A Few Good Men
Yesterday marked what would have been Ronald Regan’s 100th Birthday. Many people celebrated his life and his accomplishments. Regan was one of those iconic Presidents that will go into the history books for his accomplishments. As a kid I was impressed by his hard core stance against the terrorist, his ability to join the nation and being an American icon.
He really was a sign of the American Dream. In his early days as the governor of California he was often viewed as a soft politician. So what changed? As a young man he rose through the ranks of the military with ease. After the Military he went on to have a successful career in Hollywood. He rose tot he top spot of the SAG Union during a time that Unions were run by Democrats. His election led tot he resignation of several of the SAG leaders but Regan went on to be elected to 7 consecutive years (by the members of SAG) as the head of SAG. Regan was able to push past party issues and run the Union through some of it’s toughest years.
Regan began his political life as a Democrat and a very “liberal” one. he looked up to Presidents like FDR. His move to the “right” began when he Eisenhower and then again Nixon. The support was unchaining as he was a very well known Democrat supporting Republicans. Eventually he would go on to say that he did not leave the Democrats but that they left him. He was a “pro business” democrat and seemed to understand the value of trade. He was always willing to hear about new ideas and was not set in his party’s ways. One of his biggest political fears was that too much government would lead to a socialist government.
Regan recognized that controlling the people would lead to controlling the economy. He often quoted the “Founding Fathers” cry for small government for the people by the people. It was this platform that showed the Republican party how powerful of a message Regan could deliver. He raised over a million dollars for the Republican candidate Barry Goldwater and the party took notice. Quickly realizing that Regan was able to connect with the voters and move the people.
When elected President he was handed a Country in economic turmoil, an energy crisis and was in the midst of the Cold War. He and his cabinet worked on solving the issues at hand. They were not seeking political positioning but rather knew that solving the problems at hand were more important then any party line. Like no President before he worked with both sides of the house and never focused on the problems at hand.
His team was made up of great political minds and business minds. He played a game of Chicken with Russia and won. His overspending on military matters made us a world force and at the same time helped bring the might Soviet empire crumbling to the ground. He out spent them and used technology to win a war that many felt would end with the end of the world.
He and his team dealt with terrorist on the only terms they understood (eye-for-an eye) and stopped the onslaught of attacks on the US. He was not a maverick or some political genius. He was a man who felt like common sense was more important then allegiance to any political party. He listened to the great minds around him and lead this country out of darkness.