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Archive for the ‘Ronald Reagan’ Category

IT’S STILL LOVE, MR. REAGAN

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 5, 2010

Six years ago today, the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, died.

He was 93 years old.

The days following his death would be remarkable in that the outpouring of love, affection and admiration for him was far beyond anything even I would have expected.

Just five days after his death, I wrote a short little tribute – a portion of which I was fortunate enough to have printed in the New York Post.

From January 10, 2004, here is the article I wrote in its entirety called It’s Love, Mr. Reagan:

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ronald_reagan

Somewhere amongst my belongings, buried deep beneath a lifetime’s debris in some old box under the bed, is a post card I received in the spring of 1981. It was a “thank you” card from the White House in response to a letter I wrote to President Ronald Reagan following his assassination attempt in March of that year. Although it wasn’t a hand-written response, it was still incredibly impressive and meant a lot to me. I marveled at it for days after receiving it. I can still remember almost everything about it, including the image of the printed signature of “Ronald Reagan” on the front. My younger brother and I hung it on our wall, where it stayed for quite some time.

I was a rambunctious thirteen-year-old that spring, the year Mr. Reagan took the oath of office as the fortieth President of the United States. Eight years later, as he took his final bow from public service, I was a twenty-one year old know-it-all, with more chutzpah than know how. Now, fifteen years on from that, I am a thirty-six years old father of two, married to the love of my life for thirteen years, unwavering in my support of President Bush and our troops as the War on Terror continues. Yet, to this very day, through all that has come and gone during the formative years of my life, Mr. Reagan’s is the image I most associate with the office of President. Not unlike those of my grandparent’s generation who saw Franklin Roosevelt as everything quintessentially presidential, so did I when it came to Ronald Reagan.

As one who is wont to expressing his thoughts through prose, I was moved to write something about this extraordinary man, looking deep inside myself for the appropriate words, hoping to successfully tap into the wealth of emotions within. His passing has invoked such an outpouring of sentiment and affection that I felt compelled to pay tribute in my own way. For me, he embodied what I always characterized as the soul of America – the true spirit of this nation. Mr. Reagan exuded a magnificent confidence in the people of the United States without ever placating or patronizing them. Like he did many times as a young lifeguard all those years ago, he came to the rescue in the nick of time, resuscitating a nation’s faltering self-assurance from Jimmy Carter’s malaise. And while I never had the honor or pleasure of knowing him personally, his very words convinced me that he knew who I was; that I was part of the America he knew was still alive and itching to reemerge – the proud America he loved and believed in. His America was, indeed, my America. His vision and purpose for this country served to strengthen each and every one of us. He, indeed, made the world a far safer place. He defeated liberty’s enemy – the Evil Empire – and brought freedom to millions who could once only yearn for it. Tributes abound in Eastern Europe to their liberator, Ronald Reagan.

In the days since his passing, I have been warmly reminded of his infectious charisma and good cheer, his disarming smile, his renowned sense of humor. The power of his words and the steadfast conviction in the positive vision he had for America were glorious to revisit. Yet, during these days of sadness, reflection and celebration, I have been struck by something I hadn’t quite anticipated. It hit me as I was witnessing the colossal logjam of cars on the expressways of Southern California. It hit me even harder watching the tens of thousands of people from all walks of life standing on lines – sometimes as long as ten hours – for the chance to pay their respects and spend just a few seconds in the same room with late President.

In the truest sense, I have been witnessing the affirmation of a love affair of epic proportion. This inestimable outpouring of emotion for President Reagan has, without a doubt, been about unadulterated love … and I do not mean “love” as defined by the purveyors and disciples of pop culture. And I don’t even mean the kind of love that he and Nancy shared for more than half a century. I mean love in the purest, most genuine sense of the word – the variety that moves people to want to see others strive to be the best they can be; the kind that moves people to believe that success by any measure is derived from the individual through a higher power; the kind of love that moves and induces us to be better people for having had the privilege of feeling it and knowing it.

This was Ronald Wilson Reagan.

His love for this country and the people in her was as much a weapon as it was a God given blessing. With his hopefulness, strength and confidence, he crushed the confusion, malaise and disappointment that gripped us in the 1970s. He shattered the cynicism and negativity that permeated the American landscape. He helped us to feel good about this nation again. Thanks to him, it was okay to love America again. This was the gift of Ronald Reagan’s love – a gift that has once more brought America together, to mourn, to pray, to reminisce, to take inventory of ourselves, and understand and believe in the goodness of our people and the greatness of our nation. We pay our respects and remind ourselves how fortunate we were to have him, and that our best days are, in fact, ahead of us.

