Mark Schenck Contributing columnist
March 27, 2014
Just recently, a great Statesman was called home. With little notice by the major news media, former Florida Governor Reubin Askew passed away at age 85.
Askew was a Democrat yet notably more conservative than some of today’s Republicans. He was pro-life on abortion, against the nuclear freeze, (disarmament), and stood against the right of homosexuals to work as teachers. Askew also stood with President Ronald Reagan’s decision to invade Grenada in 1983.
Askew fought vigorously for transparency in government. He tried three times to get the legislature to pass a bill requiring financial disclosure by public officials. When they did not, he used a provision of the state’s constitution and collected enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot. And in 1976 Florida voters passed the “Sunshine Amendment” by 78 percent. It calls for full financial disclosure by public officials and candidates, a ban on gifts to legislators, and prohibits former officials from lobbying for two years after leaving office.
One of the best kept secrets of the modern age is that President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, usually remembered by historical revisionists as a “liberal” was actually one of the most fiscally conservative presidents ever to hold the office. In fact, he was so conservative, that he was actually the father of the distinctly conservative economic doctrine that later came to be known as “supply side economics.”
But wait — wasn’t Ronald Reagan the father of supply side economics? Wasn’t it Reagan, who is widely recognized by both liberals and conservatives as the iconic conservative of the modern age, who first came up with supply side economics as the best method of stimulating a sick economy? It was indeed Reagan who institutionalized supply side economics and branded it as part of his central theme. But no, it was in fact JFK, who first clearly understood the power of this policy to create widespread prosperity for all Americans and used it with great success. Whether original or duplicated, both great presidents came up with the same economic policy that produced some of the best years of prosperity our country has ever experienced. Now granted Reubin Askew and John F. Kennedy were Democrats in the truer sense as their party had not yet been taken over by the progressive Socialists that seem to be in control today. The Democratic Party of today under President Barack Obama and his administration continue to take our country down the road towards Socialism. A road that is littered with wreckage from so many other societies which have tried similar failed ventures.
If the current administration’s intent is to “change” the U.S. to a Socialist government then they are doing a first-class job with their Obamacare and the Common Core Curriculum, for starters. If the intent is prosperity for American citizens then I would hope they’d follow the economic example of two great presidents, John F. Kennedy and Ronald W. Reagan. All it would take is someone in the current administration to explore the contents of a few history books.
Mark Schenck is chairman of the Scotland County Republican Party.