Conservatives are disappointed. Heck, they are mad! The outcome of the 2022 General Election here in Hays County and nationwide was not what we expected, much less wanted. Everyone is looking for a reason and too many are looking for someone or something to blame.

The bottom line is that We Lost The Election!

It was a gut punch, especially for our great incumbents and candidates. Many have walked away from the party in frustration. And lot of people are questioning why bother attending the Annual Lincoln~Reagan Dinner? Why indeed?

The names associated with the event should be reason enough. Lincoln, Reagan and their history with the Republican Party.

Abraham Lincoln is arguably one of the greatest Presidents of all time and absolutely one of the key representatives of long held Republican values. As a Kentucky-born lawyer, Lincoln first rose to fame in 1858 when he ran for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Stephen Douglas. The campaign featured a series of debates which are still studied today and arguably helped launch the young Republican Party into national prominence. While he lost the race for Senate, he prevailed two years later becoming the 16th President of the United States of America.

During Lincoln’s time in office, he was constantly under attack from both sides and ultimately saw the nation become so divided that it led to a Civil War. Yet, he stood firm on his ideals and principles, never giving in or giving up, until he was assassinated in office.

Lincoln gave his life for what he believed.

Reagan’s path was even more interesting. He started his career as an Democrat and an Actor, later becoming the President of the Screen Actors Guild. During his decades in Hollywood, he witnessed first hand the effects of communism and socialism in the screen industry, subsequently becoming a conservative and a major advocate for conservative values. As a result, he was attacked, even vilified, by the industry in which he had spent the majority of his adult life, one he loved so deeply.

In 1966, Reagan was elected Governor of the State of California and won the election to his first term by a margin of over a million votes, despite a major effort by Hollywood actors and executives against his campaign. He was subsequently re-elected Governor in 1970.

In 1980, he was nominated for President by the Republican Party, a race which he won decidedly over incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and for which he was re-elected to a second term. During his two terms, the country saw patriotism and a capitalism driven economy flourish to new levels after having struggled under the previous administration. He also faced and survived an assassination attempt.

Yet, Reagan refused to give up or give in and is revered as one of the greatest Presidents in U.S. history.

The names Lincoln and Reagan signify the resolve and values of the Republican Party. Two great Presidents who never abandoned the fight for what they believed in. Struggles which ultimately led to a better Nation.

Now is not the time to give up. Despite how hard we have all fought, we have still managed to lose ground. How will abandonment or surrender reverse those losses?

Now is the time to double down… To come together… To stand strong in our resolve.

Can we do better? Absolutely. Must we do better? Definitely! But the operative word is “We,” not “Better.”

Don’t expect change unless you are willing to be an agent for it and help lead the charge. If “WE” do not participate in the process then we will get what we deserve.

The Lincoln-Reagan Dinner is the largest single fund raiser held by the Hays County Republican Party. In fact, it tends to be the major fund raiser for most all County Republican Parties across the nation. Without funding, there is very little that can be accomplished in politics. New ideas and new approaches require funding to implement.

Support the Hays County Republican Party and the Conservative Cause in Hays County by attending the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner. But don’t JUST show up to the dinner, stay involved with the Party. Electing great conservative leaders requires more than just showing up to a dinner or to the polls a couple of times in an election year. We all need to be involved and working on the process on a regular basis to achieve needed change.

Defending our country and our values is not a part-time or self-funded process. One way to demonstrate support is to attend the Lincoln~Reagan Dinner. The 2024 campaigns have already started and our candidates cannot restore order to our county, state and country without everyone’s support.

Let your inner Lincoln~Reagan shine. See you at the dinner!

Bob Parks, Chair
Hays County Republican Party