June 06, 2004


Mark Steyn: "Only Reagan could have stood there and declared without embarrassment: Tear down this wall! -- and two years later the wall was, indeed, torn down. Ronald Reagan was straightforward and true and said it for everybody."

Arthur Chrenkoff: "The Western sophisticates sneered when he spoke about the 'Evil Empire'; we knew it was evil and that it was an empire - we lived in it."

Florida Cracker: "He was a good man who righted the Ship of State."

Charles Austin: "The original misunderestimated president."

Matt Welch: "When the old fella said 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!' I laughed at his blustery naivete, as I did whenever he uttered the phrase 'Evil Empire.' Needless to say, I was wrong about that, and he was right, and I'm still ashamed about it."

Michael Totten: "What I didn't understand, because I was just a kid, was that most people who lived in the Soviet Union agreed with him. I'm sure I'm wrong about some things now and I'll be wrong again in the future. But I'm not making that mistake again."

Dawn Eden: "The difference Reagan made is that our country and the world can now distinguish more clearly what is passing away and what has newness of spirit. It truly is morning in America."

NZ Pundit: "Hero and emancipator of countless millions."

Andrew at Pathetic Earthlings: "I loved him because he taught me to love my country."

William Kristol: "He was able to take the moral offensive against communism not only because he believed the Soviet Union evil, but because he believed America a force for good."

Bob Hawke: "He was always keen to get formal meetings over, so that we could go to lunch and swap a few jokes."

Damian Penny: "I was terrified of Ronald Reagan when I was a child. Today, for his role in bringing down a politcal system that murdered over 100 million people in 70 years (and brought unimaginable misery to millions more), I believe he was a hero."

The Gnu Hunter: "If you relied on surface impressions garnered from the front page of newspapers when he was President you will know he was a dumb cowboy, B-grade actor who should never have been made President. He was in reality the Cold Warrior who won the Cold War."

John Derbyshire: "Reagan had the firmest, clearest, truest moral compass of any modern President."

Andrea Harris: "The commies were scared shitless of him."

Alan Anderson: "Reagan lasted long enough to pass away at a time when the forces of freedom are again on the march. A happy consequence has been the belated recognition of his contribution to the cause of liberty."

George F. Will: "If you seek Ronald Reagan's monument, look around, and consider what you do not see. The Iron Curtain that scarred a continent is gone, as is the Evil Empire responsible for it. The feeling of foreboding -- the sense of shrunken possibilities -- that afflicted Americans 20 years ago has been banished by a new birth of the American belief in perpetually expanding horizons."

Roger L. Simon: "I never voted for him for Governor or President but ... he undoubtedly had more positive effect on history than all those for whom I did."

Andrew Sullivan: "He was and is my hero, my political inspiration, the reason I was proud to call myself a 'conservative,' when I first came into political consciousness."

Jessica’s Well: "Great enough to defeat an enemy without firing a shot, effectively liberating half a continent."

John Howard: "Ronald Reagan, in my view, was the greatest of post World War II American presidents."

Adrian the Cabbie: "Ronald Reagan saved the world from Mutually Assured Destruction. Period. Thanks mate, from me, my son and generations to come."

Pejman Yousefzadeh: "Job well done, Mr. President. We'll miss you. And I'm sorry for rooting against you 24 years ago. Chalk it up to the mistakes of youth."

Ryne McClaren: "His footsteps in the White House during the eight years he was in office will echo forever."

Powerline: "It's difficult for those who weren't politically conscious by 1980 to understand how different it felt to be an American that year compared to eight years later."

John Hawkins: "One of the greatest figures of the 20th century and a better man than I'll ever be."

Fred Gion: "We will remember the fighting spirit, the moral clarity, the optimism and the jokes. 'Reagan dead' is an oxymoron."

Belmont Club: "None of his detractors, however polished and poised, have changed the world so profoundly as this one man."

Sgt. Stryker: "The last President who was worth a damn."

Jennie Taliaferro: "He won the Cold War without firing a shot and he won our hearts by being himself."

Silent Running: "Thanks in large measure to Reagan's steadfast support of the idea that human beings everywhere are entitled to freedom, the Free World has been expanded tremendously."

Farm Accident Digest: "I spent his presidency loathing his policies and considering him a well meaning, but dangerous fool. I have, of course, grown up since then."

Mike Jericho: "May he find in the heavens a place of tranquility befitting a man who brought lasting peace to a world on the verge of nuclear annihilation."

