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R.I.P. Ronald Reagan

Pundits on both sides have plenty of material for post-mortems this week. Some conservatives say that Reagan wasn’t consistent enough. Others think that he was the fourth person of the Blessed Trinity. The Left, of course, is polite in public and foaming at the mouth when speaking to one another. (Ted Rall says that Reagan is now burning in Hell.) Plenty of diversity out there.

I remember the Reagan years as a time of optimism. “Let’s make America great again” was a common theme. We right-wing extremists had been beaten down for so long, we were elated to finally see some things returning to sanity. Those were happy, heady days. Our peerless leader was saying the right things and often doing them and we had hope that America’s downward spiral was being reversed. One book we all read was called The Second American Revolution. Another was The New Right: We’re Ready to Lead. There were dozens more.

Alas, the perspective of old age (I’m 48) has shed a lot of light on those times. Clinton was elected twice by a nation that had seen the wonders of the Reagan years. The size and scope of government increased steadily under Reagan, George Bush, and Clinton, and now skyrockets under the leadership of Dub Bush. And, by definition, increasing government means the restricting of liberty; and liberty was the key idea in our secession from England.

Nearly everything is a mixture of good and bad. Despite the disappointments we conservatives have experienced, I’ll always look back fondly on the “Glory Days” when America stood tall and her enemies were scurrying for cover. And I’ll thank God for Ronald Reagan.

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