It’s Ronald Reagan’s birthday. He’d be 105 if he were alive today.
I’ve been writing about Reagan – who, along with PJ O’Rourke, Solzhenitzyn, Dostoevskii and Paul Johnson is the reason I’m a conservative today – as long as this blog has been in existence, and long before. He was the first Republican I ever voted for – growing up in the left-leaning household I did, Reagan was utterly trayf.
His eight years in the Presidency, like his two terms in California, were not perfect, and I don’t beatify my presidents, even if they’ve been out of office for two and a half decades. His last term wasn’t as stellar as his first, and his last two years were very difficult.
Still and all, he was the greatest president of the second half of the 20th Century. All it takes is one great accomplishment; he had two.
He caused the implosion of Communism. Let no liberal bobblehead tell you otherwise. They’ll say the USSR fell because of Mikhail Gorbachev; they ignore (or, more likely, never dig beyond the left’s chanting points to learn) that Gorbachev only became Premier as a reaction to Reagan.
And he not only saved the economy (for a couple decades), but thanks to the end of the Cold War, he ushered in the greatest period of unmitigated prosperity in history; Bill Clinton cashed the “peace dividend” (and the Gingrich congress prevented him from squandering it), to the benefit of everyone in the world who wasn’t living in complete tyranny.
Some hamsters say “Reagan could never get nominated today!” It’s possible. I have a copy of a George Will book from the middle of Reagan’s second term that hammers the President’s departures from conservative orthodoxy; I can imagine what today’s Mark Levins and Laura Ingrahams would say and do.
But on the other hand, listen to “A Time For Choosing”, his 1964 speech supporting Barry Goldwater, where he “came out” as a conservative. Tell me that wouldn’t fit in at a Tea party meeting:
Anyway – have a safe and blessed Reagan’s Birthday.