Evil Pundit: "I was a Lefty in the 80s, and while Reagan was President I actually believed all that propaganda about Reagan being a moron who wanted to start World War III. People on the Left regarded him almost exactly the way that they regard Bush now, right down to the snide 'moron' jokes. How wrong I was."

Professor Bunyip: "If Margo, Carlton, Ramsey, Adams or any other member of the ABC/Fairfax axis says a bad word against the memory of Ronald Reagan, they need to be dragged out of their offices and whipped."

Helen at CaribPundit: "May the Lord God give comfort to President Reagan's family in their hour of grief; may He receive our thanks that President Reagan's long night has ended as he goes on to be with Christ Jesus in paradise."

The OmbudsGod: "Viva La Reagan Revolution!"

More here.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 6, 2004 03:11 PM


Posted by: Lydia at June 6, 2004 at 03:22 PM

Reagan was dumb; he was reckless; he spoke simplistically of "good" and "evil"; he saw everything in black and white; he lacked nuance; he was a dangerous cowboy; he was a mindless patriot.

And ultimately, he was victorious, and the world became a better place than it was before.

Except that the Europeans learned nothing. And it's the '80s all over again.

Posted by: Dave S. at June 6, 2004 at 03:30 PM

One of your American readers might know the details better but this is one of my favourite Reagan stories.

Campaigning for the presidency in, I think, late 1979, Reagan was in Sacramento, CA, and various G.O.P. sophisticates were tutoring him on the 'correct' attitude to project regarding the Soviet Union. You know - dialogue, co-existence, detente and all that.

Reagan, simpleton that he was, responded thus: "No. There's only one game here: we win and they lose."

This is one of my favourite computer desktops. I've just set it up again in honour of this preposterous man who dared believe in right and wrong, good and evil.

Now there's another 'game' being played internationally. For me, thanks to Reagan's lesson, I solidly believe there's still only one way to end it: we win and they lose.

Vale, the Gipper.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 6, 2004 at 04:21 PM

Isn't it curious that millions to the east of the "Iron Curtain" credit Ronald Reagan for their freedom, but the "Western sophisticates" credit Gorbachev, of all people?

As an agnostic, I say this without a hint of irony:

May God bless him and welcome him to the shining city on the hill.

Posted by: Spiny Norman at June 6, 2004 at 04:26 PM

I googled the reference I mentioned above:

"My idea of American policy toward the Soviet Union is simple, and some would say simplistic. It is this: 'We win and they lose.' What do you think of that?"

-- Ronald Reagan, to future National Security Adviser Richard V. Allen, 1977.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 6, 2004 at 04:27 PM

you don't have to ba professor of chemistry to know when an egg has gone bad.
He was an academic's nightmare and he proved them all wrong.
They scoffed at his simplicity but he spoke with his heart not his lips.

Posted by: davo at June 6, 2004 at 04:50 PM

He was a great man, period. There is nobody that can ever take that from him.

(You can read more of my sentiments on my site.)

Posted by: Easycure at June 6, 2004 at 04:51 PM

Currencylad -

My boss at work was at that talk in Sacramento -- and was talking about it just last week. We win, they lose.

I don't know if Bush or Kerry will prevail in November, but the guy who wins the War on Terrorism will be the guy who puts it in such perfect moral clarity.

We win. They lose.

Posted by: Andrew at June 6, 2004 at 05:12 PM

To sum up two complicated careers in six words:

Bedtime for Bonzo.
Bedtime for Communism.

"And all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side."

God bless you, Ronald Reagan

Posted by: Sue at June 6, 2004 at 05:34 PM

I'll take simple and plain spoken over nuanced and sophisticated any day.

I've had members of my family die with the same illness and it's like a death watch that lasts for years. Very hard on everyone.

I pray his family finds comfort and peace.

Posted by: ChrisJosephson at June 6, 2004 at 06:19 PM

Freeing half of a continent from marxist dictatorship. Not a bad days work.

Posted by: David Crawford at June 6, 2004 at 06:27 PM

The cold war is over. We won! [occult sin]

That's one Adult Swim bump we'd not have if not for Reagan.

Posted by: Sortelli at June 6, 2004 at 06:57 PM

May God bless you, Mr. President. Thank-you, for everything.

