What happens at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley does not happen by accident.
It is no accident that the library itself is on a hill like the crow’s nest on a ship, pointing the way to future.
The choice of post-2020 election speakers at the library is no accident either. From former House Speaker Paul Ryan to former Vice President Mike Pence, they are GOP luminaries who are in pivotal positions to help reinvent Reaganism for the 21st century. And they are essential players as the Republican Party positions itself for what increasingly looks like a transition, albeit a bumpy one, to a post-Trump era.
We’ll save the Monday morning quarterbacking on the future of Trump and Trumpism for the future.
The purpose of this editorial is to point out that at this moment, the Reagan Library is playing an extraordinarily important role in charting the future course of American politics. It is in some ways a mirror of the role that the 40th President played in keeping America on track after the turbulence of the 1970s.
The Pence and Ryan speeches were important for what they did say about one vision of the GOP going forward. This vision incorporates: A profound belief in the future of American democracy and its ability to deliver a message of hope to the world; a belief in responsible fiscal policy and budgets, and policies that enable the private sector to create jobs; and a validation of the 2020 results and recognition for the concept of a peaceful transfer of power — even if that recognition came at great personal peril to Pence on Jan. 6, just six months ago.
As we write these words it is likely that former President Trump’s corporate empire, his CFO and perhaps others in The Trump Organization will face indictment on tax fraud and other charges. There is a civil war raging within the GOP between Trump allies and foes.
It is always possible that Trump will make a return run at being a candidate and attempt to earn the second term that he claims was wrongly denied him.
The Reagan Library has spoken with its speaker lineup and, from its crow’s nest, it is plotting a course toward a new day for the GOP. If the GOP wins back the House in 2022, leaders like Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will be looking for innovative ideas and inspiration.
They would be wise to pay attention to what the Reagan Library is up to — and what its speakers have to say over the next 18 months.
A FITTING HONOR
You might say that the late Reverend Ruben Franklin Tate, Jr., was an archetype for Black leadership on the Central Coast. A veteran, civil rights advocate and respected community leader, he was a quiet trailblazer in San Luis Obispo County.
Tate, who died in 2019, served 20 years in the Air Force, graduated from Allan Hancock College and lived in Paso Robles where he worked for the Postal Service and was pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Paso Robles. He also served on the local school board.
Legislation introduced by U.S. Rep Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, proposed naming a post office in Paso Robles after him. That seems like worthy recognition for his legacy of service.