The Wisdom and Wit of Ronaldus Magnus
Gene Lalor | February 6, 2011
Â Â Sunday, February 6, 2011 marks the one hundredth birthday of Ronald Wilson Reagan, 33rd governor of the State of California and 40th President of the United States.Â Where are you now when we need you more than ever, Mr. President?
A conservative icon still revered by many, Republicans and Democrats alike, and still reviled by malcontent liberals/leftists/progressives, Reagan was appropriately nickanmed “Ronaldus Magnus” by Rush Limbaugh, an apt sobriquet because he was indeed a great president as well as a great man and a great American.Â
A human being and thus not un-flawed, Reagan, like Republican President Eisenhower before him and Republican President George W. Bush after him, was dismissed as an intellectualÂ lightweight while in office and even after his retirement by those who could never abide a Republican much less a conservative.Â Â Â Â
TheÂ poor kid from Illinois Reagan became aÂ radio broadcaster, actor and president of the Screen Actors Guild.Â He was anÂ early liberal and Democrat.Â He later said he didn’t leave the Democrat Party, it left him.Â He was a CivilÂ Rights supporter before it was chic and always a staunch anti-Communist.Â He lost his bids for the Republican nomination in 1968 and 1976, never gave up, andÂ Â defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980 and scored a landslide win over Walter Mondale four years later.Â
There’s no need here to recount theÂ many achievements of Ronald Reagan.Â His life and career speak for themselves and he spoke for himself often and forcefully during that life and career as well as inÂ the 2001 Reagan, In His Own Hand.Â Those collected writings in Reagan’s handwriting should have dispelled any notion that this man was his own man who clearly articulated his own, distinctiveÂ revolutionary vision for his country, andÂ brought it about.Â
It is worthwhile to note that the only “scandal” with which his opponents were able to smear him, the Iran-Contra Affair, occurred largely for humanitarian reasons.Â The arms-for-hostages scheme essentially involved the Executive Branch selling weapons to Iran in order to free six American prisoners being held by Hezbollah with some monies used to help fundÂ Nicaragua’s anti-Communist Contras.Â Â Â A medal should have been awarded.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
In addition to his accomplishments, Ronald Reagan should also be remembered for his incisive wit andÂ comprehension of the human animal and the political beast. Â He was not an overtly religious man, yet governed as if he were.
We all know his famous quotations such as, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’ “Â and his command, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Â Some few ofÂ his lesser known gemsÂ follow:Â
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