Posted by: George L. at June 6, 2004 at 09:07 PM

I took the photo posted above and modified it. Pretty happy with the results. Kerry Kartoons

President Reagan - small version

President Reagan

Posted by: vinny at June 6, 2004 at 09:50 PM

"My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you that I have just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes."
- Ronald Reagan, 1984.

Freedom lost a great warrior today. He will be sadly missed.

Posted by: Alex Robson at June 6, 2004 at 11:58 PM

"We win and they lose" applied to the Democrats as well. My favorite Reagan story concerns the 1984 election, in which Reagan took 49 states - his opponent, Walter Mondale, winning only the District of Columbia and his home state of Minnesota. After Mondale made his concession speech, Reagan went on television and made a speech that, as always, was gracious and warm toward his opponent. But as he stepped off the podium, Reagan turned to an aide and asked, "Why didn't we schedule more stops in Minnesota?"

Reagan's opponents, Communist and Democrat alike, always misunderestimated him, to their sorrow.

Posted by: Brown Line at June 7, 2004 at 12:01 AM

The greatest president of my lifetime. A true American, a true patriot, a truly good and decent man. It hurt me on an almost daily basis to see him trashed in the press, and yet he seemed to simply shrug it off. It took me awhile to understand why he did it so effortlessly. Quite simply, he was a better person.

My mother has a wonderful photograph of Ronald Reagan and herself smiling with Ronnie's arm around her. She was 18 at the time and the picture was taken, of all places, in Cuba 1958. It is possibly my mother's most prized possesion.

Posted by: Brent at June 7, 2004 at 01:09 AM

I think it was Natan Sharansky or perhaps even Havel who said that while we in the West were watching the Soviets, the people behind the Iron Curtain were watching and listening to us in the West.

The power of the powerless (one of Havel's greatest pieces) - those people living under Communism - was in their ability to say no, to say that Marxism was built upon lies and that "workers of the world unite" was an empty slogan built upon falsehoods.

But they really couldn't say "No, this is not right", unless their was an alternative, another way of organizing society, another system to believe it. If your only option is (A), you choose (A) even if it's incorrect. There must be a (B) to choose.

Reagan told the people in the East that not only was (A) wrong and a lie but that (B) would work. That there WAS a difference between (A) and (B). That Marxism was evil and that Democracy was good. No moral equivalence please.

That had enormous implications psychologically and spiritually (in a secular sense) to a people living under oppression.

The people in the Soviet Union, inside East Germany, inside Poland and elsewhere really won the Cold War. It was their courage and demand for human dignity that led to the collapse of Communism.

But Reagan's encouragement for them to act, his ability to offer them another path, his willingess to join with them in saying both "No!" and "Yes" was critical in the downfall of the East.

God Bless him. His echoes for freedom and against tyranny will last for centuries. Somewhere 100 years from now or 200 years from now, someone will be living under tyranny. And they will find a book (a CD?) with Reagan's statements in it. And they will be moved. And they will act. And they will be free.

If you pave over the entire world with cement, obliterating everything, eventually over time a blade of grass or a flower will break through that cement and grow. And Reagan will be there to help it grow.


Posted by: SteveMG at June 7, 2004 at 01:39 AM

I remember we were just waiting for him to be sworn in because we knew that the hostages in Iran would be coming home, alive, because he was now the president. That's the kind of man our enemies knew he was.

Posted by: ushie at June 7, 2004 at 02:04 AM

While he wasn't without blemish he makes today's politicians lookand sound manipulative and shallow.
But who will take on China ,the last big totalitarian state in the same way to give that 1.2 billion people their frredom?

Posted by: Damap1 at June 7, 2004 at 02:12 AM

[i]And whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts....

...My fondest hope for each one of you -- and especially for the young people here -- is that you will love your country, not for her power or wealth, but for her selflessness and her idealism. May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will make the world a little better for your having been here.

May all of you as Americans never forget your heroic origins, never fail to seek divine guidance, and never lose your natural, God-given optimism.

And finally, my fellow Americans, may every dawn be a great new beginning for America and every evening bring us closer to that shining city upon a hill.[/i]

Posted by: Matt from Vegas at June 7, 2004 at 02:17 AM

"Today, we have far fewer nuclear weapons than we did twenty years ago."
* "Our third task is to establish a better working relationship with each other. One marked by greater co-operation and understanding. Co-operation and understanding are built on deeds, not words."

Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: Trunk at June 7, 2004 at 02:47 AM

Thanks for all the links, tim.

