Thursday, February 06, 2014

Happy Birthday, President Reagan

Today marks the birthday of Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th president of the United States of America.

Reagan became president when the United States was in a period of great stress, just after the tenure of Jimmy Carter. Inflation and interest rates were in double digits and unemployment was close to 7%, taxes were at an all time high, America's foreign policy and international prestige were reeling from the Iranian hostage crisis, severe cutbacks in defense and successful Soviet penetration all over the world.

Worse than that, Americans seemed to have lost confidence in themselves and in the country's greatness.

Reagan squared his shoulders, rolled up his sleeves and got to work. He cut government, cut taxes, and oversaw the creation of 16 million new jobs and economic growth at 3.5 % per year. He rebuilt America's military. He was unafraid to call the Soviet Union an evil empire, or to challenge them directly so that their evil empire crumpled into the dust of history.

He left America safer, stronger and wealthier than it was when he came, which is the most you can ask of a president. In simple terms, he was a singularly decent man who honored both himself and the nation he served.

He gave us confidence in ourselves again, reminded us of who we are and that we are a country singularly blessed by G-d's providence. He inspired us as a nation. And he did it with grace, charm, wit and style, and with a sunny optimism that reached out to the best in us.

If ever a president deserved a national holiday to honor him, President Reagan does.

He was by no means perfect, as he would doubtless be the first to say. But in Ronald Reagan, we have an example of what real leadership is, an example especially needed today.

Happy birthday, Mr. President...we miss you.

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

"...we are a country singularly blessed by G-d's providence." Actually it would be more accurate to say "we were a country singularly blessed by G-d's providence."

From the time of it's founding until recent decades, America's leaders and it's citizens conducted their affairs heavily in accordance to the principles found in the Old and New Testaments of the Biblical Scriptures. In recent decades America has turned from these principles. As this has happened America has lost these blessings as a nation. In order to be blessed by G-d again and/or to become exceptional again, America must return to those principles.

I agree fully with your tribute to Ronald Reagan. He was the greatest President in the history of the nation. Greater even than George Washington or any of the other founders. At the time he came to office, the Soviet juggernaut was the most powerful nation the world had ever seen and appeared to be all but unstoppable but President Reagan and his team through guile and determination were able to thwart this enemy at least temporarily.

Unfortunately it is premature to say we "won" the Cold War. I'm not sure exactly what we "won." Under current management the Soviet Union is back substance even though the name may not be the same. Russia's military is just a strong as it ever was if not stronger. Thousands of nuclear weapons are still pointed at us and Russian operatives are still doing every thing they can to undermine us at every turn. Additionally, due to dependence on Russian oil most nations of Western Europe are going to side with Russia in the event of a military conflict furthermore these nations view America as a strategic competitor and would no doubt be happy to see America get hurt by Russia or anyone else.

Again, I'm having trouble figuring out what we "won", when we supposedly "won" the Cold War. It looks more like we lost or perhaps we got a temporary respite.