Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


"It starts with not alienating and proceeds to persuading."

I don't normally title my blog posts with direct quotes from the article to which I mean to draw your attention, but it is impossible to top that sentence as a summary of Peggy Noonan's latest.  It is also impossible to top it as a governing philosophy for those engaged in real, grown up, political speech.  Noonan examines and takes cheer from two recent speeches offered by popular Republican governors (Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie) who have entered the fray without fear.  I note that the absence of fear in Daniels and Christie is an absence of fear of either the Left or of the Right. 

Recognizing this lack of fear in them, however, does not mean that conservatives should be ready to embrace either of these guys with the all the warmth and trust reserved for a familiar grandma.  But right now, we don't need a grandma who will bake us cookies and tell us everything we want to hear.  We need a grandpa who will tell us when we're out of line at the dinner table and offending cousin Sally.  We also need a grandpa who can persuade cousin Sally to sit up straight at the table and clean up her mess when she's finished. 

Having said that, I'm not fully on board with every word of Noonan's fine column.  She makes what I think is a somewhat unfortunate mention of the "Reagan Democrats."  I'll take Democrat votes always . . . but I do hope we don't strive to create "Christie Democrats" or "Daniels Democrats."  Real persuasion ought to consist in creating new Republicans. 
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