Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.
Ronald Wilson Reagan, Republican National Convention, 1992 ((H/T Gay Patriot)
When Reagan took the helm in 1981, we were a nation in decline. Under the second most incompetent president of the past century, Jimmy Carter, stagflation - the combined totals of inflation (13.5%) and unemployment (7.2%) - topped 20%. America was being humiliated by Iran's Khomeini who was holding our embassy officials hostage. And the communist empire of the Soviet Union, then led by Leonid Brezhnev, posed the greatest threat to the West. On the day President Reagan left office eight years later, our economy was booming, the hostage crisis was a distant memory, and the Soviet Union was fatally hemmoraging. Communism was in retreat throughout its sattelites, and in particular in Poland. His was a most successful presidency.
Fred Thompson: What Set Reagan Apart
As we celebrate his centennial and observe politicians of all stripes trying to align themselves with Reagan’s legacy, we should remember what made Ronald Reagan such a compelling leader. When given a moment on the international stage, Reagan unfailingly proclaimed America as the beacon of hope for those who yearn for freedom.
John Heubusch @ PJM - Reagan's Foreign Policy Legacy
Few presidents have altered the trajectory of world affairs as dramatically as Ronald Reagan, whose Centennial America we celebrate on Feb. 6.
The year-long Centennial celebration is an opportunity to examine the legacy and lessons of our 40th president, who not only reversed the “malaise” mentality at home and revived American optimism, but also stared down totalitarians abroad and won the Cold War.
Hot Air - Happy Birthday, Mr. President
How many people today remember what it was like to live in a world of a divided Europe, a divided Germany, and a divided Berlin — where guards with guns shot people who wanted to get out rather than get in? “We come to Berlin,” Reagan told the crowd at Brandenburg Gate, “because it is our duty to speak at this place of freedom.” And it’s largely because of Ronald Wilson Reagan, along with Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, and Lech Walesa that the Iron Curtain world died quietly in its sleep 21 years ago. Reagan and those stalwarts gave us a world where freedom and liberty triumphed over an “evil empire,” and the first step towards that victory was Reagan speaking plainly about its very nature rather than indulging in the pablum of moral relevancy that Reagan’s political opponents demanded.
Weekly Standard - Natan Sharansky Remembers Ronald Reagan
I have to laugh. People who take freedom for granted, Ronald Reagan for granted, always ask such questions. Of course! It was the great brilliant moment when we learned that Ronald Reagan had proclaimed the Soviet Union an Evil Empire before the entire world. There was a long list of all the Western leaders who had lined up to condemn the evil Reagan for daring to call the great Soviet Union an evil empire right next to the front-page story about this dangerous, terrible man who wanted to take the world back to the dark days of the Cold War. This was the moment. It was the brightest, most glorious day. Finally a spade had been called a spade. Finally, Orwell's Newspeak was dead. President Reagan had from that moment made it impossible for anyone in the West to continue closing their eyes to the real nature of the Soviet Union. . . .
Dr. Sanity - How Can You Not Love A Guy Like That
I vividly recall the day I met President Reagan almost exactly 20 years ago. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I was at the Johnson Space Center memorial service for the Challenger astronauts on the Friday after the Challenger accident. The President had come to JSC to honor the fallen crew and to heal the nation. . . .
Happy Birthday, Ron.