The Shot In The Dark National Holiday

The jelly beans are out.  The delivery and accent are in place.  The “Reagan/Bush ’84” sticker is in its place of honor on my car.

It’s Ronald Reagan’s birthday today.

The greatest president of my adult lifetime would be 107 today.

But in these difficult times, after eight years of a President who promoted  fear and malaise in the guise of “change” and “doing something”, and a year of a President who brings some of the same rah-rah, but little of the calm, confident reassurance that was Reagan’s hallmark, it’s worth remembering Reagan’s example; when times seemed at their most dire, Reagan walked onto the scene with a smile and a vision, and a backbone of steel, and cleaned up the mess lefty by his failed predecessor – something our current, and next, president will need even more of in the fiuture.

And the most important part? He did it by unleashing something that many, then as now, thought was dead – the inner, optimistic, take-charge greatness of the American spirit.  Triump shows some signs of doing the same; if he succeeds – and it’s still a big if, given the toxic political climate – then he’ll be a success.

Oh, there are those who say “today’s GOP wouldn’t nominate Reagan!” – to which I respond with a contemptuous sign, before telling the critic to listen to “A Time for Choosing”, and tell me who is more resembles; Arne Carlson, or Scott Walker?

Reagan’s gone. But that spirit, the one he understood, almost alone among American politicans of his era, lives on in the American people. Most of it, anyway.

So Happy Reagan’s Birthday, everyone!

NOTE: While this blog encourages a raucous debate, this post is a hagiography zone. All comments deemed critical of Reagan will be expunged without ceremony. You’ve been warned.

You have the whole rest of the media to play about in; this post is gonna be gloriously one-note.

15 thoughts on “The Shot In The Dark National Holiday

  1. Interesting week. We have turned the corner. Berlin wall has now been down more days than it was up. Thank you Ronnie.

  2. . . . there are those who say “today’s GOP wouldn’t nominate Reagan!”
    Those people are idiots. Every Republican nominated for president since since 1988 has been more liberal than Reagan.

  3. Reagan could not be elected governor in Cali today. The reason is illegal immigration.

  4. I heard him speak in a smallish setting once and was quite impressed. He was better in person than he was on TV, and he was very, very good on TV.

    I envied a coworker who’d interned in the White House and kept a signed picture of him shaking hands with Reagan in his office. You can imagine how many of the other Vermonters reacted to that photo, however. He had some great stories about Reagan at the personal level, too.

    The media of the time absolutely detested him, and he handled them completely differently than Trump, but both men essentially won the battle against the media. Reagan won with humor, class, and intelligence exceeding anything the media could use against him, and the media diminished itself trying to attack him. Reagan’s success against the media monolith provided the wedge for Trump to pull off the same feat, and without Reagan he couldn’t have won.

    As much as we need a man like Reagan, I doubt we’ll see his like again.

  5. Oh, the memories I have….astonishment when Reagan bombed Libya and told Gorbachev to tear down that wall. Promising to develop and share Star Wars with the Soviets. Putting Castro on notice by invading Grenada. 600 ship Navy.

    And I remember the Democrats got absolutely nothing right about all this.

  6. My favorite story about President Reagan, that showed his calm demeanor when all about him were troubled, was after he was shot by the moronic John Hinckley. As he was being wheeled down the hospital hallway on his way to surgery, surrounded by doctors, nurses and secret service agents, he was reported to have quipped; “I sure hope that all of you are Republicans”!

  7. “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.”…….Ronald Reagan

    Among his many accomplishments sending the hokey peanut farmer and the clown Mondale into retirement should be high on any list.

  8. I’ve asked many liberals who the worst president was, ever. The answer is invariably and instantly Reagan.
    I suspect that admitting Reagan was even a good president would mean that most everything liberals believe is wrong…

  9. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 02.06.18 : The Other McCain

  10. I was in college during a good chunk of his presidency and didn’t understand everything he was doing, especially since my classmates and professors were denouncing him 24/7. He was remarkable, especially because he knew exactly how to use the anger of his opponents to his advantage. We were blessed to have him.

  11. Thanks for doing this each year, Mitch. I didn’t realize how much I missed him until I saw his photo on your site and got tears in my eyes.

    I was also in college when Reagan ran for President. There were only about seven people on campus willing to out themselves as Republicans: a couple of George Bush Senior supporters, me with my Reagan sticker, and a nut from Illinois who wanted Phil Crane. I thought Reagan was the best choice for the nation, I was correct then and I am still proud of it.

    Reagan had his own style. “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Said with a grin, it was disarming but also devastating. Perfect for an election in a milder time when people wanted an adult in charge to fix things so we could lower the thermostat and afford a loan and get our people back.

    Trump has a style, too, which is brash but also devastating, which seems to be a good fit in our time when people are sick of the PC BS and want someone to clean house in Washington. He’s no Ronald Reagan, I’ll be the first to say it. But he’s growing on me.

  12. I love the Reagan statue in Budapest, in Liberty Square. Just a little more than life-sized, but placed on the plaza, not on a pedestal, posing RMR in mid-stride (and pointed toward the Russian embassy so he can keep an eye on them). A very natural and accessible sculpture. When I was looking up how to find it on TripAdvisor I came across a few entries – hopefully from the very young – wondering why there was a statue of Reagan in Budapest.

  13. NW, I think we have to come to grips with the fact that most anyone under 40 these days has no memory of the Berlin Wall. The only thing that could have made the Brandenburger Tor speech better, IMO, would have been if he’d said it in Russian and German, too.

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