Saturday, February 05, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday, Mr. President

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.


  1. "...he never forgot his place as America's highest public servant." It's sad that our "leaders" today have forgotten that to lead you must serve others and not just yourself.

  2. Sometimes I forget how much I miss men like him.. I was fortunate enough to, at 18 and a brand-new voter, cast my ballot for him.. He was wonderful in so many ways.. :)

  3. He was my favorite President! I wrote him a letter once as a kid asking about his horses & ranch in Texas. And he actually sent a hand-written letter back to me and included several photos of his horses & ranch (even wrote the names of the horses on the back of the photos!!). I will never forget that!

  4. He never forgot... And he was always a gentleman. Those are things that many would do well to emulate. It's no wonder he is the favorite president of our generation.

  5. In all my research into Reagan it is hard to did someone that didn't like him on a personal level. That being said, I've spent most of my life trying to undue the damage his policies have done to the country.

  6. NE,

    I welcome you to try to show us "harm" that President Reagan's policies have caused this country.

    And please do not cite legislation that was passed by the Democrat-controlled House and Senate. The question is, what did President Reagan do that adversely affects you today?

  7. NE,

    Sorry to have to paraphrase your response, but you enclosed a link to a rather unflattering article about President Reagan that doesn't even address this discussion and this is neither the place nor the time for that. Since I could not edit your response to omit just the link, I'll have to address the points that you attempted to make.

    First off, I challenged you to explain how you were adversely affected by President Reagan's policies. If you were, it should not be hard to explain, as those of us who have been adversely affected by Barack Obama's policies routinely demonstrate here and on other blogs I post links to. But your reply was so vague as to completely lack substance. You merely stated that “Reaganomics and extreme deregulation” were bad for the country, and you seemed to expect that your statement would somehow prove itself. What are you talking about exactly, and again, how has it made life harder for you personally?
    But you went further. You claim that he demonetized “government, taxes, the poor, the homeless, drugs, gays, education, the environment and social justice (whatever the hell that is).” Now let's be honest...did he really do all that? I have to ask, are you even old enough to really remember President Reagan, and what life was like before he took office? Or are you just getting this stuff from some other source like HuffPo? But let's take those individually.

    Government and taxes? Some is necessary, but excessive amounts of either are problematic for a free people, and he spoke out against excessive amounts, advocating for small government that helps those truly in need and stays out of the way of the rest.

    The Poor? When did he ever criticize the poor for being poor? If anything, he wanted the poor to be able to rise into the middle class or higher, and he understood that for this to happen, they had to get off the government teat and the government needed to quit taxing them and their potential employers senseless.

    Drugs. Seriously? Are you even going to try to say that illegal drugs aren't a bad thing? Come on...

    Gays. When did he ever say anything about gays? Homosexuality was hardly an issue back then. I suspect that you're just grabbing at pet liberal causes now and attributing opposition to them to Reagan gratuitously.

    Education and the environment? Reagan was actually a supporter of both. He just wanted unions out of the former and the government out of the latter. But he was for both issues, and he was a champion of the environment and our national lands. He saw nothing wrong with responsibly utilizing their resources though, the keyword being “responsibly”. As an avid outdoorsman, he spoke often of the role of government as a steward of our land.

    Social justice. WTF is that? And what was it in the 1980s? And how did Reagan oppose it?

    Again, NE. I have to think that you weren't here or weren't old enough to understand in the early 1980's. But you're in good company as most of Reagan's critics today are either people who were failures back then in spite of the opportunities that Reagan's policies helped create for businesses and investors, or young people who listen to people who were failures back then. Sadly, many of today's college professors are members of that first category, so if that's where you're getting your information, I'll grant you a pass until you've had time to check into it a little deeper.

  8. See this is where the article would come in handy because it helped explain a lot of those points. It's from The Atlantic, which does solid and serious reporting for itself and doesn't copy the most sensational articles it can find like the Huffington Post.