Optimism has an energy all its own. If you want to create a strong, properous and free society, you have to believe in the future. Ronald Reagon, with his words and with his deeds, made us believe.

Posted by: MD at June 7, 2004 at 04:34 AM

Ronald Reagan, (sheesh, that's embarrassing)

Posted by: MD at June 7, 2004 at 04:36 AM

Let's see. The big hero sat out the war banging startlets in the Battle of Culver City.

Preached everybody else morality but chose as his closest personal friends the worst bunch of degenerates in the country.

Bought us a bunch of more or less useless military hardware but, unlike Carter, who as a professional officer understood armaments, no ammunition for it.

Started those great successes, the Space Station and Star Wars.

Couldn't tell a madeup story from a true one.

And was lucky enough to be occupying a chair when a sclerotic system fell of its own weight.

Oh yeah, and promised to cut the budget and instead grew it tremendously.

Reagan has been described as a 'fantasy-prone personality,' the kind of person whose inner life is so vibrant that he cannot tell it from his outer life.

The amazing thing is -- and nobody would have expected this -- he made it contagious.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at June 7, 2004 at 05:03 AM

In the immortal words of Hank Hill:

"Lord, I miss voting for that man."

Posted by: Parker at June 7, 2004 at 05:18 AM

Ya know, I just feel sad for folks like Harry Eager. Most of us have Reagan for a hero. Who does he have? Jimmy Carter? Bill Clinton? John Kerry? It's just sad. To quote (rather roughly) Auntie Mame, "Life's a banquet, and some poor suckers are starving." Poor suckers like Harry Eager will always starve because they refuse to partake of the banquet.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at June 7, 2004 at 05:32 AM

Y'know Harry, I figured out why you leftwing hatemongers dream of having a classless society.

Because you don't have any class in the first place.

In a society without class, you'd fit in perfectly. Right now, you're just dead inside and you need to pull everything else down into your cynical hate.

Not going to work, my friend.

To paraphrase Reagan: into the dustbin of life you belong.



Posted by: SteveMG at June 7, 2004 at 05:33 AM

I mourn him. He set me free (literally).

Rare are politicians who "get it right" both in foreign and domestic economic agenda. Reagan was such an unique individual. He was a Great President.


Posted by: Katherine at June 7, 2004 at 05:35 AM

I'm usually annoyed when people drag this into current debates, but I'm sick of people lying about Reagan and Bush at the same time, slandering them, and especially that these backstabbers dishonor the president who was the most respected or feared throughout the world. They draw comparisons between Reagan and Bush, but manage to lie through their teeth the whole time.

To those who slander Reagan and say, while keeping a straight face, that Carter was a better president, I say this:

OMFG. You call Carter a professional officer? My dad was in the Navy at that time. What professionalism Carter had was lost in office. My father described in detail how bad it was trying to run the military when they were so understaffed. They'd go out, dick around without even scaring any commies, and have to work horrible hours with no certainty of stable pay and new equipment. He describes Carter, when he is in a good mood, as a "traitor." Carter backstabbed the military and then humiliated it in an utter, poorly planned disaster in Iran. Instead of just making up for it by kicking the Iranians' asses, he wimped out.

Then Reagan came. My dad referred to Carter as a virtual traitor. He refers to Reagan as "Uncle Ronnie." He turned the military around. Despite the disaster in Iran, he threatened them enough so that they released the hostages on the day of his inaguration. He helped modernize the military, and it's because of Reagan that our military is so much better that anyone else's now. The Soviets tried to keep up, but we always edged out ahead of them. It cost us a lot, but it made the Soviets bankrupt. Whenever left-wing jackasses bitch about costs or casualties in any conflict, I always say that it costs our opponents far more.

To anyone who slanders Bush also, or says that Clinton is better, I say:

Regrettably, that virtual traitor Clinton came into office, and he slashed the military. He then humiliated the military in a poorly planned utter disaster in Somalia. Instead of coming in there with a Marine division and kicking asses over there, he wimped out. A terrorist group called al-Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center, and Saddam Hussein researched WMDs and committed genocide. He did not act. He then lost the nuclear codes and had sex with an intern, lied about it, and lost any fear and respect our enemies had from the era of Reagan.

Then Bush came. Someone decided to attack America because Clinton had showed it to be weak. Bush helped the military grow back into a healthy size, and he went over there and kicked their asses with it. They're still running from us, and now they can attack only the weak-willed Europeans who do not have the will and conviction to go out and crush them. Bush then saw Saddam Hussein pulling a Clinton in front of the UN (define what "not accounted for" is) and went over there and kicked his ass for it, but for some reason everyone's mad because he did them a favor.

