It can be useless to look back, except when it’s useful. Ten years ago this month, a loved former president signed off and out to return to his Maker. He was our commander-in-chief between 1981-1989.
Ronald Reagan’s death after a long bout with Alzheimer’s gave the world important moments to reflect on his principled character. Despite your opinions of his politics, the former actor was a man who could be trusted, who took his oath of office seriously.
In the end, he was heralded as being “the most influential president since Franklin D. Roosevelt and having restored American pride and morale and faith in the American dream.”
And now, a decade after his death, remembering his record is still instructive. My files show my thoughts, then, of our 40th president:
“Sentiments of kindness from the world are a reminder of Reagan’s ultimate gifts: Those twinkling eyes and easy humor were traits that carried our nation through difficult days; traits we counted on.
“As so many say so well, Reagan understood that communication is soul deep — beyond what linguistic experts are confined to. His kind of communication is the most reliable, when it comes to honest connection, especially at the top.
“Ask Mikhail Gorbachev. Why would our strongest foe during Reagan’s administration respond to a command: ‘Tear down this wall?’ Why would Gorbachev dissolve his government and recreate Russia? My guess is to this day, he himself remains puzzled.
“Reagan’s pleasant demeanor misled critics who assumed he had no depth. They should have checked below the waterline. The man with the ruddy cheeks seemed to hold profound understanding about human nature. He trusted gentle, honest interaction, ignored by most hotshot politicians. In turn, we justifiably trusted him.”
Why focus on trust with all else a president offers? Because our following presidents have failed to hit the mark.
It’s telling though that twenty-five years since Reagan left office, he clearly remains a threat to socialists, those who intend to bring “fundamental change to America.” In scanning the Web, you’ll find an astounding accumulation of progressive efforts to discredit “Reaganism,” a recognized “force of history.” The attacks appear endless and stretch over the past three decades.
Unintentionally, they speak to the greatness of this man whose style appeared in his foreign policy: “Peace through strength.” That strength heavily downgraded by our current president who chooses apology instead.
In glaring contrast, trust is not equated with Barack Obama. Some call him a “Trojan horse.” As child refugees flood in from the south, along with many extremely questionable opportunists, we can only assume they do so with Obama’s consent. Congress is told to make money available and not to speak to said refugees during tours or photograph them.
Never mind our national security. Never mind congressional rights. Is this America?
We can only watch to see just exactly what Obama’s up to. Some analysts point in the direction of the Cloward-Piven strategy. Look it up. You’ll be amazed.
Alarms everywhere are no longer partisan carping. There is something deeply disturbing about this president and his growing list of outrageous actions, or in Benghazi’s case, inaction.
Clearly, Reagan would not recognize his beloved country today, but one thing remains the same: Its people still dream, hope and long for stability. They want to believe in the president they elect, believe in their Congress … in their IRS. As we prepare to celebrate another USA birthday, we might hold America a little tighter.
• East Valley resident Linda Turley-Hansen is a syndicated columnist and former veteran Phoenix TV anchor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.