    I don't blame you if you don't want to read about stuff like this on your hero's birthday. By your response, it looks like this might your first time taking a critical look at President Reagan. It is going to take me some time to figure out how to present this information in a way you don't find insulting.

  9. NE, I'm not asking for other people's thoughts. I'm asking for yours. Specifically, how have you personally been harmed by President Reagan's policies?

    And what exactly is "social justice", because that one still throws me.

  10. Give it up, me.. NE has lived too long under a false delusion and will never be able to have an open mind towards anything other than a liberal based line of rhetortic on which they base their entire lives on..
    It's really rather sad if you think about it.. To be so lost..

  11. Sad but true, JM. But Ronald Reagan worked hard to make it so that NE could better himself without being over-regulated and over-taxed as well. What I think that NE doesn't understand is that Reagan created security and prosperity for all of us, including NE.

  12. To admit that to himself would shake his belief system to the core.. If he has lived his life to 'undo' the 'wrongs' that were done 'by Reagan', I'm certain that concept will never be one he can even entertain as a possibility.. Doing so would mean that maybe, just maybe, his entire life has been a farce..

  13. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE his comment to Sam Donaldson!! Yes, some of the blame belongs to me "Because for many years I was a Democrat." Classic!

  14. I have never really understood why liberals insist upon clinging to their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence that their policies fail. I was once a knee-jerk liberal--after all, their way just ~sounds~ more compassionate and loving (at first)--but then I read studies on this and that and you just can't ignore the evidence. I know people do, but why persist in error when you can discard that and be RIGHT?? And not just think you're right, but actually be right?

  15. Didn't take time to read the entire latest rant from NE..
    But, he made some reference to the 'falsehood' of Welfare Queens and I couldn't let that one go by..
    I worked in 'welfare' for 7 years.. At the end, I was supervising 4 counties and had access to welfare records back to the 30's.. Many of the last names (all female) that were receiving welfare due to an 'absent father' in the 30's were the same last names (all female) of the ones receiving it in the 90's.. So, being nosy, I did a little study. Of the people receiving welfare in the 30's, 92% of their female descendants were on welfare.. Learned "Sorriness" seems to be all that welfare offers...
    So, I changed careers.. :)
    Oh, and then our state enacted a time limit on welfare to the cries of 'children will be starving in the street!' from the liberals..
    Um, not so much.. Actually, 10 years later, the welfare rolls are drastically reduced and the intervention from protective services (child abuse) hasn't risen a bit.. Hmmm..

  16. Just Me.., I actually took the time to read your whole post, and the research you did sounds very interesting. Are you saying that of the female citizens on welfare in in the 1930s, 92% of their female descendants are on welfare *today* or rather a generation later? If you can back up your story with the right evidence I guarantee you your study could get published. Also, don't jump to conclusions by simply looking at policy changes and the number of people on welfare. Several other factors (namely the national economy) come into play when analyzing welfare and correlation does not always mean causation.

    Anyway, Reagan was specifically talking about welfare fraud as an excuse to cut welfare. This was during the late 70s recession and people were looking for ways to cut spending. I called his portrayal welfare queens a falsehood because:

    1. The example he used was made up and not a real person. This was confirmed by Reagan's staff, but a lot of people took it literally.

    2. Welfare fraud is not a serious problem. A five year study into welfare by The House Ways and Means Committee's Department of Health and Human Services in 1991 found that less than 5% of all welfare benefits went to people not entitled to them and this includes simple paperwork and filing mistakes committed by the agency itself.

    3. Most economists then and most economist now agree that certain forms welfare like food stamps are one of the best ways to stimulate the economy. Here is a recent article on it:

    Reagan seemed to be misrepresenting the economical benefits of cutting welfare for partisan reasons.

    4. Always describing the welfare queen as being from the "south-side of Chicago" is a pretty obvious racial dog whistle and it has become part of some bad stereotypes that persist till today. However, whites have always been on the welfare rolls in higher percentages than any other race. Any welfare statistic will show that.