Sunday, February 06, 2011

Thinking About Ronald Reagan:
On 100th Birthday, He's
Remembered For Good Reason

by Lou Cannon - February 1st, 2011 - Politics Daily

On the eve of Ronald Reagan's election as president of the United States in 1980, a radio reporter asked him what it was that Americans saw in him. Reagan hesitated and then replied: "Would you laugh if I told you that I think maybe they see themselves and that I'm one of them?"

Thirty years and four presidents later, Americans still see themselves in Reagan. In a Gallup poll in 2009 they ranked Reagan as the best president, just ahead of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.

This highly generous assessment is based on more than likeability. Reagan left the world safer and the United States more prosperous than he found it.

This is an excellent article about Ronald Reagan the conservative by Lou Cannon the Liberal.

One of the more interesting points made in the article is the history of how Reagan was savaged, not just by Liberals, but by the Republican leadership of the time. William F. Buckley, George Will, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Henry Kissinger and numerous others opposed Reagan at various times and ridiculed him as not qualified for office. As he was famous for doing, he never held a grudge against any of them. He never joined them in the gutter politics. He allowed their insults to slide off him and was courteous and generous in return. That did not mean he did not defend himself from their attacks. He simply did not let an attack define the future.

That talent is perhaps one of the important aspects of why he is so loved today. He was always focused on the future, not the past. He loved our nation for what it was. A place where merit allowed you to get ahead. Not where government carried you but where government provided a level playing field. He understood that bureaucrats were always evil, even corrupt, so he worked to limit their power. That simple philosophy provided for the greatest economic boom since the roaring twenties.

At the same time he brilliantly opposed the Soviet Union and won the Cold War without firing a shot.

Sarah Palin is another maverick both opposed by Republican leadership and ridiculed by the left -- even as Reagan was in his day. I think it is interesting that she has summed up the flaw in the constant search by Republicans for another 'Ronald Reagan'. Reagan, said Palin, "was one of a kind, and you're not going to find his kind again."


Post a Comment

<< Home