Under President Ronald Reagan, Don Hodel served the nation as Secretary of Interior. On Sunday, Secretary Hodel shared what he saw while serving under President Reagan to Tea Party Patriots across the nation.
A major focus of the discussion, the second of Tea Party Patriots’ Patriot Town Hall series, focused on how Reagan communicated with people. According to Secretary Hodel, Reagan always spoke to his audience. In his famous “A Time for Choosing” speech in 1964, for example, Reagan spoke angrily to the conservative base of the Republican Party about his principles. He modified his approach – but never his principles – during his 1980 run for President, understanding the national mood wanted a person who more temperate of nature.
In 1979, America was in dire straits. Interest rates were high, as was inflation. We were a laughingstock around the world, and the USSR was gaining strength. Unemployment was high, and national morale was very low.
The principles and message of President Reagan were what won him supporters from sea to shining sea. A staunch conservative, Reagan twice served as Governor of California before being elected President. He always spoke to all Americans, not liberals or conservatives, Republicans or Democrats. He understood a politician must serve all, not just preferred constituencies.
This messaging was critical to winning support from young voters. Secretary Hodel pointed out that Reagan won two elections in California in the midst of the Vietnam War and other protests, mostly led by young liberals. As a conservative, he was able to win many of their votes because of his optimism, principles, and style of speaking.
President Reagan also understood something many politicians ignore: raising taxes to reduce federal deficits does not work. The Secretary described a situation in which the President saw a fantastic presentation on why raising taxes to reduce the deficit was a good way to go. When all was said and done, President Reagan merely stated that government never uses extra tax dollars to reduce the deficit – the higher-than-expected revenue always goes to more spending. Over the next few weeks, more Reagan staffers will offer their own advice. Mark Levin, Becky Norton Dunlop, and others will provide insights few others can into the most successful anti-establishment presidency in modern America. Be sure to sign up for these calls at Patriottownhall.com. Also, once you sign up, you can hear Secretary Hodel’s presentation on the site, in case you missed it.