to hold the mantle of these greats, and yet they also claim that the mantle to hold is not worth holding, that we gotta redefine it because the era is over. If you believe that liberty, national security, free enterprise, faith, and the Constitution are dead, then what are you saying? On what do you base your definition of conservatism? If we don't properly diagnose the problem, we aren't going to be able to fix this."
Rush, he's right there before your eyes, You even recognized him when you said, "Look what happens. I have a headline: 'A Combative Thompson Sways Voters, ' But then last night — we hadn't even been thinking about him — all of a sudden it was clear he was the one,' said Mr. Berenberk, a retired teacher. 'The bluntness, the forcefulness. He was really impressive.'"
Rush, use your incredible reach to make Fred's speech available to your millions of listeners. Let them decide for themselves if Fred Thompson is the man we're all been hoping for. It can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=VblJq4j0_SE.
Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist and World War II Marine who writes for Newsmax.com. He is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist for National Review magazine in the 1960s.
He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association For Intelligence Officers.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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