This entire week has been about love.

Indeed, America loves Ronald Reagan.

It is a love affair for the ages.

Thank you, Mr. Reagan.

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THE GIPPER ON THE $50 BILL?

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 3, 2010

From the “Selective Reasoning” file …

A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives yesterday that, if passed, would put the face of America’s 40th President – Ronald Wilson Reagan – on the $50 bill. Congressman Patrick McHenry, Republican from North Carolina, introduced legislation that would replace the likeness of Ulysses S. Grant – celebrated Civil War general and 18th President of the United States – with that of Reagan’s.

From Fox News:

“Every generation needs its own heroes,” McHenry said in a written statement. “One decade into the 21st century, it’s time to honor the last great president of the 20th and give President Reagan a place beside Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy.”

FDR’s likeness in on the dime and Kennedy’s is on the half-dollar.

McHenry pointed to a polls of presidential scholars that show Reagan consistently outranks President Grant, including a Wall Street Journal survey in 2005 that ranked Reagan sixth and Grant 29th.

But one Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee said he’s not ready to grant that honor to “someone whose policies are still controversial.”

“Our currency ought to be something that unites us,” Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., told the Los Angeles Times.

I could be wrong on this, but I’m guessing that Ulysses S. Grant is similarly regarded in some sectors of the South as General William Techumseh Sherman is, although probably with less disdain. To be sure, Grant’s likeness wasn’t a common sight in too many American homes south of the Mason-Dixon line after the war.

And how exactly did John F. Kennedy unify America? By his death? Nearly half of America did not vote for the man in 1960. Apart from his murder, what did he accomplish that warranted his face on a coin? The escalation of America’s involvement in Vietnam?

Indeed, Franklin Roosevelt helped lead America to victory in World War II, but to suggest that his nearly four terms of unprecedented government expansion  – along with his creation of the modern entitlement state – wasn’t (and still isn’t) controversial is to deny that water is wet. Outside of World War II, there isn’t much that “unifies” the American public today about the hyper-progressive, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And yet, there he is on the dime.

Hell, Abraham Lincoln’s decision to suspend the writ of habeas corpus during the war to this day is controversial.

Why didn’t Congressman Sherman just say, “Reagan was too conservative to be on my money.”

We all know that’s what he means.

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HAPPY 99TH BIRTHDAY, MR. PRESIDENT – 16 FAVORITE QUOTES

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 6, 2010

 

“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have. “

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

“Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.”

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

“How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”

 “I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress. “

“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”

“Man is not free unless government is limited.”

“The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”

“I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves.”

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

“Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.’ And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.”

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it and see it still.”

 

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POLL STUFF: LIMBUAGH, JFK, AND THE TOMB OF THE UNKOWNS

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 30, 2009

Limbugh - he's number one

It won’t surprise most to learn that talk show host Rush Limbaugh is considered by Americans to be the most influential conservative in the country. In fact, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll issued yesterday, Limbaugh sits comfortably ahead of the pack with 26% of the tally, 15 points ahead of Glenn Beck.

To many, however, that number sounds too low. Way too low. The general perception persists among influential lefties (i.e., the mainstream media) that all conservative thinkers, talkers and pundits get their daily marching orders from Limbaugh in some form.

He is the puller of strings, issuer of swastikas, and mentor to all who hate.

It cannot be denied that no other conservative can twist the panties of the mainstream media like Limbaugh. They obsesses over no one else on the right like they do Limbaugh. All other conservatives combined don’t draw the attention that Limbaugh does on a daily basis. (Yes, even the current Sarah Palin fervor will subside over time).

But that’s okay.

It has almost become a spectator sport to see which news outlet can take a Limbaugh quote and render it most unrecognizable from its original meaning each day.

Good times.

That the most influential conservative in America is not a politician is both telling and predictable. The reality is, Americans are infinitely more likely to hear conservative values articulated more eloquently and more thoroughly on talk radio than from almost anyone serving in Washington.

Incidentally, both former-Vice President Dick Cheney and former-Governor Sarah Palin came in one point behind Glenn Beck at 10%.

Two other tidbits from the poll are worth touching upon.

First, President John F. Kennedy was chosen by 29% of those polled as the face they’d most like to see added to Mount Rushmore. President Ronald Reagan finished behind him at 20%.

This is not the least bit surprising.

