Derek Hankerson on Trump vs. Reagan

Is Donald Trump the return of Ronald Reagan? How are they similar and how do they differ?

Speaking at the Abacoa meeting on Monday, Derek Boyd Hankerson, who was the NE Florida Regional Coordinator for the President in the 2016 election, made the case that they are much more similar than many would admit.

Getting his start in politics for the 1984 Reagan-Bush ticket, he did opposition research for the legendary Lee Atwater. A good start, given that campaign’s 49 state blowout win over Walter Mondale.

Obviously, President Trump is something new in American politics, but he shares with Reagan many characteristics that make both men different from “typical” politicians. Both have roots in the entertainment industry – Trump as producer and star of the Apprentice and many years of beauty pageants, and Reagan as a prolific movie star and television host of “Death Valley Days” and “General Electric Theater”. Both were elected in times when people were calling out for radical change from their far left predecessors. Both were dismissed by the media and other politicians as lightweights who could not win a national election, and both were considered at the same time extreme and simplistic.

The two men shared deep passions and held strong principles and they were persistent in selling their agenda. Both were Democrats before they were Republicans, and both were divorced. On policy, they both favor a strong national defense, protected gun rights, low taxes and fewer regulations. Both believe that America is an exceptional country and would “Make America Great Again”.

Derek then suggested some differences between their presidencies. Trump was a newcomer to politics whereas Reagan had been Governor of California and President of the Screen Actor’s Guild. Significantly in the 36 years between, communications technology has changed enough to provide President Trump an advantage that Reagan lacked – the ability to circumvent the liberal media in a direct way and every day. Trump’s mastery of all types of media, particularly Twitter and cable news, allows him to eliminate the gatekeepers. Furthermore, his showman’s instincts let him “mess up the heads” of his detractors in a way that has never before been practiced.

Derek ended with the goal that we all share – “Trump 2020!”

Dawn Witherspoon

There were several other speakers at this meeting, including Dawn Witherspoon. Dawn’s husband, a local paramedic, was killed in an auto accident by a drunk illegal immigrant from Guatemala. She told a compelling tale of the considerable resources that are available in the area, particularly Jupiter, to aide illegals, but very little assistance is available for their victims. When her husband’s killer was about to be released by a judge on $5000 bond, to then disappear into the illegal community or leave the country, she reached out to Representative Brian Mast who was able to get an ICE hold on him.

Her story is very timely given the recent news of the death of Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. He was also killed by a drunken illegal immigrant, who had also been deported multiple times.

There were also several short remarks from other speakers. Governor candidate Bob White introduced himself. Iris Scheibl spoke about the March election in Palm Beach Gardens that will present 4 changes to the charter – including a weakening of term limits (Vote no on all 4 questions!!). David Caulkett of FLIMEN described for us the upcoming meeting regarding the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. Gardens councilman Matthew Lane spoke about his approach to evaluating city contracts.

Upcoming meetings will include a forum for Governor candidates on April 2, and the Tax Day Tea Party rally in Wellington on 4/15.

  • Bob White Bob White Candidate for Governor
  • Iris Scheibl Iris Scheibl Spoke on Gardens Charter Election
  • David Caulkett Spoke on Florida Constitution Review David Caulkett
  • Matthew Lane Matthew Lane Gardens Councilman


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