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He would've been 99 today

A man whose greatness as President becomes more evident each day that Barack Obama spends in the Oval Office:

Even Reagan's bitterest critics, by contrast, would agree that the Gipper was superb at bringing the country together in times of national grief and on occasions of solemn remembrance. His address on the night of the Challenger explosion in 1986 was a defining moment for a generation; so, too, was his speech at the Normandy cliffs on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. Gesturing to elderly Army veterans, the President declared, "These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent"--as an enthralled world watched in misty-eyed admiration.

But Reagan was vastly more than a scene-setter and speechmaker. He was a great president, one of America's greatest. During his eight years in office, inflation and interest rates fell from their double-digit levels, even as the nation's economic output grew by a third. He appointed center-right judges who helped restore order and sanity to our legal system, initiating a process that reduced crime and ended egregious legal insults to common sense.

He rebuilt our military, a group that had been demoralized after Vietnam. In the late 70s, the United States had ships that couldn't sail, planes that couldn't fly and soldiers and sailors who were on food stamps. In the 80s, Reagan changed all that. He built the mightiest military in the world with improved manpower and the best equipment in the world that faced down the Soviets from a position of superior strength. The Reagan defense buildup has been the backbone of today's military, which has defended America and its allies for the last quarter-century.

Overseas, Reagan's achievements were even more remarkable. Working through agents and allies, the president beat the Soviets in Afghanistan, without the loss of a single American G.I. His leadership set the stage for the fall of the Berlin Wall, thus imploding the Soviet Union and ending the Cold War.

Did he make mistakes? Sure. But when he did, he took responsibility and fixed the problem, without wallowing in self-pity. And all the while, he demonstrated a personal probity that never left anyone wondering if the man in the Oval Office was keeping faith with the people who had put their faith in him.

James Pinkerton, the author of the piece, goes on to write of what Reagan would do if he were in office today.

A must read.



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Comments (8)

Unfortunately, the ruling t... (Below threshold)

Unfortunately, the ruling triumvirate of Barry, Pelosi and Reid can't see the forest for the trees. They're answer to ever problem is MORE GOVERNMENT!

As a longtime Democrat, I d... (Below threshold)

As a longtime Democrat, I did not vote for President Reagan either time. However, even during his re-election bid, I could see that he was going into the history books as a great President because of the positive things that he had already done for the country and for the world. Young people who don't remember what it was like living with the various threats from the USSR can't appreciate what Reagan did. And unless you've talked to people from Eastern Europe who lived under the oppressive Soviet regime - as I have - you can't appreciate what Reagan did.

When you look at the quality of the political leadership we have today, it's hard to believe that this was once a great country. How did we sink so low that the best this country can produce is Bush v. Gore, Bush v. Kerry, and McCain v. Obama? What has happened to us that the Speaker of the House is Nancy Pelosi?

There once was a time when we had a President who was a giant among men: we had Reagan. Thank God. I wish we could find another like him.

The difference for me is th... (Below threshold)

The difference for me is that Reagan believed in the greatness of the common man living under freedom. Obama condescends to (and perhaps even distains) the common man. He sees the common man as unenlightened and therefore unworthy of or cannot be trusted with freedom.

David, in your comment, I c... (Below threshold)

David, in your comment, I can't agree more. There's a quote from Obama in my link where Obama says: "It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant".

Obama eschews America's common man, while at the same time says we need to build a consensus.

"It's morning in America". ... (Below threshold)

"It's morning in America". Ah! To have a positive voice in the White House instead of someone who goes around "confessing" how awful america is. I miss you Ronnie. ww

I disagree with your openin... (Below threshold)

I disagree with your opening statement, that even Reagan's bitterest critics gave him credit for uniting the country during rough times. I was a Liberal when Reagan was in office, and there was nothing Reagan could have done, ever, that would have made me think well of him. Same is true of all the people I associated with. Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but even looking beyond my immediate sphere I don't recall such concessions from any of the columnists or pundits that I followed in those days. During that stage of my life I hated him, and hate is neither merciful nor forgiving. I hated his tribute to the Challenger astronauts. I hated his cabinet. I hated his supporters.

On the other hand, I also now know that hate does not have to be permanent...

Amazing and my dad would ha... (Below threshold)

Amazing and my dad would have ben 100 on the first of this month

God shut down DC for Reagan... (Below threshold)
chsw Author Profile Page:

God shut down DC for Reagan's 99th birthday. I think that he would have been pleased.







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