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Where is the new Ronald Reagan?

Where is the new Ronald Reagan?

For the most part, the Republican Party has generally represented my conservative views – domestically on limited government, lower taxes and maximum personal freedoms.  In terms of foreign policy my conservative principles lean to the advancement of democracy, our national interests, our national security and our cultural goodness (American Exceptionalism).

In modern times, I considered President Reagan as the best representative of my values.  Not only was he correct on principle, but he also carried out one of the most successful foreign policies of any modern president.

What we have in Washington today is dysfunctional chaos – and it is not only coming from Republicans, as the leftwing media asserts.  Nothing reveals the dysfunction more than the question of reforming and funding the immigrations system and providing military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. 

To me, those expenditures are existential to our own security.  And we are not alone.  The democracies of the world — especially NATO – are part of the essential defense against aggressive authoritarian communism. We should not only be part of that team, but we should be leading it.

My constant criticism of President Biden is based on his too little/too late policy on top of his surrender to the Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan, his reluctance to address Iran and his flip-flopping on Israel.  He says the right thing — talks tough – and if his actions matched his rhetoric, I would be more complimentary of his policies.  In my judgment, Biden is weakening American leadership in a world in which America has been — and needs to be – the existential leader of the world democracies.

While the media narrative myopically focuses on divisions in the Republican Party – and they do exist – less attention is paid to the division on the Democrat side.  The anti-Israel, antisemitic faction of the Democratic Party seems much larger and more influential in the Party than do the MAGA folks in the Republican Party.  The comparative size and influence of the agents of discourse between the two parties can be debated, but without a productive outcome.  So, what about the GOP.

To a conservative who believes in America, I am dismayed by the anti-American – including our allies — sentiment on the left.  Most observers believe that it was the power of the antisemitic faction of the Democratic Party that had Biden walking away from his initial strong defense of Israel.

We have an element in the Republican Party – most closely aligned to President Trump – whose policies are even more inexplicable to me than the Democrats’ policies.  Unlike the leftwing Democrat establishment, the Republican Party has been the bulwark against authoritarian expansion. We have been clear that despots like Putin, Xi, Kim and the lesser tinhorn tyrants are the enemies of democracy, free market capitalism and the inalienable rights of the people.

I am amazed and saddened to see those in the Republican Party lose their zeal to defend democracy.  I am perplexed that they do not see America’s obvious national security interest in defeating Putin and Hamas – and addressing the foundational Iran problem.

The idea that we and our allies would not – and should not – support Israel and Ukraine with all the money and weapons they need to defeat Hamas and Putin is as boneheaded as a policy can be.  We need to do our part to provide such support – and to use our influence to encourage others to do so.

And yes, immigration reform and getting control of the border are critically important issues.  We need to do that, too.  And we have more than enough money to do it all.  Oh … It might take wringing the waste and corruption out of the federal budget.  It may mean cutting back or eliminating unessential programs.

Most members of Congress support aid to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and funding the border.  BUT … when the border bill passed by the House and sent on to the Senate, Majority Leader Schumer used his power to bury the bill – not even a hearing.   If the Senate wants to put all the funding in one package, House Speaker Johnson says it is dead on arrival.  Senators allegedly agree to a bipartisan bill, but senators on both sides refuse to support it on the merits.  Rejection of the bill is more bipartisan than the alleged agreement.

They should forget about the nuances of congressional political in-fighting.  If they can combine the funding bill for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and the border into one package, great.  Do it and pass it.  If they need to break them down into separate bills, okay.  Just pass them.  That is what responsible leaders in Washington would do.  Which makes it obvious that they are not acting responsibly.

And as much as I am critical of the anti-Israel sentiment in the Democratic Party, I am exceedingly upset with the pro-Russian caucus in Congress and among Republican leaders.  Do they really want Putin to take over Ukraine despite all the damage that does to American leadership and security?

The NATO alliance has been an essential force in preventing future European-based world wars.  Thanks to NATO, the nations of Europe have been at peace with each other longer than any time in the past several hundred years.  Trump’s reckless talk about NATO is not helpful – although I do not believe he would pull the United States out.  He seems to use provocative language to get all the member nations to live up to their financial commitments.  And that is not a bad request.  Obviously, Trump understands that more money would strengthen NATO. Trump has been successful in the past where his predecessors have tried and failed.  It is one of Trump’s positive achievements as President.

