Please join me in sending positive vibes to our former President Ronald Wilson Reagan on his 93rd birthday. I wish I could thank him for always being aware of how great our country is. His daughter Patti shares her personal thoughts on how Alzheimer's has kept this man from enjoying his last years. This fine man did not deserve such a cruel fate.
My Dear Sweet Wife (who was my Dear Sweet Sweetheart at the time) and I went to see him at a GOP rally at the LSU Assembly Center during the 1980 campaign. I came away with a clear sense that Mr. Reagan stood for the same core values I held. This was a tremendous comfort for me, a congenital Republican born in a state in which children so afflicted were often drowned at birth. I frequently found myself outraged at the left-wing politispew coming from various teaching assistants who used undergrad classrooms as soapboxes. I soon learned to lay low to protect my grades from my conservative socio-political opinions.
As opinionista Marvin Olansky points out, during RWR's early years in Hollywood, he was offended by the communists that weilded strong influence in the film industry. Mr. Reagan didn't lay low like I did, he worked against it and achieved results. Not for the last time.
I remember being worried when Mr. Reagan was shot. I remember hearing about it in a parking lot and having one of those "this is where I was when..." moments. I couldn't fathom why anyone would want to shoot him either.
To say the Reagan years were good to my DSW and me would be an understatement. The 1986 tax bill let us keep more of our money (a meager sum to be sure, but we didn't have a whole lot to begin with). I learned to pay attention to politics during his administration after having experienced the post Watergate cynicism and the apathy of the Carter Malaise.
And while the press is often reluctant to credit Ronald Reagan for the Fall of the Evil Empire, I know better.
I know that President Reagan is, without a doubt, among the finest Presidents this country has ever had. If I had my way, his visage would be on our currency. When some congressman recently proposed to replace FDR with RWR on the dime, Nancy Reagan asked him to withdraw it. I'm glad he did.
The Great Communicator wasn't a nickel or dime sort of President - Considering his contributions to this country in the century in which he served it so well, I'd put him on the Twenty.
Happy Birthday, Mr. President.