Ronald W. Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, would have turned 100 years old this month. He’s been gone from this place since 2004.
I liked Ron as an actor, particularly for his roll as Drake in one of my favorite movies (and books) of all time, Henry Bellamann’s Kings Row. I wasn’t a big fan of his politics in my misguided youth, though. I was in my early adulthood (19 years old) when Ron was first elected President in ’80. The world was in chaos at the time. The U.S. had been dealing with oil shortages (contrived), fanatic Iranian clerics, American hostages, Disco, etc. The end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s was a tumultuous time for all.
I really disliked his politics back then. I was just a young, easily misled kid who thought Reagan was the friggin’ Antichrist. Silly me. The real Antichrist was that Gorbachev dude, the leader of the “Evil Empire“. In later years, when my brain was more fully formed, I began to study Reagan’s politics a little more closely. The man, regardless of his party leanings, was a remarkable pol, in my opinion; bordering on genius. Sure. He had a lot of help, but I believe that Ron was the right man in the right place at the right time for this country.
He would be vilified as a BIG GOV Democrat in today’s political environment were he to run for office on his history of his two terms as President. Funny how times change, huh? The U.S. was recovering from a pretty nasty recession back then. Reagan used no-nonsense policies to stimulate and invigorate the U.S. economy. Sadly, not only did his fiscal policies save the U.S. at that time, it also ushered in the decade or so of greed that followed. Whether that was a good or bad thing is a topic for another day, though.
I just wanted to post this little blurb to say, “We miss you, Ronnie. You’re a Republican that I might be able to stomach were you to run for office nowadays.”
Image credits: Kings Row image © 1942 Warner Bros. Ent.
President Reagan image courtesy of Whitehouse.gov