Don’t overthink it!
Let’s face it, with 6,000 years of recorded history, every day is an anniversary of something. But pause a moment to reflect that the last great President of the United States of America left office 34 long years ago next January 20.
That would be Ronald Reagan, still reviled to this day by progressives in Madison WI and Manhattan, which is more evidence of the man’s towering stature. It’s worth remembering the indignant sniffery of the Left, who derided Reagan for Bedtime for Bonzo. (“Who’s his vice president? Jerry Lewis?” — Doc Brown in Back to the Future.) Cowardly peaceniks preached co-existence with a soul killing, expansionist regime that did not believe in co-existence. Some of us in Madison in the 1980s remember the idiocies of the New Parable Dancers — Blame America Firsters who invaded shopping malls with their songs of defeat. They even took the field at a Badger football game, where they were deliciously booed!
At The Capital Times, we quoted Bob Kastenmeier as saying Reagan’s foreign policy was “clearly unsettling.” You betcha it was unsettling!
Ronald Reagan was the President who called the Soviet Union for what it was, an evil empire. Who was willing to walk out of the summit with the Soviet leader at Reykjavik empty handed rather than accede to a bad deal — knowing that he held the high cards. Then got Gorbachev to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons. When he next visited, Reagan sat with dissidents — in Moscow! Joe Biden won’t go to the Mexican border! Adults who have no memory of the great man walk among us.
"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
More peaceful than the peaceniks
Which is why we plan to stock the Dan Quayle Memorial Reading Room here at the Stately Manor with a book just out called The Peacemaker; “Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, and the world on the brink.” Peacemaker?
Reagan’s horror of nuclear war led him to envision a world where nuclear weapons would be obsolete. Woven into Mr. Inboden’s story are the many times that Reagan saw the potential for nuclear catastrophe.
“Some people say I’m very simplistic, but there’s a difference between being simplistic and simple,” Ronald Reagan told a visitor to his home in January 1977. “A lot of very complex things are very simple if you think them through.” A moment passed and Reagan continued: “Keeping that in mind, my theory of the Cold War is, we win and they lose. What do you think about that?”—Wall Street Journal book review
His visitor was Richard V. Allen, who then and there gave up plans to run for governor of New Jersey and signed on to Reagan’s 1980 campaign and later administration to serve as foreign policy adviser.
Book reviewer Matthew Continetti continues:
Reagan’s confidence that the Cold War could be won made him unusual. At the time, both Republicans and Democrats believed that America was in decline. Communism was on the march … Jimmy Carter seemed hapless and ineffectual after he failed to rescue U.S. hostages in Iran. The CIA mistakenly believed that the Soviet economy was growing. … Détente — or [was] ascendant.
Instead, Reagan became the “extraordinary President who established the conditions for the collapse of Soviet communism.” Reagan cutting taxes to unleash economic prosperity? Halting the kudzu creep of statism (forgiving college student loans)? Those are other books, entirely.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: The next Reagan? Not anyone we can see on the horizon. Maybe DeSantis, but he lacks the Gipper’s genial, self-deprecating wit. As we’ve said, voters must LIKE their chosen candidate.
Who is YOUR next Reagan?
BONUS QUESTION: Would Ukraine even have freedom to protect, support from Poland, without Ronald Reagan, Maggie Thatcher, Pope John Paul 2, and Lech Welesa?
The question posed, “Will we see Reagan’s like again?”
Reagan certainly wasn’t perfect but he was a true statesman with integrity and a clear vision, determination to achieve that vision and the intellectual fortitude to speak what needed to be said to achieve that vision. It’s not likely that we’ll see one of those candidates for quite some time because the constituency seems to have been looking for extreme partisan candidates that will stick it to the other side, it’s all about tit-for-tat vengeful retaliation slug-fests these days.
“The next Bill Gates will not start an operating system. The next Larry Page won’t start a search engine. The next Mark Zuckerberg won’t start a social network company. If you are copying these people, you are not learning from them.”
– Peter Thiel
The next Reagan will not be a politician, but he WILL have huge cohones. Might be a serial entrepreneur, or an Athletic Director at a big university.
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Just ask Lefty: MAGA = White Supremacy/Colonialism/Hatred/RAYcism
I vividly remember the Reagan years. I spent them in Santa Barbara, CA –aka the shining city on the hill(s) below Rancho del Cielo. Talk about a Golden Age. We’ll never see another president who combined solid (and popular) conservative policies with a winning personality–which is why he made the likes of Madison progressives chew the scenery whenever he achieved yet another political triumph. I particularly remember a meeting he had with a woman–an obnoxious Australian whose name I forget–who headed the nuclear disarmament (as in unilateral) movement. After the meeting, she breathlessly claimed that Reagan had supported his “Star Wars” proposal by referring to an article in Reader’s Digest (as opposed to some Ivy League foreign policy journal). She, of course, like her fanatical followers, hysterically predicted nuclear Armageddon. Fast forward to now, when even more hysterical predictions of Armageddon are being made daily, if not hourly, by the climate change fanatics. Unfortunately, our sorry excuse for a president is crafting his policies to suit the demands of today’s fanatics; Reagan had the guts to stand up to the lunacy propounded by the fanatics of his day.
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When Reagan bombed Libya/Khaddafi it was “cowboy, war mongering Imperialism.”
When Barack and Hillary did it the Left called it “an exercise in smart power.”
Reagan also said “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it left me.”
Today I, as a Conservative would say the same of the Republican Party.
The Cult of Personality seems to have its greatest examples in how we perceive the presidents we think were great.
Reagan was more statesman than Biden.
His economic policies primarily benefited the wealthy, but did provide a more open field to bootstrap new ideas.
Reagan’s Morning in America was financed by debt – 30 year Treasury bonds.
The USSR was operating on fumes when Reagan came into office. He shoved comrade humpty off the Berlin Wall.
His foreign policy was simplistic. Since there were no strong alternatives, he could get away with it.
Expecting a new presidential hero is like Waiting for Godot.
Yup, Ronnie had it all, Iran Contra, James Watt, Anne Gorsuch (mother of Neil), Ollie North, S&L crisis, Wedtech, and double digit home loan rates. I sure don’t want to relive that era.
World peace, prosperity, a raging stock market, full employment, the end of communism — and you’ve got a tummy ache over Anne Gorsuch?
Hmmm, you must be referring to a different Reagan. Unemployment under RR was from 6% to 10.8% per BLS. September 2022 it was 3.5%.
Anne “The Ice Queen” Gorsuch was the Daily Double for RR, incompetent AND corrupt. Her scandal plagued time in power was a classic case of the inept RR administration. However that pales in comparison to DJT.
And don’t forget those 15% ARMs in the mid 80’s.
Old Baldy is cooking the books. The inflation rate Reagan inherited from Jimmy Carter was 13.5% in 1980; by 1988 had fallen to 4.1%. Unemployment reached 10.8% in November 1982 as part of the cure for Carter’s raging inflation. By the time Reagan left office in January 1989 it had fallen to 5.5%.
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Nope, I read books, never cook them. I never mentioned inflation, but rather the unemployment rate. So if you disagree, it is with BLS, not me. But lets say it was 5.5% in Jan. 1989 (no doubt due to the euphoria caused by RR leaving office), that is still 2 points worse than Sept. 2022. And recall that it was 12 years of RR and Bush 1 (whom I voted for) that lead to Carville’s “The economy, stupid”, and cost George his job. And locally our up north rural county unemployment rate is again under 3%, far better than under walker. Dane County, that bastion of socialism, is at 2.2%, per DWD.