11/28/2008

Ronald Reagan - A Thanksgiving Remembrance


Today, I had the privilege of taking my children to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. During our time there, I was able to reflect about the Reagan Presidency and what he meant to our country. His true greatness is as evident today as it was on January 20, 1989, his last day in office.

Thanks to President Reagan, we won the Cold War. If you recall, just after he became President, when asked what his strategy was for winning it, he responded, “We win and they loose.” This response was simple, direct and, most importantly, effective. His decisions to oppose the nuclear freeze movement, deploy the Pershing Missile and undertake the Strategic Defense Initiative where major factors in bringing an end to the Soviet Union. He never had to apologize for being a strong anti-communist. Through his actions, President Reagan was responsible for the freeing of tens of millions of people across the globe (not unlike the current occupant of the Oval Office).

On the home front, Mr. Reagan cut taxes and occupied the nation’s highest office at a time of unprecedented economic growth. Reagan’s policies lowered interest rates and almost eliminate inflation. He also tried to control the growth of the federal government.

However, as a teenager during the Reagan years, I remember vividly his most important contribution to the history of our county - the way that he reinvigorated the nation at a time when we needed it the most. Coming out of a time when we were being embarrassed by the mullahs abroad, the failed military operation to rescue our hostages in Iran and the economic malaise at home, his never ending optimism in our country and us, the American people, reminded us that there is nothing that we as a people cannot achieve. The image of America as the shining city on a hill inspired an entire generation of Americans. This is why I know that we will resolve our economic problems. And, more importantly, this is how I know that we will prevail in the war on terror.

Of course, all of this has been written before. However, seeing it again today, and being able to share it with the next generation, reminded me that it is important that we all remember the lessons that our fortieth President taught us. Over this long Thanksgiving weekend, I am thankful that I was able to live through those years. President Reagan will continue to inspire many of us. We will try to continue his work and to pass conservative principals on to those who come next. I hope that he is at peace in his final resting place knowing that he set the standard that rest of us will try to achieve.

2 comments:

Rational said...

This is a great tribute to a great man. I applaud your taking the time to bring your kids to the library and hope I have the time to do the same when I bring mine to the area. I recently visited DC with my family and was encouraged by my 7 year old's fascination and interest in what we saw. Remember, though, Reagan's optimism was an example of great leadership, an example of leading by providing a vision of what a great country we can be if we all believe, first and foremost, in ourselves. And he did this by showing that HE believed in us as a population. He gave us confidence in ourselves. As a close follower of politics today and in history, as a former Marine and as a businessman, this, in my opinion, is the definition of a leader. NOT to just provide a vision, but to provide people with the confidence to follow it because they believe in their ability to achieve it.

Steven L. Baerson said...

Here, here! Self reliance is what made this nation great and I am afraid that we have lost that virtue. It is amazing that a man of humble origins from a small town in Illinois could grow up to be the greatest world leader of the second half of the 20th century (and maybe even the greatest of that century). As you said, President Reagan's answers to our problems were not what can the government do for us, but rather, let's get the government out of the way so that the people can take care of themselves and each other. Remember his famous quote that the nine worst words in the English language are "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."