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Friday, February 4, 2011

Reflections: A Ronald Reagan Rundown (updated)

Amidst the Super Bowl hoopla this weekend, the interweb will also be running over with various tributes, memorials, anecdotes and other such musings on our 40th president to celebrate what would have been his centennial birthday.  Born on February 6th, 1911 he lived a life that not only saw the events of the 20th century, but he without a doubt, played the largest part in steering them over the last quarter century.  The Soviet Union was born in 1917 while he was still a boy.  When he ascended to the Presidency, America seemed to be a weakening nation, unable to stand in opposition to this menace.  Eight short years later, the Evil Empire was in its death throes and would soon collapse as liberty spread across eastern Europe.  Americans came to the realization that the specter of nuclear war had passed into the night with each ping of the hammer that fell the Berlin Wall.  The Soviet Empire ultimately, could not outlive Ronald Wilson Reagan.  Thank you Mr. President.

Here's a rundown on some of the various Reagan tributes I thought you might like.

John Yoo at NRO's Corner Blog

Steven Hayward at NRO

The Washington Times

Ed Rollins, CNNOpinion

Daniel Flynn, Frontpage

Lou Cannon, Politics Daily

Mark Joseph, Investors Business Daily

Deroy Murdock, National Review - Reagan Revealed 

John Heubusch, Pajama's Media 

Edmund Morris, Washington Post

Senator Orrin Hatch, on the Senate floor 
Too often, I've heard the compaint from friends that the Republicans are all about saying, "No" and don't want to do anything.  Sen. Hatch reminds us of something Reagan said that gives encouragement to those who say, "NO".  Hatch writes,
Ronald Reagan succeeded as president because he knew what he was about. In his farewell address from the Oval Office, he said, ‘I went into politics in part to put up my hand and say, Stop. I was a citizen politician, and it seemed the right thing for a citizen to do. I think we have stopped a lot of what needed stopping. And I hope we have once again reminded the people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.’

I attempt to end the perception that Reagan was not conservative enough to be a Republican today in Want some Tea with that birthday cake, Mr. President?

As I have an opportunity to read more this weekend, I will update this page so check back.

Finally, I offer this - the speech by President Reagan on June 12, 1987 that he gave outside the Berlin Wall.  Despite what has been written about him this week, this was no quiet or soft diplomacy.  With the world watching and with the greatest symbol of the east-west divide framed behind him, he called out Mr. Gorbachev by name and told him, not asked, but told him to "Tear down this wall!"  Today, we have leaders fearful of printing cartoons, but the Gipper would not back down.  This epitomized his "peace through strength" diplomacy.  He said to the Soviet Premier, "Hey, I'm here.  I'm not going anywhere.  I'm not here to fight, unless you want to fight.  But I got a better idea.  What we got over here is pretty good and we want you to have it too.  Come down, open the door and shake my hand.  This whole thing has gone on too long.  It's time for it to end.  Now open the door."  Firm, but fair. 

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