Today would have been Ronald Reagan’s 103rd birthday. Born in 1911, Reagan witnessed the transition of a quiet, isolated nation into the world super power she would become. When his time came in 1980, he would take the helm and defeat her greatest foreign threat, and lead her into an age of power, prosperity and philanthropy which had previously been unseen, unequaled, and unrivaled.
Since the election of 1980, Reagan has inspired passion on both sides of the political spectrum. On the Left, he is reviled and dismissed as merely a washed-up actor who memorized his lines and played the role of a puppet to the masters of neo-conservatism. He is viewed as a warmonger, a racist, sexist bigot who proved their view of America as rogue nation.
To the vast majority of Americans, especially those whose views tended toward Conservatism, Reagan was a Godsend. His ability to communicate everyday values and faith allowed the average citizen to once again believe in the greatness of the country. His common roots and old-fashioned upbringing gave Americans hope again that anyone could achieve their dreams through hard work, persistence and honesty. His indefatigable optimism gave people hope for the future after the crushing misery of the Carter years. His faith in God and belief in the manifest destiny of America as the “shining city upon the hill” gave citizens and our allies around the world confidence that the seemingly unbeatable juggernaut of Communism could and would be defeated and consigned to the ash-heap of history. Most of all, he was proved right time and again.
For his principles, his values, his faith and optimism, his passion, his joy in the everyday goodness of America, his conservatism and his undying belief that America was, could be and would be the greatest force and example of good in the history of the world, Reagan stands head and shoulders above every other President this country has known since his birth. We owe him a debt of gratitude we can never hope to repay.