And liberals and Western Europeans are mad at both. Both went and helped free distant countries, suppressed enemies, and made costly but vital choices. We are so much safer because Reagan was such a threat, and many people gained freedom partly due to him. I think also that we are safer because of what Bush does, and many people are free who weren't four years ago.

Posted by: Mike at June 7, 2004 at 07:23 AM

Reagans' death while Bush is commemorating D-Day is sad but timely, given the path between Churchill, Reagan and Bush. All of them took turns at the wheel against totalitarianism after appeasers had nearly lost everything by trying to accomodate tyranny. In the first two cases, victory was achieved by trying to defeat it instead of living with it, and one has to hope that it works as well this time too.

The socio-economic principles are strinkingly similar too, with an understanding that socialism does not make everyone equally rich but instead serves to make everyone equallly poor, and that the people do not exist to serve the state but that government is meant to disinterfere with the people's pursuit of happiness.

There are several others besides these three, but I believe that they are the most relevant for today. In any event, knowing that Reagan was part of a long line of such thinkers and that the line continues today makes the loss bearable--the present is his gift and our duty.

Posted by: Ursus at June 7, 2004 at 07:43 AM

Anyone read the SMH piece? Why did it conclude with a bit on how Latham is being criticised by George Bush?

Talk about your spin. If Latham can't get to the finish line this year by himself, the media will be there to help him over.

Posted by: Quentin George at June 7, 2004 at 08:27 AM

SteveMG -

Here's something from GK Chesterton on optimism and reform; it applies to RR I think:

"The optimist is a better reformer than the pessimist; and the man who believes life to be excellent is the man who alters it most. It seems a paradox, yet the reason of it is very plain. The pessimist can be enraged at evil. But only the optimist can be surprised at it. From the reformer is required a simplicity of surprise. He must have the faculty of a violent and virgin astonishment. It is not enough that he should think injustice distressing; he must think injustice absurd, an anomaly in existence, a matter less for tears than for a shattering laughter. On the other hand, the pessimists at the end of the century could hardly curse even the blackest thing; for they could hardly see it against its black and eternal background. Nothing was bad, because everything was bad. Life in prison was infamous -- like life anywhere else. The fires of persecution were vile -- like the stars. We perpetually find this paradox of a contented discontent. Dr. Johnson takes too sad a view of humanity, but he is also too satisfied a Conservative. Rousseau takes too rosy a view of humanity, but he causes a revolution. Swift is angry, but a Tory. Shelley is happy, and a rebel. Dickens, the optimist, satirises the Fleet, and the Fleet is gone. Gissing, the pessimist, satirises Suburbia, and Suburbia remains."

Posted by: Brian at June 7, 2004 at 08:53 AM

Thanks for the post.

As you probably know, Reagan was criticized by many conservatives for this cheerfulness, for this optimism. For conservatives, having studied history, are deeply suspicious of man. Original Sin and all that; or, at least, if man is not sinful, he is certainly capable of sin.

Interesting, is it not, that Havel and Bonner and Sharansky and Walesa and dozens if not hundreds of other dissidents all have great praise for Reagan. They all point out how his words and actions were critical in bringing totalitarianism down.

And yet here, some on the liberal/left all dismiss the fall of Communism as a historical inevitability. "It was rotted out anyway, it was going to fall eventually."

Eventually. Of course, all civilizations fall eventually. But how many lives were to be taken until it fell? Wouldn't it be better if we helped push that fall a little? Accelerate its demise?

One would think so.

Unless you really didn't think it should fall in the first place. Hmmm??


Posted by: SteveMG at June 7, 2004 at 09:23 AM

I thought he was great in the "Two Tribes" film clip.

Posted by: Swade at June 7, 2004 at 10:04 AM


He was better in The Minutemen's "This Ain't No Picnic" video!

Outstanding lifeguard, sportscaster, actor, union leader, spokesman, Governor, and President.

I echo Roger Simon's assessment: President Reagan did more good than all the politicians that I did vote for.

Posted by: JDB at June 7, 2004 at 10:31 AM

"some on the liberal/left all dismiss the fall of Communism as a historical inevitability"

The tune changed somewhat, then. Communism's triumph over capitalism was supposed to be a historical inevitability.

