Ronald Wilson Reagan
June 9 2004
I remember wage-price controls, enacted by Nixon. How stifling they were to the
individual! There was no longer any incentive to do better.|
Then came Carter and stagflation. I remember interest rates in the 20% range, rising unemployment, hopelessness, the despair of not having a job despite my considerable skills. And Carter telling us that we just had to hunker down and get use to it, because... because we could not expect things to keep getting better.
I remember that bitter joke about Carter asking us to burn a quarter of our savings to "help even things out."
And then... Carter kissing Breznev on the cheek before some summit meeting. What a telling gesture of reconciliation for detent! Bones for the weak ones... We sure looked weak! Communism was wining. Important people started predicting a hot war soon, by 1984.
The election came. A Hollywood cowboy on a tall white horse rode by, reminding us we had built this land, we could build it again, because it was OUR land; because it was OUR future to build!
The very day after Reagan won the election, the phones started ringing. Business was waking up. They needed people to design the future. America's Future!
It wasn't long before I was working again.
The first wave that went to work were technical folks, folks like myself who started planning and designing the future.
Then, as we finished the designs, others started making the tools needed to build with. The wave from planning to production took about a year and a half before the blue collar workers started building what we had designed.
And all it took, was for a man with a clear and moral character to stoke our belief in ourselves, and ignite our imaginations!
All it took, after three and a half presidents who let our economy founder, is for Ronald Wilson Reagan to step forth and tell us we could do it agan, just as we had in the 50's and 60's.
One more thing folks forget. Reagan kindled the already smoldering computer revolution.
First, that tax cut let many of us buy the new IBM home computers, and deduct them if we had any kind of business activity.
But home computers never were that useful in and of themselves. Most people did well enough with their checkbooks using calculators; and few people really needed word processors to write letters to their friends.
The second piece was networking. Reagan legitimatized home networking. In the 50's, Eisenhower had planted the seeds of the military ARPANET, forerunner of the internet. Few had access to it; but it and the ideas it helped spawn were already there when Reagan started his supercomputer initiative, creating an academic network linking university computers together. That gave a generation of students e-mail and more. As they hit industry a few years later, they pushed the new paradigm of instant communications everywhere. Soon, Portal, then Netcom brought the internet to civilians like myself. With that, private networks like AOL, Delphi, and Compuserve had no choice but to follow suit and connect to the internet backbones, opening their formerly private communities to the world.
As one columnist put it, 'Mt. Rushmore; the only question is when.' And maybe, a portrait on the $10 bill?
I think $10 is too cheap! It should be the $50 or the $100. Give us something to aim for, not something to leave behind!
Another writer said Kennedy spoke to the imagination; Reagan spoke to action.
Reagan was far, far greater than Kennedy! Far greater than Kennedy could ever dream of being, for Reagan stood not only for freedom; he stood for the fundamental Moral Decency and dignity of our American way of life. That's something Kennedy, Nixon, and Clinton never could touch. It is that, the Moral Deceny of the man, which shook the soviets to their core.
And this fundamental Moral Decency is what we need now to defeat the harsh ways of Islam and the splinter Islamic terrorists. Moral Example! It is the ONLY way that conflicts of that magnitude ever get resolved in the long run!
Oh yes, arms are vital; but only as a backdrop, as props to make it clear we can survive and prevail by any means if we must. With those in the background, it becomes clear to all sides that diplomacy and morality are the better paths; that the price of escalating lunacy is far, far too high.
In this new philosophical, Ideological war against our way of life, we need someone like Reagan.
I do not believe Reagan was as unique as many claim he was. I believe there are many, many more with his sense of values; for they are the core values of America itself.
What made Reagan relatively unique, was that he took the opportunities to acquire the skills to express those values; and unlike so many politicians, considered those values far more important than himself.
I think that Reagan understood that a man without values is but an empty shell; a shell much like the Soviet's ideal of the model citizen who does as told, even if but out of fear.
Thomas Payne said tyrants can only rule you if you fear them. All we need to overthrow them, is but to will it.
Patrick Henry said "Give me liberty, or give me death."
Once again, a common man, an American who placed values before himself, stood up and proved the value, and the Power of American beliefs.
Ronald Reagan, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you!