On February 6th, 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born. He was an accomplished actor, starring in over 50 films. He was president of the Screen Actors Guild back when Hollywood was filled with patriotic stars who loved America as much as America loved them. (Boy, that's sure changed, hasn't it?) He was a two-term governor of California back when that state was still worth living in. (That's changed, too.)
And he came along when America needed a real leader after four long, dark, depressing years of Jimmy Carter. And he was just what America needed. Grounded in solid conservative principles, he was a strong leader, both domestically and in world affairs. Though the Democrats tried to hobble him for eight years, and the media relentlessly tried to bring him down, he not only survived, but he prospered and he beat them at their own game. He stood up to unions and to the Communists (OK, that's redundant, I know.) He fought terrorists and sowed the seeds of freedom in a number of countries, from Grenada and Nicaragua to a newly reunified Germany. He brought an end to the Cold War, and he made people feel proud to be Americans. He was also adored overseas by people who wanted to be free. Ronald Reagan was an icon who, in my opinion, belongs on Mt. Rushmore right alongside of the other great presidents carved there for all time.
He was a real man, as I've previously pointed out here and here. But he was genuinely warm and charismatic, and he never seemed to care what his hateful liberal critics said about him behind his back. He knew he was right and he went on to make America great in spite of them.
He could be funny.
He could handle hecklers like few other politicians would ever dare:
He could handle Sam Donaldson:
He understood the role of government and advocated liberty and freedom for our citizens.
And he could be forceful in support of freedom of others.
Here he was in his pre-political days, on the old show "What's My Line?"
And here he was at a 1977 roast for Frank Sinatra.
President Reagan was a leader, a uniter, and a role model for a nation, if not the world. He was never bitter or petty, and he was always proud of this great country and it's citizens. Ronald Reagan never had an unkind word for anyone, and he never forgot his place as America's highest public servant. In his eight years as President, he reportedly never ever took his suit jacket off while in the Oval Office, out of respect for the office. Later, lesser men who followed him (the current occupant of that office in particular) could do well to learn from the examples that he set, both as a President and as a man. Ronald Wilson Reagan made America great again, and every great American will always remember him with pride.