Friday, February 4, 2011

A Centennial Celebration

Sunday is Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. It's because of him that I became interested in politics.
His wit and his warmth, wove the welcome mat to the door of my political awakening.
I had registered to vote in High School; I think everyone did that spring, because we got extra credit for doing so. 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.

There was a vague knowledge that Iran was holding some Americans hostage, but by then, I was 19; that was literally, a world away.
I don't even remember if I voted that November of 1980.
Something happened though; Ronald Reagan, our 44th president, was being sworn in and at the same time, the hostages were flying home.
It quickly became obvious the terrorists knew President Reagan was not of the same mold; not cut from the same cloth 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.

In 1980 Reagan said “If I could be elected president, I wanted to do what I could to bring about a spiritual revival in America."
Is ANYONE saying that today?
In my next post, I’ll explore that quote a little bit; the man was amazing.

Ronald Reagan is one of my hero's. In part, I am who I am today, because of him. His policies, his charm, his humor, his no nonsense political style; these things drew me in, and provided the catalyst for my ongoing interest in politics.
So, Happy Birthday Mr. President; I sure miss you. I wish you were here.

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