Today would be Ronald Reagan’s 110th birthday
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. His eight years were not perfect, and I don’t beatify my presidents, even if they’ve been out of office for over three 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, and head, shoulders and ankles the best of my lifetime.
But in these difficult times, after two terms of a President who promoted fear and malaise in the guise of “change” and “doing something”, and four years of another for whom “conservative principles” were a tactic to be slipped on and off like a power tie, 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 next president will need even more of in 2024.
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 – something that feels largely beaten into submission as this is (re)written, in 2021.
Oh, there are those who say “today’s GOP wouldn’t nominate Reagan!” – to which I respond with a contemptuous sigh, before telling the critic to listen to “A Time for Choosing”, and tell me who it more resembles; Arne Carlson, or Rand Paul?
Reagan’s gone. But that spirit, the one he understood, almost alone among American politicans of his era, lives on in the American people. Half 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.
(This post was originally written in 2017, and has been slightly touched up for 2021).