In all honesty, I am actually quite astonished Reagan pulled in as many as 20%.  I say so not because Reagan is undeserving. To the contrary, I can think of no one more worthy of such an honor. 

Unfortunately, President Reagan is not nearly the popular culture icon JFK is. (Who is?) That Kennedy was a politician is almost secondary. Kennedy is revered much the same way John Lennon, Elvis Presley and James Dean are.

To this day, he personifies “hope” and “promise” and “what might have been.”

Those are big ones on the lefty hit parade.

He was young, charismatic, uncommonly photogenic, as quick on his feet as any one in public life has ever been, and murdered in the prime of his life.

All the ingredients are there.

To this day, Kennedy is regularly referenced and cited by Democrats who long to build bridges to their party’s storied past; and yes, even by Republicans who routinely claim that he’d actually be a conservative on many critical issues by today’s standards. For whatever reason, it seems mighty important to folks on both sides of the aisle that they are able to claim their share of the JFK pie.

Ronald Reagan, meanwhile, couldn’t even muster a mention by the current President during the ceremonies earlier this month commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall. As I recall, there was that whole “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” thing that might have been interesting to bring up, but Reagan’s name never came from Obama’s lips.

Obama did, however, manage to quote JFK.

The President exemplifies how America is hard-wired.

The fact that one of America’s greatest presidents – largely portrayed by the mainstream media as an overrated, yet likable, cowboy who could never have accomplished a damn thing without the great Mikhail Gorbachev to guide him – still manages 20% of the vote behind someone as culturally deified as John Kennedy is quite astounding.

Attaboy, Gipper.

Finally, which of these events did Americans say they would most want to participate in?

Laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; lighting the Olympic torch; tossing the coin to open a Super Bowl; starting the race at the Indianapolis 500; ringing the opening bell at the stock exchange; or throwing out the first pitch at the World Series?

Believe it or not … half of Americans said that laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns is the ceremony they’d most like to be a part of.

Maybe there’s hope yet.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GIPPER! (18 FAVORITE QUOTES)

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 6, 2009

Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.
“Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.”

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
– October 27, 1964 (“The Speech”)

“Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.”
– January 7, 1970

“A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”
– 1980

“Let us resolve tonight that young Americans will always … find there a city of hope in a country that is free…. And let us resolve they will say of our day and our generation, we did keep the faith with our God, that we did act worthy of ourselves, that we did protect and pass on lovingly that shining city on a hill.”
— November 3, 1980

“No arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”
– January 20, 1981 (first inaugural address)

“…peace is the highest aspiration of the American People. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it, we will never surrender for it, now or ever.”
– January 20, 1981 (first inaugural address)

“You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?”
— January 20, 1981 (first inaugural address)

“We are a nation that has a government — not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.”
— January 20, 1981 (first inaugural address)

“I hope you’re all Republicans.”
– March 30, 1981 (to surgeons in the operating room following his assassination attempt)

“The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.”
– October 5, 1981

“We in government should learn to look at our country with the eyes of the entrepreneur, seeing possibilities where others see only problems.”
January 26, 1985

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
August 15, 1986

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
– June 12, 1987

“How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”
– September 25, 1987

“When people tell me I became president on January 20, 1981, I feel I have to correct them. You don’t become president of the United States. You are given temporary custody of an institution called the presidency, which belongs to our people.”
— August 15, 1988

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life…. And how stands the city on this winter night? … After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true to the granite ridge, and her glow has held no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.”
– January 11, 1989 (farewell address)

“Our friends in the other party will never forgive us for our success, and are doing everything in their power to rewrite history. Listening to the liberals, you’d think that the 1980s were the worst period since the Great Depression, filled with suffering and despair. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting awfully tired of the whining voices from the White House these days. They’re claiming there was a decade of greed and neglect, but you and I know better than that. We were there.”
– February 3, 1994

Below is a link to one of the most important speeches ever given by Ronald Reagan – “Rendezvous with Destiny.” It is the speech that put Ronald Reagan on the political map. It was delivered on October 27, 1964 in support of the Republican candidate for President of the United States, Barry Goldwater.

It is a remarkable speech.

This clip features “The Speech,” as it is often referred to, in its entirety, 27 minutes long. Bookmark it for future reference. If you have not heard it, nor seen it, find time to watch it. It is essential viewing/reading/listening.

It is as relevant today as it was then.

He was still sixteen years away from the White House, but this is what being “Presidential” is all about.

(It is mislabeled as being from the 1964 Republican National Convention, but it is not. The speech, however, is presented in full)

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