We were duly warned


Instead of music when I exercise, I listen to Ronald Reagan speeches. I find Reagan’s voice inspirational. The words stick in my mind long after the workout is over. Mr. Reagan’s observations on government, though spoken over 40 years ago, are clearly relevant to the debacle we find ourselves in today. Mr. Reagan’s insightful speeches warned us of man’s tendency toward authoritarian governments. Why haven’t we taken heed of his prediction?

From Mr. Reagan’s 1966 speech, The Myth of the Great Society, he says, “Wasn’t this the admonition of the founding fathers? That government tends to grow, to take on power until freedom eventually is lost…only government is capable of tyranny.” Mr. Reagan saw, even in the thriving post-WWII American decades, the slow creep towards tyranny of endlessly growing government.

The trappings of The Great Society and the slip-slide into an administrative welfare state, seemingly innocent at its inception in the 60’s, gave Mr. Reagan cause to admonish his countrymen, “Our limited government, with its decentralized powers, has given way to planners and they’ve laid an increasingly heavy hand in every facet of our lives….such a government would cover the face of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, and thus the will of man is not shattered, but softened and guided, until the nation is reduced to a flock of timid and industrious animals of which government is the shepherd.” The past two years have proven us to be soft, timid, guided.

Every day I hear from life-long registered Democrats wondering how and why their party has left them behind. The party of the working class, the immigrant, and equality has simply perverted all those notions. In 1966 Mr. Reagan commented, “To those who are Democrats, ask yourselves if the leadership of your party still follows the precepts of Jefferson, Jackson, and Cleveland. Take the platform of 1932 on which Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected, with its demand for a 25% reduction in the cost of the federal government, for restoration of constitutional limits on the power of that government, for a return to the states and the local communities and the individuals of the rights that had been taken from them. Ask which party would be most at home today with those promises… the leadership of that [Democrat] party has long since abandoned you.”

Mr. Reagan then calls out the Republicans of 1966, saying they must be the party of opposition. This was, he said, a responsibility so great that it cannot be met by a splintered party. Mr. Reagan knew back then that a party divided cannot stand against tyranny. He called them “Sucker-Republicans.” I think most conservatives today can understand that sentiment. Mr. Regan declared, “We can cringe in the shadow of a philosophy we detest but fear to challenge, or we can rise from a defeat and begin the second round of our struggle to restore the Republic.”

Here in California, conservatives suffocate under the most advanced tyranny that our nation has ever seen, cringing in the shadow of a philosophy we detest. The Republican party heretofore fears to challenge this philosophy in a cohesive, un-splintered way. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times during this campaign season: Republicans have to stop complaining about Biden and the Democrats and show voters what better solutions we offer. We must educate Democrat voters, sometimes to their surprise, that their values clearly align with republicanism and today’s conservative principles.

This is why I have signed my pledge to the Contract to Restore California. Devised and written by Dr. Brad Allen, candidate for CD-24, the Contract is a commitment to California voters by conservative candidates. The Contract states: “We want to help end government that is too big, too intrusive, and utterly irresponsible with the public’s money. Therefore, we the undersigned believe in eight simple principles, and starting on the very first day of the new Congress, we pledge to work to introduce these measures, in order to improve the lives of California’s citizens, and through this, restore the faith and trust of people in their government.”

I invite you to read the 8-point solutions we will bring to California as your representatives in Congress.

As Reagan closed his 1966 speech, he offered a chilling admonition, “To all Republicans today entrusted with this responsibility because it is ours, I say look deep in your own hearts and ask yourselves if you possibly can have any difference with any other Republican but is more important from this challenge that faces us tonight. If you’re unwilling to meet this challenge then you’d better start preparing… deciding what you’ll tell your children it was that you found more important than freedom… they’ll want to know.”

I know what I will be able to tell my children. How will YOU heed Reagan’s words?

Peter Hernandez is a first-generation Mexican-American, born and raised in San Benito County, California, by parents who worked the fields, and he grew up in the agricultural community. He’s running for U.S. Congress in California’s 18th Congressional district.

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