June 7, 2004  -  Remembering Ronald Reagan

The death of former President Ronald Reagan this weekend was a good for 2 reasons... it ended his (and his family's) suffering, and it has forced us to go back and review what an amazing person and President he was.
Over the years, there has perhaps been no President more hated than Ronald Reagan.  Just a few months ago, the leftists tried to smear him in a ridiculous made-for-TV biographical movie.  They've said everything humanly possible about him because the left hated him for one simple reason... almost everything he did, stood for, and accomplished, proved them wrong!  The most intolerant and hateful people I see in our society are the leftists for whoever doesn't march in lock-step with their views.  Just to show you how loved Reagan really was by the American people... he won his 2nd term as President with the largest margin of victory ever: 49/50 states.  And that was despite all the usual fear mongering and hateful/hysterical propaganda generated by the left.
I'm barely old enough to remember President Reagan, but I've studied him quite a bit, and that's where my great respect for him has come from.   When he took the Presidency from Jimmy Carter, America's economy was in terrible shape.  It was so bad that what we experienced these last few years doesn't even begin to compare (double-digit inflation, long lines to buy rationed gas, etc.).  But by the time Reagan left office 8 year later, America's economy was booming, and with only two minor hick-ups in the early 1990's and 2000's, it has continued.
Reagan's main cure for the economy was simply to cut taxes and make the government smaller.  When he became President, the government took 70% of some people's paychecks!  He eventually brought that down to about 30%, and when the people got to keep more of the money they earned, they spent it.  That spurred the economy, and actually brought in more tax revenue than the higher rate.  It's the same thing President Bush did when he took over, and a few years later we're seeing that our economy has become very strong again.
Reagan's biggest accomplishment, however, was to bring down communism.  I do remember the Cold War, and it's one of the things I studied in college, so I have a very good understanding on what a HUGE accomplishment that was.   But, I'm afraid that many of you under the age 25 have no idea what it was like living in a world where almost everything was influenced by the struggle between freedom and communism/socialism.  Reagan led the fight that won, and that alone makes him one of the greatest leaders our world has seen.
How did Reagan beat communism?  To put it simply, he pushed it... he knew that the economy of the communist empire could not keep up with a the free markets.  He pushed America to be as strong as it could be, and that forced Russia to try and keep up.  Just a Reagan predicted, Russia couldn't keep up, and when that happened, its people began to fight for their freedom.  Reagan didn't tolerate or bargain with communism because that's only something you do with entities that are greater or equal to you... Reagan knew we were better, and that's how he knew we would win in the end.  Was it a risk to create an arms race?  Yes, of course it was.   Was it a risk to not bring communism down?  Yes, of course it was.   Either way, you're taking a risk, and Reagan chose to take the risk that he control.
Ronald Reagan was as great a President as Washington, Lincoln, FDR, or any other.  How much he did to make America and the world a better place is impossible to measure.  And what I like best about what he did, was how he did it... simply followed his heart and his common sense.  Not all leaders have to be elitist intellectuals.  If you have any interest in politics at all, I URGE you to study Ronald Reagan's life... he was about as good as you get.
(PS - especially try to study what Reagan actually said himself, instead of what other people say about him)
R.I.P.  President Reagan... I'll never forget your optimism, courage, conviction, passion, honesty, humor, and life.  Thank you for setting such a great example, and for forever changing the world.