It should not need persuasion to convince the folks in Washington that Putin if a very bad guy.  He has made Russia the enemy of the United States and all that we stand for — at least all of us who believe in conservative principles and values, and in the importance of America’s proactive world leadership. 

I simply do not understand people who claim to be Republicans, conservatives and good Americans and cannot draw the distinction between the historic mission of the United States and those who engage in aggressive and violent hostility against the moral foundation of Americanism.

We often hear that one of the strengths of America is that the right leaders rise in times of particular trouble and turmoil. That is being put to the test today.  Since I consider Reagan the best President of my lifetime (FDR to Biden), I seek another Reagan – or at least someone who can unite the country and re-establish the meaning and reality of American exceptionalism.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Wes Kussmaul

    Her name is Liz Cheney.

  2. Frank stetson

    +1,Wes. Funny too.

    Given Reagan’s 11th commandment, she and most other Republicans don’t cut it.

    My vote is Newsom :-). Oh no, that’s our next JFK….

    • Jim wampler

      Newsome is the next Castro

    • Joe Gilbertson

      maybe the next Neville Chamberlain

  3. Darren

    Why would anyone think making America Great is a bad thing!
    NO ONE on either side gave Trump a chance!

    • Joseph S. Bruder

      Reagan (Joe Gilbertson’s hero) was the first in a line of Republicans that preached conservatism (whatever that’s supposed to be), but spent money like drunken sailors, ran up deficits, and actively ignored the law when it suited them. Reagan started the courtship of the racists and religious zealots. They courted the rich and demonized the poor.

      Reagan’s warlike cabinet members contaminated both Bush administrations (Cheney and Rumsfeld) and Republicans (like Newt Gingrich) started “gaming the system” to get elected.

      Reagan wouldn’t even qualify as a Republican these days. The culmination of the party is Donald Trump, who gave up any semblance of conservatism, blatantly gave handouts to the rich, and used racists and evangelicals to crush minorites and the poor whenever they could. He already dominates the Republican Party by stealing their money, demanding fealty, and threatening anyone who crosses him. He has taken over the Republican Party (a bunch of pussies) and if unchecked, would gladly emulate Putin and Hitler and become a dictator, first in the US and then the world. Fortunately, democracy is stronger and will relegate him to the “almost rans” of history.

      The Republican Party is nothing but Trump-fluffing cowards at this point. Let’s hope they go the way of the No-Nothing Party, who they closely resemble.

      • bill

        You have obviously been sleeping for the past 9 years otherwise you would understand that Trump as president was the best thing to happen to our country but was clearly not able to deliver all his campaign promises because he was constantly slammed with impeachments and investigations by the democrats. This was clearly the democrats defense to keep him from exposing the truth to the American people. that Obama and the democrats had hidden the truth about transforming the United States. The open borders, never ending wars and giving away our country’s wealth has been exposed under Biden and the democrats are seriously afraid of a second Trump presidency. Trump knows where he made mistakes exposing the swamp and now has a clear path to destroying the deep state and they know it. Do some research, the problem started in 1963 with the assassination of JFK because he like Trump saw the problem. Eventually the truth will come out that LBJ played a very big part in the 1963 assassination which is why the full Warren Report has never been released.

  4. larry Horist

    Joseph S Bruder … Your assessment of arguably the most popular President of the 20th Century appears to come from a bitterly extremist leftwing mind. It is an opinion not shared by most historians and the vast majority of those not so intellectually compromised. And your misguided reference to the No-Nothing Party demonstrates an ignorance of history. There is no comparison. Totally different issues.

    • Joseph S. Bruder

      “…arguably the most popular President of the 20th Century” – Yeah, right. Not even in the top half of the 20th century. He’ll continue to drop in polls as people realize the damage to the US that he put in motion. And Biden will move up – he’s already above Reagan, and hasn’t even finished his term.

