Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, President Reagan

President Reagan would have been 100 years old today, but what is more inspiring is that his legacy still lives on.  Reagan used his Hollywood charisma and steadfast conservative principles to inspire a nation, when all was lost.  Reagan who became the 40th President of the United States on January 20, 1981, did so after four tumultuous years under the Carter regime.  The nation was reeling from an anemic economy with high unemployment, high inflation, high energy prices and poor image from around the world.  From the moment he stepped on the world's stage he took no prisoners.  Let's review what we learned from him.

A Time for Choosing - Reagan Speech for Goldwater Puts Him on National Stage

When Ronald Reagan gave a televised speech for the Barry Goldwater campaign in the 1964 Presidential election, he was know as an actor.  His political viewpoints were unknown, but this speech catapaulted Ronald Reagn the political on the national and international scene.

"I'm paying for this microphone, Mr. Green" - The first glimpse of America's new leader

During this 1980 Presidential Primary debate in Nashua, New Hamphire, Ronald Reagan demonstrated the unwillingness to back down.  This iconic speech of his 1980 Presidential run, of which he won, was the beginning of what America as witness the greatest President of the 20th Century.

President Reagan's 1981 Inaugural Address - The World Learns Who Reagan Is

In this address, Reagan delivers another famous quote that alert the Statists of his idea of government.  "Government is not the solution to everyone's problem, government is the problem" was a classic remark to the simple notion that big government fails all.

Ronald Reagan on the Dignity of Life

Perhaps no other President of the 20th Century, was as vocal on the Holocaust of the unborn, as Reagan was.  Reagan came to office seven years after the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Even before he assumed the Presidency, Reagan was vocal on this issue.  During the 1980 Presidential debates, Reagan was quoted as "With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there's one individual who's not being considered at all. That's the one who is being aborted. And I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born."

Ronald Reagan on Ending the Cold War.

"Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose." -- Ronald Reagan

The Cold War could not have ended without the steadfast leadership and determination of Ronald Reagan.  Reagan was a strong advocate who professed America's exceptionalism and ability to be a broker of democracy throughout the world.  He did so with the notion that America's power can through its strength.  That strength came from its core values embodied in the Constitution, emboldened by the spirit of the American people, and through the strength of our nation' military prowess.

Reagan assumed the Presidency in the midst of the Cold War between the world's two superpowers - the United States and the U.S.S.R (Soviet Union).  From the moment he became President, Reagan let the world know that that the United States will not back down.  During his 1981 Inaugural Address, he put the world on notice:

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.

Although Reagan did expand the military with missile defense (Star Wars) programs, he did so as a insurance policy in case we ever needed them.  But thanks to his diplomacy, and forthright courage, we did not.  America declared victory in 1987 during what Reagan's iconic "Mr. Gorbachev; tear down this wall" speech.  This was the beginning of the end of Communism throughout Eastern Europe and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

 The fall of the Berlin Wall would not have happened for this speech.  The citizens of Germany are stronger because of this.  The Eastern European bloc, formerly Communist are stronger because of this speech, as they have embraced democracy and representative governments that work for all its citizens.  

Reagan on Socialism and Liberalism

Reagan was staunchly against the notions of socialism, and the embracement of liberalism to spread socialism throughout America.  Ironically, Reagan spent most of his life as a Democrat until he read F.A. Hayek's book A Road to Serfdom.  At that point he became a conservatism.

In a pre-Presidential speech, Reagan warned America about socialized medicine.  Too bad in 2010, members of Congress failed to heed this warning and Obamacare was passed. 

Challenger Explodes - Leadership During a National Tragedy

The 1986 explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, seconds after liftoff marked the first time in our nation's history we had lost astronauts in space.  Reagan's national address reassured a nation reeling from the tragedy.  The solemn remarks by Reagan were calming to the families of those perished in the tragedy, the employees of NASA who works hard to make the program as success and the parents of children who witness the tragedy live in their classrooms. 

Ronald Reagan, the Comedian

A tribute to the legacy of Ronald Reagan could not be done without mentioning Reagan's ability to relate to the American people through humor.  Reagan, an actor then Governor of California, used his humor to "wake up" the American people into the seriousness of what is ailing America.  His quips are many, but the meanings are serious.  Here are a few:

1. 'Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.'

2. 'The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'

3. The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.'

4. 'Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. Was too strong.'

5. 'I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.'

6. 'The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.'

7. 'Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.'

8. 'The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.'

9. 'I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.'

10. 'It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.'

11. 'Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.'

12. 'Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.'

13. 'No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.'

14. 'If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.'

Thank you, President Reagan for your leadership and your courage when our nation needed it the most.  You will never be forgotten.

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