Monday, June 07, 2004
I became to love, respect and admire the Presidency because of Ronald Reagan. He was the first president that I came to know. Because he was the first president I was aware of, I feel very lucky. Ronald Reagan became the standard to which I have and will compare all succeeding presidents.
When I was about 6 or 7 years old, early in Reagan's first term, I learned about the grave nuclear threat facing our world and the country. Even as children my classmates and I were warned that the Soviet Union and the United States could annihilate each other and the world, within minutes. I even wrote a letter to President Reagan pleading with him to find a way to make sure that World War III will never occur. I still remember the warm reply from the President, and his autographed photo of him on a horse.
Somehow, his grandfatherly manner made me feel at ease and his warm smile made me adore him as if he were a beloved member of the family. President Reagan was the steady and reassuring presence as I grew up in the 1980's. Having known no other president, I couldn't even fathom another president taking his place. He was perfect as president, even looking the part. How could anyone replace this man, I wondered. He was ready with the quips in good times and was every bit the consoler as we mourned tragedies like the Challenger Space Shuttle.
When he was re-elected, winning 49 states, I couldn't appreciate how incredible his victory was. The country had fallen in love with Reagan, too. He attracted "Reagan Democrats", erased the gender gap, and was treated like a rock star by younger voters. What Americans saw was a good man. A rare breed in politics, he was so confident in himself that he felt no need to put on airs and try to fool the American public. The beauty of Ronald Reagan was that he loved this country more than any president in modern times. By believing in the essential goodness of America, he respected his constituents. By appreciating his role as Commander in Chief, he was humbled by his lofty office.
I am happy to say that Ronald Reagan was my President. And he always will be.
UPDATE: Here is an excellent collection of what people have to say about President Ronald Reagan; Citizen Smash, Vodka Pundit, Hobbs Online, Freedom of Thought, Outside the Beltway, Professor Bainbridge, A Small Victory, Dean's World, Powerline, Balloon Juice, PoliBlog, SISU, Pejmanesque, Kalblog, Go Dubya.