Colman: THE ESSENTIAL REAGAN

I am proud to say I worked on Ronald Reagans’ 1966 gubernatorial race.  In 1980 he appointed me to the Electoral California for California—and I actually got to vote for him as President!!  Happily, I live about 1.5 miles from the Reagan Library.  To leave town I have to use the 118 Freeway, named “The Ronald Reagan Freeway.”

With his smile, sense of humor and determination, President Reagan transformed our nation and gave a generation of young people hope.

THE ESSENTIAL REAGAN

By Richard Colman, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views, 8/5/22

Essentially, Ronald Reagan wanted innovation.

Reagan, who served two terms as governor of California (1967-1975) and two terms as president of the United States (1981-1989), knew how to win elections.

The essence of Reagan was captured in remarks he made around the time he was elected president in 1980.

In a television program involving Bill Moyers, a former press secretary to President Lyndon Johnson, Reagan talked about an inventor who developed a devise for keeping a can of beer cold.

Reagan said that he was at a party and grabbed a can of beer from a tub of ice.  A few moments later, a young man came up to Reagan and said that he (the young man) had invented a special handle that could be attached to a can of cold beer.  By attaching the handle, the young man said, the beer in the can would remain cold.

Reagan told Moyers that the young man would go on to make “a million dollars.”

Moyers commented that the “essential” Reagan was a person who believed that everyone in America was clever enough to invent a special beer-can handle.  Moyers observed that that not every American was sufficiently capable of inventing something.

But Reagan had a point, which was that getting rid of government regulations would encourage more Americans to become more innovative and, thereby, increase America’s standard of living.

During Reagan’s presidency, the Dow Jones Industrial Average went from 3300 to 5700, an increase of 73 percent.  There were no wars during Reagan’s presidency.

The present-day Republican Party needs someone like Reagan, who not only encouraged innovation but also stood for a strong defense and less government overall.

Reagan wanted a 600-ship Navy to assure that America would be able to project power around the world and not be subject to an attack on the nation’s own territory. 

Reagan said that a nation does not get into war by being too strong.  Rather, he said, a nation becomes vulnerable to attack when a nation is too weak.

Unlike President Donald Trump, Reagan did not show nativism, protectionism, and xenophobia.  Trump, who was president from 2017 to 2021, did not talk about the importance of innovation.  Moreover, Trump often insulted the leaders of allied nations.

Reagan held five meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev, the head of the Soviet Union.  No American president has ever held more meetings with his Soviet counterpart than Reagan.  At one meeting, the two leaders signed a historic disarmament agreement.

Shortly after leaving office in 1989, the Soviet Union’s control over such Eastern European Soviet satellites as Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria collapsed.

Reagan, unlike Trump, never mentioned leaving the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  And Reagan had smooth relations with such Asian allies and Japan and South Korea.

When it came to presidential elections, Reagan know how win both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote.  In his 1980 campaign, he received 489 electoral votes.  His opponent, President Jimmy Carter, got 49 electoral votes.  In his 1984 re-election campaign, Reagan won 49 of 50 states, losing only Minnesota.

The time has come for the Republican Party to re-embrace Reaganism.  America needs a strong leader who has a vision of what America should be.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Jim Coles says

    Ron The Magnificent was indeed the best President of the 20th Century…but using Reagan’s legacy to take cheap shots at Trump is both baloney & childishly counterproductive.
    America was a little bit off course when “Captain Ron” grabbed the helm & righted course.
    But now the American ship of state is running at flank speed with no one in command … and no course … Zigging & zagging ever closer to the rocks that can rip her open below the water line.
    Evil minded, foul DemoComs are busy rearranging the deck chairs, trying to steal things of value before the ship goes down; while laying-in salvage claims to take pieces of America for themselves after the great crash
    Reagan never faced that reality. And among potential Republican presidential hopefuls only Trump has the personality & experience to lead the boarding party that will drive the evil ones over the sides & then regain control of our beloved ship.

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