Common Sense @ Kreuzweg

Musings on uncommon positions and decisions that puzzle even the most simple of folk.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Missing the Gipper

A great American patriot and legend died today when we lost President Ronald Reagan. Always larger than life, he was the first presidential candidate for whom I was ever able to vote. His biographer Edmund Morris said it better than anyone could, in describing the monumental impact President Reagan had on the world: "his impact can best be seen in the things we don't see today "Soviet Communism, rampant inflation, hatred and embarrassment for our armed forces and a fear of patriotism and flag waving. President Reagan, ever the optimist, made us all proud to be Americans and left us with an unwavering sense of hope and an understanding of our place and responsibilities in the world.

Never shirking from his sense of timing and right and wrong, President Reagan did what had to be done when it was needed the most. While it is fashionable for "scholars" today to claim that the Soviets were simply exhausted and communism had run its course, they are just plain wrong. Liberals relish the embarrassment of the Iran-Contra affair and dismiss the great communicator as a mere figurehead who had no idea what was going on in his own administration. Both ideas are again off the mark. While Iran-Contra and the withdrawal from Beirut were low points, we had so many highs it is easy to put those two failures aside.

His was a great American tale. Growing up in the Mid-west, Ronald Reagan moved west to a career in Hollywood and eventually in politics. Originally a democratic, President Reagan, like so many democrats grew up, matured and realized he had far more in common with conservatives. History will be the ultimate judge of his place in history, but we should hope that historians are true to the events of our lifetime and not revisionist in nature. Ronald Reagan should be remembered as the greatest American President of the modern. He was the oldest to enter office at 69 and the longest surviving president at 93 years of age. While his passing will sadden us all, we should reflect on this amazing American journey he shared with us.

Farewell President Reagan, we shall always remember you and be grateful you were on of us.