Waiting for Reagan

So, who is that hero? Republicans agree that it must be someone who can move the entire discussion into the future and away from the past. This leader must convey our party’s most essential beliefs in a way that is meaningful to all Americans: young and old; straight and gay; black and white; Spanish-speaking and Chinese-speaking; people living in cities, suburbs, and rural America, and people from coast to coast and every inch in between. Our next leader must be able to articulate a belief in America’s unique role in the world that is as relevant today as it was when our nation was founded. He or she must make clear that when the men and women of our military are on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other fronts as well, our entire nation is at war, and we must live as a nation at war. We must value our freedoms and thank those who are dying to preserve it…

Most Republicans I spoke to agreed that it would take a new leader, as opposed to any one of the politicians on the national stage today rising to the occasion. Many believe our best hopes lie in proving grounds like New Jersey and Virginia, where candidates might offer a fresh playbook for winning in (now) Blue America. And maybe our next hero is serving in a state legislature somewhere. That wouldn’t be the end of the world. At least we have a theme song.