      Latest ranking of Presidents:
      1. Abraham Lincoln, 93.87
      2. Franklin D. Roosevelt, 90.83
      3. George Washington, 90.32
      4. Theodore Roosevelt, 78.58
      5. Thomas Jefferson, 77.53
      6. Harry S. Truman, 75.34
      7. Barack Obama, 73.8
      8. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 73.73
      9. Lyndon B. Johnson, 72.86
      10. John F. Kennedy, 68.37
      11. James Madison, 67.16
      12. Bill Clinton, 66.42
      13. John Adams, 62.66
      14. Joe Biden, 62.66
      15. Woodrow Wilson, 61.8
      16. Ronald Reagan, 61.62
      17. Ulysses S. Grant, 60.93
      18. James Monroe, 60.15
      19. George H.W. Bush, 58.54
      20. John Quincy Adams, 55.41
      21. Andrew Jackson, 54.7
      22. Jimmy Carter, 54.26
      23. William H. Taft, 51.67
      24. William McKinley, 51.23
      25. James K. Polk, 49.83
      26. Grover Cleveland, 48.31
      27. Gerald Ford, 46.09
      28. Martin Van Buren, 45.46
      29. Rutherford B. Hayes, 41.15
      30. James Garfield, 40.98
      31. Benjamin Harrison, 40.64
      32. George W. Bush, 40.43
      33. Chester A. Arthur, 39.61
      34. Calvin Coolidge, 39.38
      35. Richard Nixon, 36.41
      36. Hebert Hoover, 34.08
      37. John Tyler, 32.99
      38. Zachary Taylor, 32.97
      39. Millard Fillmore, 30.033
      40. Warren G. Harding, 27.76
      41. William Henry Harrison, 26.01
      42. Franklin Pierce, 24.6
      43. Andrew Johnson, 21.56
      44. James Buchanan, 16.71
      45. Donald Trump, 10.92

      As far as the No-Nothings – it’s EXACTLY like the the modern Republican Party. Their focus was immigration, except the immigrants of the day were Irish and German Catholics (it was the 1840 and 1850’s, after all). They used religion to pit Irish and German Protestants against the catholics. Later they opposed Chinese immigration in San Francisco, and barred immigrants from jobs in Chicago. They called themselves “nativists” (ironically ignoring that the real Natives were American Indians) compared to today’s ‘muricans and won their first elections by promising to “crack down on crime” – that’s the Trump/Republican dog-whistle to a T. If you can’t see the similarities, you have absolutely no self-awareness (but along with a lack of a sense of humor, we already knew that).

      • larry Horist

        Joseph S Bruder….. LMAO. Your list has the two most racist presidents of the 20th Century ahead of Reagan. FDR and Woodrow Wilson. They even put white supremacist FDR ahead of Washington. Who made up your list? The Democratic National Committee with help from the KKK? Or a bunch leftwing college professors? Thanks for bringing a little laughter into my day. LOL

        • frank Stetson

          Horist: makes you wonder what Reagan did so poorly that moved him behind a couple of racists. Twas 154 scholars from the APSA, takes a second to find, so you can be the judge on methodology rather than just bloviate.


          You harp on FDR, tossing the term white sumremacist because he appeased Dixiecrats on numerous issues to get things like The New Deal done. You have noted even The New Deal is racist, systemic for sure, as are most things. We get it, he bent over to get votes for things.

          One might ask why did it take the great emancipator three years into the civil war to announce his proclamation? Why did the war start as being about succession? Why did Lincolm begin his career against slavery’s expansion, but not calling for emancipation? Why did the emancipation proclamation cover succession states but not border state slavery? Why did Lincoln preclude succession states that the North had taken by 1863 from emancipation?

          Context Horist, context. Lincoln is still The Great Emancipator IMO and FDR is the architect of the modern Democratic Party ushering in valuable social programs to set the platform for the Federal Government of the future.


    A Horist is a Horist, of course, of course,
    And no one can talk to a Horist of course
    That is, of course, unless the Horist is the famous Mr. Larry.

