Today is Ronald Reagan's birthday. It's because of him that I became interested in politics.
His wit and warmth were the welcome mat of my political awakening.
I had registered to vote in High School, I think everyone did that spring. That was the end of it as far as I was concerned; I didn't pay any attention at all for the next year or so. I had gotten the extra credit, I was happy, because I NEEDED extra credit :)
Then, there was a vague knowledge that Iran was holding some Americans hostage, but I was 19, and that was literally a world away.
I don't even remember if I voted that November of 1980.
Then something happened. Ronald Reagan was sworn in, and the hostages were released.
It struck me as very important that the hostages were released when they were. It quickly became obvious that the terrorists knew President Reagan was not of the same mold as the previous president Jimmy Carter. No tip toeing around; no negotiating.
They were acutely aware that this new president was a man who meant what he said, and said what he meant. He would come after them; hunt them down and get our citizens back safe.
Mr. Reagan never backed down. I still get choked up when I hear a clip of him in West Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate: "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall."
His voice clear and strong. The people in the East were inspired, and not long after, that wall did come down.
Ronald Reagan is one of my hero's. It's partly because of him that I am who I am today.
So, Happy Birthday Mr. President; we sure miss you. Wish you were here.
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