Sunday, February 6, 2011

Remembering Ronald Reagan, at 100

Today we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of America’s and Illinois’ greatest sons – Ronald Reagan.

He was born 100 years ago today in Tampico, Illinois, and grew up in various places in the northern part of the state, attending high school in Dixon and finally graduating from Eureka College with a degree in economics and sociology.  After working in radio broadcasting "live" Cubs games from a studio in Iowa, Reagan moved to California to become an actor, becoming perhaps best known for his film portrayal of Notre Dame football player George "the Gipper" Gipp in Knute Rockne, All American.  He was president of the Screen Actors Guild, became a Republican (“I didn’t leave the Democratic party – the Party left me”), served as governor of California for two terms, and was twice defeated for the Republican nomination for president.  Then in 1980 he tried for a third time, and won at last.  He became president of an America humiliated by the Iranian hostage crisis, fearful of aggressive communism, unnerved by rampant inflation, dazed by the Carter Administration, and apprehensive about the future. 

Larry Kudlow, who as a young man worked in the Reagan Administration, recounted the Reagan legacy on his show the other day:
Ronald Reagan saved America. Ronald Reagan saved the world. His economic policies of low tax rates, light regulations, and a king dollar, vanquishing inflation, firing the striking air traffic controllers, and limiting domestic spending – all that basically launched a 25 year economic boom and rescued us from the malaise of stagflation.

With his massive military buildup, his missile defense system, his tough diplomacy, and his evil empire battle cry, Reagan defeated Soviet communism forever without even firing a shot.

He was a tough minded optimist who believed in American exceptionalism and freedom. He saved our future.

Let me repeat my favorite of the Gipper’s many great lines: the best is yet to come.
John M Greco

1 comment:

  1. A book called "a hunger for more" outlined the economic status of multiple countries around the world during the same time period. Regardless of ideology, political philososphy or effort countries around the world experienced an economic surge during the "reagan" years. I kind of liked Reagan --- it was hard not too.

    I admired Mr Reagan's stance in the air traffic controller issue and basically thought he was ok. But despite an initial tax cut, he raised taxes 7 times, grew the size of government and did what he needed to do to lead the country and be responsible. This increase in taxes in government doesn't make him a bad guy, but a realist.

    I applaud him for being a centrist, managing the country in a safe way, not as a republlican, libertarian, or ideologically inflexible politician. I don't think he authored the "reagan era" of economic boom times, but benefitted from them, driven as they were by a global economic cycle.

    Anyway, nice to read Mr Greco's comments, as always, even if I agree, but don't quite.....