The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Goodbye Gipper 

I was born in Santa Barbara, CA in the 80's. The was Reagan country. He had a ranch in the mountains above Santa Barbara where he would vacation during his presidency, and where he lived for several years afterwards. Every now and then Air Force One would land at Point Magoo, where he'd transfer to a helicopter and fly to the ranch (passing over our house). I can remember running out to the backyard whenever I heard a helicopter fly over to wave, just in case it was him.

I've been reading a lot of memorial articles about the Gipper over the last week. Some were complimentary, some were still bitter and resentful. As I watched the caisson go down Pennsylvania Ave. last night, I listened to the media talking heads unable to give the moment the silence and dignity that it deserved. This is when it finally dawned on me. Who has been having the longest week of his life? Some would argue John Kerry, who's been keeping very quiet (smartest thing he has done yet). While that is a good argument to make, I would say its Jimmy Carter.

For the last week people have been talking about what Reagan did, or more accurately what he fixed. They've talked about the hostage crisis, double digit inflation, rising unemployment, a lack luster and demoralized military, and communism trying to take a stronger hold over the world. Then Reagan came to office, and over the next few years the problems were solved. The hostages came home. Reaganomics actually worked, leading in the 90's to an economy that grew uncontrollably. The military not only became modernized, but the soldiers got back the respect they deserved. The Cold War was won. For the last week Jimmy Carter has had to relive everything that went wrong with his presidency, and it must hurt.

For the last week people have been talking about Reagan's vision. The talk about the moral clarity that he had. They talk about how he stuck to his guns when things sometimes looked bleak. The talk about his vision for the world, and how in the end it turned out he was right. They talked about the fact that he was not a micro manager, how he was a big picture president. With one breath they've lauded him for everything that he was done, and in the next breath they've lambasted President Bush for what he does now. Of course its another example of media hypocrisy, and it should come as no surprise. President Reagan knew we could win the Cold War. President Bush knows we can win the War on Terror. So what is the difference? We won the Cold War. So its easy to look back and say Reagan was right. The War on Terror is ongoing. Over the last year, people have talked about the fact that this is like Bush Sr.'s second term. I disagree. This has been Reagan's third term. And nothing gives me more hope that we will win the War on Terror, than George Bush's moral clarity, and the fact that he sticks to his guns.

Finally I sit in utter amazement at Nancy Reagan. For their entire marriage she stood by her husband, protecting him when she could, letting him shine always. For the last 10 years she has protected and cared for him. And in one last act, she is protecting him again, ensuring his memory is preserved in the way it deserved to be. She is a strong and powerful woman. I wish her the peace and happiness now that she can finally rest.

I was really just a kid when Reagan was President. I can't talk very much about what he did for me then. But I can certainly look back on history, and realize that my life, my country, my world would be worse off if not for him. For more blogging on Reagan, visit VokdaPundit, who's had excellent commentary all week. Also, take a look at this from Monica White. I stumbled on her blog about a week ago, it is well worth the time.

Update: Maybe the similarities between George W. Bush and Reagan are why French President Chirac's name is Conspicuously Absent from the Guest List for the Reagan Memorial Service.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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