The Gipper’s Final Ride

I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because I’ve been so bloody busy. We’re fixing to go on our long vacation here, and our stuff is finally arriving here, plus we’re recertifying and preparing to start our retraining so that we can regain our fighting trim. That, and I’ve been busy with some offline personal stuff, as well, so the blog has dropped in priority. My apologies.

I was at a hotel last weekend when I found out Ronald Reagan died. Frankly, even though it was something all of us had expected for some time, I was still shocked. And, well, sad. That emotion was not something that was shared openly by many of the people I was with.

Like Phil Carter, who has already written about this, Reagan was the first president I was familiar with. It bears mentioning that I grew in a family whose political center lies somewhere left of center. And during the 1980s, my mom and dad were somewhat active in Central American political affairs, through the New Haven, CT/Leon, Nicaragua Sister City Project. So, I was a little bit more familiar with the whole sordid history of the contra “freedom fighters”, as Reaganauts liked to call them, than were most kids my age. I wasn’t a Reagan fan, and I don’t think I ever will be.

Nevertheless, to my childhood eyes, Reagan represented everything a President should be and was. He was presidential, and to this day, he remains for me the gold standard for what a President should look like and behave.

I hate to say it, but Bush the Elder had some incredibly immense shoes to fill, and it showed, even though he was a decent man. For all the admiration that I have for Bill Clinton’s intellect, I always had a hard time thinking of him as President–maybe because he’s my father’s age, but certainly because of his behavior. And the more time passes, the less Presidential Bush the Younger seems. Many men have grown in office, but to me, I think President Bush has actually shrunk in office, as it’s become more and more apparent to me that the duties and responsibilities of the Presidency are far too much for him to handle.

So, to this day, I hold Reagan in esteem. I don’t believe that he was a great President; but, for his times, he was good enough. Most importantly, he restored to America a sense of confidence that over the previous decade had been lost, and for that he deserves our thanks. Notably, he was able to practice politics without poisoning the well (even his criticism was genial in nature), something that his heirs are constitutionally incapable of doing.

My condolences go out to the Reagan family, and I’ll mourn the passing of this singular American.

One response to “The Gipper’s Final Ride

  1. An interesting take on why Ronnie may elicit “warm fuzzies” for our generation, even in the face of his less than warm social policies, etc.