Some are still hoping…

Posted by: Katherine at June 7, 2004 at 11:21 AM

>The tune changed somewhat, then. Communism's triumph over capitalism was supposed to be a historical inevitability.Some are still hoping…

Posted by: SteveMG at June 7, 2004 at 11:38 AM

I too was a product of the media of the time, and thot America was going down the tubes by voting for a actor. How wrong i was.

We need people who know how to speak without nuances. But that won't get you any high-falutin' degree will it?

Posted by: daniel at June 7, 2004 at 12:40 PM

I, like many enjoy a lot of his one-liners:
Heres another
"She's the best man in england" Reagan referring the Baroness

Posted by: RhikoR at June 7, 2004 at 02:00 PM

--Started those great successes, the Space Station and Star Wars.--

Oh, Harry, really, a few years ago either th WSJ or the Chicago Trib did an article on the commercialized tech coming our of Star Wars.

They focused on 4 things, but could only remember something to do w/dentistry.

So, although we really haven't paid attention to Star Wars, one could say it has been a great success or advancement.

The ISS, I do enjoy watching them fix things outside the station. And love telling my child look, they're outside 200 miles up RIGHT NOW fixing that!

One never knows, she could be an astronaut.

Posted by: Sandy P at June 7, 2004 at 03:43 PM

Reagan didn't "sit out the war banging startlets in the Battle of Culver City." He was nearsighted and unable to serve on active duty. He made training films during the war. Does anyone seriously doubt he would have served if he had been able?

As for his personal physical courage, he saved over 70 people as a lifeguard in a treacherous stretch of a river. After the assasination attempt his quip about the doctors all being Republicans - a classic - showed poise in extremely dire circumstances, and reassured the medical staff when they needed it.

Posted by: Butch at June 7, 2004 at 05:12 PM

I was just growing up when he was elected. I am from the generation that shocked the baby boomers by naming him one of our favorite role models. I believe the percentage was 80%.

I remember wondering why I was supposed to be ashamed to be an American. I had been told that the military was for losers and blood thirsty baby killers. I remember thinking that if America was so powerful why was there a bunch of hostages in Iran?

Then this man came along and said that America is GREAT! That it is good to take pride in the flag and the country that it stands for. That the military has some of our best and brightest. He made me feel that those who were our countries uniform should take pride to do so and we the people should support and be proud of them. He told the Iranians that the hostages had better be released by the time he took office or there would be trouble. Suddenly they were coming home. He said that we could compete with the Japanese and we did.

We went from being the worlds kick toy to a force to be reckoned with. Send people to blow up a jet filled with Americans and our allies, we will send bombers to try and take you and your family out.

At the same time he tended to be so caring about people. I have heard stories about people mailing him telling how they wouldn't be able to pay their bills. He would write out a personal check for $200 dollars to them. One time someone didn't cash the check and he contacted them to find out why. They had framed the check and didn't plan to cash it. He smiled and wrote out another one to them.

I saw an interview with one of the former Prime Ministers of Canada. He had worked with ?Ford?, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. He was asked about some of the differences between them. He said that when Reagan walked into a room you knew that the most powerful man in the world was there.

I don't believe that he was perfect, but then neither was Washington, Lincoln, or Jefferson. I do think that he should be ranked among them.

I miss him.

I wish they would do a train with a State car across America like they did for Lincoln. I don't think I can fly to CA. I do think that I could drive to the train.

Posted by: Mark at June 8, 2004 at 02:36 AM

And Reagan wasn't just "lucky enough to be occupying a chair when a sclerotic system fell of its own weight" -- he's the one who pushed that sclerotic system until it fell over.

Specifically, when President Reagan "bought us a bunch of more or less useless military hardware" and initiated the "Star Wars" program that Harry sneers at, he forced the Soviets to do likewise or fall behind in the Arms Race. But Reagan knew that the Soviet economy couldn't actually fund that sort of build-up. The Soviets were left with two choices: give up the race, or destroy their own economy. Gorbachev saw the handwriting on the wall and gave up the race.

President Reagan knew exactly what he was doing.

Posted by: Pat Berry at June 8, 2004 at 02:39 AM

RIP Mr. Reagan. And thank you.
I want a president who's a better man than I am. Ronald Reagan was. George W. Bush is.
We know about the others, sadly.

