February 6, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s birth.
When the nation saw the news report of the February 1980 presidential debate in Nashua, New Hampshire, we saw the man Ronald Reagan was. I was working for NSA, living in Maryland and like most of the intelligence and defense personnel, dealing with the inadequacies of a peanut farmer who was doing his best to unilaterally disarm us. And, unfortunately, succeeding in his actions.
America was looking for a leader with backbone, conviction of beliefs and a sense of what was right for this country in terms of national security, economic policies and foreign policy. All we had at the time was Jimmy Carter, who didn’t literally bow down before other world leaders, but accomplished it in the decimation of our national security, economic policies and foreign policy…sound familiar? It sounds as if history is repeating itself.
But I digress. At the time, Ronald Reagan was in Nashua, NH at a debate, when the people in charge of the debate tried to shut off his microphone. His words, “I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green”, brought many of us out of our political stupor. We realized there was a candidate out there who fought for his beliefs, knew what he stood for and if you didn’t like it, well, you had the right, nay, responsibility to find another. This was Ronald Reagan, he said what he meant and meant what he said. He didn’t speak to organizations and pander to their beliefs in order to obtain their vote. He told you his beliefs. And he stood by them.
After he was elected, his actions on the world stage, from describing the Soviet Union as the “Evil Empire” to ” Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall !” came from the heart and soul of a leader who was out there defending our ideals, our rights, and our sovereignty. His admonition to Iran before he was sworn in made the terrorists release the hostages because they knew he would definitely stick to his promise of getting them out of Iran no matter what it took.
He spoke of “peace through strength” and he took steps to ensure that America was able to back that up militarily, in addition to strengthening our economy.
There was no one else like him, and there never will be again.
I defy anyone, conservative or liberal to compare Ronald Reagan to any other leader in our time or before him. You can’t. Period. He was his own man, he knew what he stood for. While in office, he brought back not only national pride, but the greatest economic rise in our history. Our military was strong enough to doing the job of defending us throughout the world. The intelligence community finally was able to assist the military and garner the information we needed to assist the President in talks with the Soviet Union.
Regardless of what one may think of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, one can’t deny that he had a strong sense of self, and a strong identity.
Unfortunately, we can’t say that of the President in office now. Barack Obama has no true identity. After being in office for two years, his identity is not coming from his words, or actions, it’s coming from the media.
This man, who has been labeled “above it all” and “looking down on us as if he was God” by Evan Thomas, editor of Newsweek, can’t even make up his mind whether he backs Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. On Friday he said that Mubarak must go. The next day he said Mubarak was a “friend”. Which is it, Barack?
The Time magazine cover of November 24, 2008 had his face photoshoped onto a photograph of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in an open car. Then, when Ted Kennedy died, Chris Matthews of MSNBC said that Obama “is the last Kennedy brother”. Now I’m not a fan of either FDR or dear Teddy, but come on people. To compare Barack to either of them is almost criminal.
And then there was comparison between him and Abraham Lincoln. Another pathetic attempt to compare Lincoln’s actions during a time of civil war to Obama’s handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now, the latest attempt to define his presidency and give him an identity comes in the February 7th cover of Time magazine (again!) with Ronald Reagan embracing Obama and laughing as if they are the best of friends. This pathetic action to paint Obama as Reaganesque is a tragic attempt, once again, to find an identity for this guy.
The truth? He doesn’t have an identity. The media realizes this and their time is spent trying to prop him up using everything they have.
We don’t know what he stands for; he doesn’t know what he stands for. His words on liberty and freedom are empty, compared to his actions of taking over industry, banking and creating a nanny-state for healthcare and other aspects of our everyday living.
There are sharp contrasts between the two men. Ronald Reagan believed that all Americans were capable of great things and that our best days were ahead. Obama continually tries to deflate our accomplishments of the past and tells us and the world we are no longer the greatest country in the world.
It’s a shame how low our expectations have sunk in what passes for leadership in the past 30 years. We’ve gone from a president who always looked out for the interests of our country, to one who wants to destroy our history and way of life for the “greater good” : the catch phrase of world socialism.
During and after his presidency, the media tried in vain to paint Ronald Reagan as a war-monger, a leader who never cared about the little people. It didn’t work. Ronald Reagan’s personality and belief system was immune to their machinations.
Now, they have free reign to paint Barack Obama any way they want. It will be quite easy. After all, they’re working with a blank canvas.