Reagan was just plain likable. Of all the subjects I’ve studied, few were as universally liked. Sure, Reagan, as president, was demonized by the Left, but that’s what the Left does: indecent, ugly rage. Still, even most liberals muster nice words about Reagan personally.
Central to that likability was Reagan’s humility. The word “I” didn’t dominate his conversation, unless he was poking fun at himself. He was no narcissist. Ronald Reagan was not full of pride; he was thoroughly unpossessed of self-love.
And the Gipper was a plain ol’ nice guy. He didn’t let the barbs of the media–and there were many–get to him. I speculate that it was his lady’s love that made him so strong. The leftists’ barbs bounced right off him because he was confident in his beliefs and strengthened by Nancy’s affection.
He didn’t need love himself; he got all the validation he needed just from one look in his wife’s eyes.
Kengor concludes with an anecdote about the Gipper’s common touch which shows why our Ron was such a great man.
On the same day I was finishing the second chapter of my dissertation, I was asked to write two pieces on Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. I linked the first here. Earlier today, Pajamas Media published the second of those pieces. Here’s the opening.
Seventeen years ago, just days after becoming president, Bill Clinton rushed to fulfill a promise he had made several times on the campaign trail in 1992–he would repeal the ban on gays serving in the military. At the time, the presdient could have repealed the ban with the stroke of a pen. It was an administrative directive, not federal law.
Clinton, however, did not lay the groundwork for repeal. His fellow Democrat, Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga), then-Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, an opponent of the ban, held hearings which upstaged the president. Colin Powell, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Stuff, voiced his opposition. And Clinton had Barney Frank, an openly gay Democratic Congressman, defending him. That Massachusetts Democrat had no history of military service and was not well regarded in military circles. He cast this issue as one of gay rights.
In the end, Frank helped craft a compromise, legislation that would come to be known as Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT). It allowed gay people to serve provided they don’t openly declare their sexuality. But, it also codified the ban. No longer an administrative directive, it was no federal law. The president would need an act of Congress to repeal it.
Yesterday, when I saw an e-mail from “Equality California” (EqCA) entitled “Prop. 8 supporter’s TV ads start today” in my inbox, I thought the missive’s text might provide fodder for a post allowing me to agree with that left-wing gay group. I mean, why would a Prop 8 supporter run ads for an initiative that voters have long since approved?
The body of the e-mail, however, had nothing to do with Proposition 8. You see, Geoff Kors, Executive Director of EqCA is upset that Meg Whitman, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of this great state has, in his words,
. . . launched a multi-million dollar media blitz. She is trying to buy the governor’s office with ads that fail to tell the true story about who she really is – an anti-equality candidate who has fought to eliminate the rights of LGBT people in an attempt to drum up conservative support to win an election.
In other words, this accomplished CEO has started running ads promoting her candidacy and she’s not talking about gay marriage. And while that may get Mr. Kors panties in a bundle, well, I think it’s a good thing. I don’t think candidates for Governor should make opposition to gay marriage the focus of their campaigns. Instead, she’s talking about the state’s problems and putting forward her ideas on how to make California golden once again.
Yeah, Meg Whitman supported Prop 8. And while I like much of what she’s been saying, I’m not ready to endorse her, remaining undecided in the gubernatorial contest. Before I make up my mind, I want to hear her stand on the state’s landmark domestic partnership program. I’d be more likely to support her if she addressed that program as Scott Brown addressed gay marriage in his state: calling it “settled law.” (more…)
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Today marks the 99th anniversary of the birth of the greatest American president of the second half on the twentieth century, the greatest of the entire century if we consider just domestic policy. Born in Tampico, Illinois, Ronald Wilson never lost faith in the American nation — or the American people.
Or, as the Gipper himself might put it, he always have faith in the American nation and the American people. He kept his optimism even when times were tough. When, before his economic policies kicked in and his poll numbers took a nosedive, he kept his good humor, quipping to his pollster Richard Wirthlin that he might have to get himself shot again.
He held the line against growth in domestic spending even as he faced a big-government loving Democratic majority House of Representatives for his entire eight years in the White House. By building up the military and standing up to the Soviets, calling theirs an “evil Empire,” he brought it down, winning the Cold War without a shot being fired.
He worked closely with our allies, particularly the Brits, forging a strong partnership with his good friend, the Iron Lady, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He championed freedom and considered himself the luckiest man alive, not because he got to preside over this great nation and helped restore its stature, but because he had won the love of the former Nancy Davis and got to spend the better part of his life with her.
He knew that while he may have been born good, she made him great.
And that’s one reason he was great; Ronald Reagan was grateful for what he had. And we are grateful for his inspiration and his leadership. And for his lady who gave him comfort on the journey and the strength to stand tall for the ideals and ideas which make this nation what it is.