Monday, June 14, 2004

June 14, 2004 - The Anti-Reagan

Today's Commentary: June 14th, 2004

You have not been able to swing a dead cat lately without hitting some coverage of Ronald Reagan's life and recent funeral. The various news networks have been running their Reagan biographies and funeral coverage with fervor. Without a doubt, many of the media execs have shaken the dust off of their Reagan bios much later than they had expected, and with few exceptions, probably much later than they had hoped.

I don't expect we will see a week filled with as much pomp and formality for quite some time. Nor should we. The ceremonies reflect what Reagan did nationally and globally to promote freedom and (God help us) American interests, regardless of what The Boston-Al Jazeera-Globe puts in its editorial pages. To steal a quote from General Patton, "We came here to thank God that men like these have lived rather than to regret that they have died." Reagan referred to America as 'the shining city on the hill.' If what I have read is true, Nancy herself has done her husband proud, led by example and shut Bill Clinton out of speaking at the eulogy. This principled act is a shining city on the hill of Reagan's legacy. The fact that it feels fantastic is, well, just gravy. Reagan treated the Oval Office with respect. Clinton, well nevermind.

Clinton's symbolic censure before a global stage is also a reflection of what many in the democratic party must be going through at the moment. Except for the university and media elite, arrogant air traffic controllers and democratic opponents, America loved Reagan - who even carried Massachusetts in 1984. Not because of his optimism, and not because he had a sense of humor - both of which he had in abundance, but because he pulled the nation out of a psychological and economic tailspin. An economic tailspin that the liberal democrats will again return us to if they seize control in November. Reagan held to his principles and took the torching he knew was coming with a smile - and democrats hated him for it. Now with the nation reflecting on his life and legacy, the democrats are wary not to promote their special interest group agendas. History proves these ideas wrong time and again. And there is a fitting Reagan quote for most, if not all of them:

Government Regulation:

"Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process."


"Republicans believe every day is 4th of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15."

Economic Policy:

"Our friends in the other party will never forgive us for our success, and are doing everything in their power to rewrite history. Listening to the liberals, you'd think that the 1980s were the worst period since the Great Depression, filled with suffering and despair. I don't know about you, but I'm getting awfully tired of the whining voices from the White House these days. They're claiming there was a decade of greed and neglect, but you and I know better than that. We were there."

Foreign Affairs and Conflict:

"Today we did what we had to do. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong."

Let's be fair to "our friends in the other party," and compare the lives of Ronald Wilson Reagan, whom many Republicans would say is the best we have to offer, with someone the democrats would arguably call their "best". A Clinton comparison would be all right, but how about someone Democrats hold in high esteem and whom I affectionately refer to as the 'Anti-Reagan'. Most people know this man as the lovable senior (and relatively conservative) senator from Massachusetts, Teddy 'Chivas' Kennedy.

OK, I lied. Only after June 5th have I referred to Ted Kennedy as the 'Anti-Reagan'. Prior to this, he was known to me as "the gelatinous fat on the SPAM of liberal politics." But I digress. Lets return to the side by side evaluation.

First, examine their respect for women during their early years. In 1933, Melba King, a 22 year old nursing student in Des Moines, was walking home one fall evening. A mugger approached her demanding money and brandishing a gun. From the window in his his second story flat, Ronald Reagan pointed his revolver at the man and said "Leave her alone or I'll shoot you right between the shoulders." The mugger ran off and Reagan walked Melba home, safe, dry and breathing. Only in 1984, when Melba saw Ron again at an Iowa campaign event, did he disclose the fact that the gun was unloaded. "This is the first time I've had a chance to tell you the gun was empty. I didn't have any cartridges. If he hadn't run when I told him to, I was going to have to throw it at him," Reagan told the audience.

Only after significant research was I able to find a comparable story for Ted Kennedy. Out of respect to the Kopechne family, I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to find this story in the internet archives. To help you on your way, go to and type in "Ted Kennedy killed Mary Jo", and see what returns. In his defense, Teddy did have to rush back to the Lawrence Cottage to rescue a drowning olive. Ironically, if Ted Kennedy's agenda was in place at the time, Ronald Reagan would have been promptly arrested and his handgun confiscated after he returned from walking Melba King home. However, the muggers rights would have certainly been preserved.

Next on policy issues, Reagan stood fast against an orchestrated push by the Soviets to shelve SDI and took a beating in the press over the "failure" at Reykjavik. We need more "failures" like this. He also increased government revenues by, get this, reducing the overall tax burden for each taxpayer. Note to liberal historians, standing tough against the Soviets and cutting taxes worked for JFK as well.

Now let's compare this to the record of Michael Moore. Teddy has voted against sending troops into Iraq even though this ended the reign of Saddam Hussein and brought forth an Iraqi governing body unanimously approved by the UN. He also voted against the 1991 Gulf War, a military spanking of the feared Iraqi Republican Guard that startled even our allies. Domestically, he has never met a tax hike that he didn't love almost as much as the sound of ice cubes clinking in his tumbler. To quote Senator Stoli: "The trends that are evident in today's economy demonstrate that a larger role for government is needed if we are to insure that our children enjoy the same widespread economic opportunity which my generation did." (March 1, 2004, Center for Humanities, City Univ. of NY

The final comparison should be pretty clear. After 93 years, Ronald Reagan was not with us long enough. After 72 years, Ted Kennedy has been with us far too long.


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