Posted by: Pete Sandel at June 8, 2004 at 03:40 AM

Muchas Gracias "DUTCH"

Posted by: chileau at June 8, 2004 at 09:28 AM

I was stationed in Germany during the last few Reagan years. We had HAWK missiles on our tacsite, but for the idiots who organized the anti-nuke protests, any missile is a nuclear tipped missile. Outside our gates, we saw all the signs about how Reagan was determined to bring nuclear armageddon to Western Europe.
In the end, exactly as he planned, it wasn't nuclear armageddon that Reagan brought to Western Europe, it was the death of communism that he brought to Eastern Europe, and the resultant freedom for millions of people.
Because of this, because this "simpleton" showed the leftist elite just how wrong they were, he will be forever reviled and hated by the "intellectuals" who preached quiet acceptance of the enslavement of millions in the gulags.
Ronald Reagan didn't know any of those people behind the Iron Curtain, he only knew that what was happening to them was wrong, and only the US had the ability to change it.
And change it he did.
My Commander in Chief.
I give you one last salute, with heartfelt thanks for being part of the good you brought this world.

Posted by: Diggs at June 8, 2004 at 09:55 AM

On a television program, a woman was interviewed, and she bemoaned her financial situation under the Reagan admin.. Pres. Reagan drew a cheque on his personal a/c and had it posted to her. The cheque remained outstanding for some time. Staff spoke to the payee, who said she was keeping it because it had the Presidents signature on it. RR cancelled that cheque, and sent another. It could have been a PR stunt; it might be an urban myth; but I think he cared for individuals, so it rings true

Posted by: Thomas the Tout at June 8, 2004 at 11:30 AM

My was here, if anyone cares.

Reagan was the man who convinced me my teenage liberalism was more a pose than a position.

Posted by: Jeff G at June 8, 2004 at 02:31 PM

Thomas, it wasn't a PR trick and it wasn't a myth. He really did send needy people personal checks, and he really did send that lady a replacement. Reagan did all sorts of things that he didn't have to do, which is a real mark of character in my book.

One example: After a presidential political rally, he was told that there were several blind children behind the podium who wanted to meet him. Helped by his aides (Oh, I forgot, his "handlers"...) he waited until just the right moment, after the press assumed he had left and were themselves streaming out. He doubled back to the podium and met with those children, privately. He asked them whether they wanted to touch his face so they could get a better idea of what he looked like. One by one, they touched his face, and they were delighted.

Read "Dear Americans," a compendium of letters he wrote to private Americans during his two terms. There were over 3500! He wrote beautiful, extremely courteous letters, as a dedicated public servant to his employers, and he never condescended.

Reagan was one of a kind.

Posted by: Butch at June 8, 2004 at 03:03 PM

"lucky enough to be occupying a chair when a sclerotic system fell of its own weight"

Sur he was - like Churchill was lucky enough to be occupyting the chair when the sclerotic Nazi Reich fell of its own weight, and Alfred the Great was lucky enough to be occupying the chair when the sclerotic Vikings stopped raiding England.

Excuse me, I'm off to launch my lunch

Posted by: Hal GP Colebatch at June 8, 2004 at 03:13 PM

Growing up in the 1980s, my mum (this in the UK) loathed the man. But (and maybe this is some kind of weird rebellion thing) I always liked him - he seemed clear, straight, positive. He stood up in the face of evil, didn't kow-tow.

As I've grown older and read up, that instinctive view was confirmed. Reagan was a true original - easily the greatest postwar president, without a shadow of a doubt.

I love how you see all the weirdos come out of the woodwork at this time, wittering on about how awful it was to call the USSR an 'Evil Empire'. Funny how they never say why?

Posted by: lbom at June 8, 2004 at 11:20 PM

Cheers for the linkage Mr. Blair.

Reagan had an amazing influence on many people.

His actions (starting with the liberation of Grenada) turned me away from the liberal dead-end, and I remain eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for growing up and away from that particular cul de sac of the mind.

Posted by: Rtfm at June 9, 2004 at 03:50 AM

Reagan was a magnificent stand-out President judged on his results, the kind you may get every every century or so, if you are lucky.

The puerile Left bleat "lack of critical analysis" so complete in their ignorance are they of what is important; a type of Specific Learning Difficulty uniquely Leftist.

We can honour him by defeating Pan Islam (I mean ....really....as if they don`t have a long term hegemonic agenda!) resoundingly & reducing the bloated role of Government in all free societies.

PS Great Blog, thank you

Posted by: graeme jaxon at June 10, 2004 at 05:17 PM