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Reagan's Legacy: The good, then and now

Iíve been talking with friends and co-workers about the passing of Ronald Reagan, and it amazes me how much difference a decade or so can make. I work with a couple people who are 10-15 years younger, and to them Reagan is literally already a part of history. But I was 13 when he became president, and I do remember a few details of what life was like back then.

Then, the biggest fear of most Americans was the destruction of most of the country by nuclear war. Today, we fear the damaging of one of our cities by a terrorist attack.

Then, unemployment, interest rates, and inflation were all into double digits. Today, all are in single digits.

Then, we were upset because gas prices had recently doubled. Today, weíre upset because theyíve recently gone up about a third or so.

Then, most of the Middle East hated us because we were seen as weak and ineffectual. Today, most of the Middle East hates us because we are seen as too strong and much too effective at doing that what we declare we will do.

Then, we worried that the Russians were going to conquer the world. Today, we worry that the Russians will sell their few remaining nuclear weapons and other military assets to terrorists and pissant rogue nations.

Then, drunk driving was viewed as a source of humor. Today, Itís a stigma.

Now, Iím not saying that Reaganís presidency was all sunshine and roses, with happiness and jelly beans for all. But one thing that can be laid at his feet is that the threats and dangers we face has been reduced by several levels of magnitude.

For that, we all should offer his widow the thanks of a grateful nation.


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