    I voted for Reagan, one term, not the second, oh no, no, no. I voted for him as uniter and communicator and still feel only Reagan could do that. I also feel as Horist said, that America, in voting, has selected Presidents that seem to be the right man for the job for the time and one who often rises above expectations. Even Trump sent America the message that we are really upset at each other over many things. A real rift that has been brewing for a decade or two. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure I will not say that for the next election no matter who wins showing how badly America is faltering. Back to Reagan. I think he did unite us, and Horist did show me the wall stuff was planned, thought about, and while I still say they had little clue Russia was economically collapsing, a high stakes risk that worked. Bravo. However, the greatest generation took 35 years to bring our debt down, Reagan changed all that starting the upwards trajectory that stands to ruin us today. Trickle down has some short-term advantages, it has a place, but is a total failure as a long-term strategy. Bush Sr. had to bail him out in the next term. Read my lips.

    But Reagan is dead, his dream is not the maga dream, and Horist lives in the past with his weird bullet point ideology that makes little sense, and more importantly, is not achieved very often by Republican actions. Sounds sweet though to say: “domestically on limited government, lower taxes and maximum personal freedoms.” But most of it is so simplistic as to not make logical sense. A throwback to the past, it means little for the present and nothing for the future. Ideology should be more than a few catch phrases and sound bites. But if ideolgy is a poster statement, it should make sense. More on that in the next tome. Have a nice day because it’s the future. Nice poster……


    Mr Horist notes: ‘my conservative views – domestically on limited government, lower taxes and maximum personal freedoms.”

    I get the limited government part however would argue that the Constitution puts limits on the powers of the Federal Government, builds separation between State and Federal governments and leaves all things unmentioned, up to the States. Moving power to the States is not “limited government,” it’s limiting what the Federal Government does as in the central government, not what the government does as State and Local can pick up the rest. Constitutionally.

    The Constitution also limits government by granting the people the right to change the government. So, it’s not so much calling for limited government and it’s more for putting limitations on the Federal government. Most often such powers are granted to State governments instead. Again, that’s not exactly limited government, that’s passing the buck to the States. But I get it, sounds sweet, makes a great bullet point, and who can argue with “less is more?”

    The next one, lower taxes, is just impractical, it’s not logical, it does not even pass a simple sniff test. I mean no matter where taxes are, Horist feels we need to lower taxes? Talk about a softball. Raise your hand if you favor higher taxes, in general. In Florida, where there is no income tax, does lower taxes mean that Florida has to pay you money :>) Lower taxes is not in the Constitution either. Not in the Bill of Rights. But who can argue with wanting to lower taxes? Who jumps up and say can I pay more taxes? And let’s face it, Republican actions here have been terrible in regards to taxing including the worst gdp/debt ratio ever, the highest debt in one term, ever, and so on and so on. I still say GB Sr was right to “read my lips” and raise taxes. A Republican patriot and hero. The thought, while everyone agrees it’s great, does not make practical sense and Republican actions bespeak that. Horist has set a goal he has failed his entire life at. It makes a great bullet point but really does not make sense. Especially if you lower taxes while raising deficits and debt which IS the Republican way historically.

    The last one: “maximum personal freedoms,” just does not make sense either. What’s the difference between freedom and “maximum personal freedoms?” Isn’t anything less than “maximum,” just not being free? He speaks in code here, it sounds pretty much like “totally awesome freedoms, man,” but means little except in code. Who does not want to be “more free” at the max, totally. But really, isn’t there just free and not free. Isn’t less than maximum freedom just not being free? And again, many Republican actions push hard against freedoms, more so every day. Abortion bans. Book bans. Don’t say gay. Trans bans. Drag show bans. Muslim bans. University diversity bans and many more. “Radically bodacious freedoms, bro.”

    I actually liked much, not all, but much of the rest of this Horist-play, seemed fair and balanced. I do take issue with a couple; I may detail later. But the story does not prove his major point, the beginning soundbite, which is somewhat undecipherable tripe to begin with as a bullet point list Horist has probably developed and used over the decades. Probably has not really read it himself lately. Perhaps time to relook the core and rephrase the result. Perhaps “domestically mentally-limited government representatives, lower taxes – higher debt, and maximum personal freedoms bans” is a good start for Horist, IMO, wink-wink, nudge-nudge :>) (just trying to signal joke to the humor impaired Horist). But then again, that’s just me putting words in the Horist’s mouth so probably not really the gift of what Horist wants either :>)

    Go right to the source and ask the Horist
    He’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse.
    He’s always on a steady course.
    Talk to Mr. Larry