Thursday, June 18, 2009

U.S. Needs More Leaders Like Reagan

Representative Jeff Perry recently had the following column published in the Cape Cod Times.

In Sunday’s “Viewpoints” cover story, the Cape Cod Times provided Richard Rubino of Marblehead with a great deal of ink attacking President Ronald Reagan’s conservative credentials. While I first laughed at the liberal “spin” Mr. Rubino put on his comments and dismissed it as partisan rhetoric, after second thought, I realized I needed to respond as many people unfamiliar with the legacy of Ronald Reagan might accept his mischaracterizations as true.

The major point that the author totally misses as to why conservatives and Republicans adore Ronald Reagan is not any single issue. It was Reagan’s honesty and leadership that caused the blue state of Massachusetts to vote for him twice. There has never been a political leader that we all agree with on every issue. Mr. Rubino’s careful selection of less than conservative actions ignore the character of the man, his successes and impact he has had on his Party and his Nation.

In Reagan’s eight years in office he increased defense spending by thirty-five percent, while improving relations with the Soviet Union. In dramatic and historic meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the two super-power leaders negotiated a treaty that would ultimately eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Reagan’s personal relationship with Gorbachev proved to be invaluable to averting a confrontation between these two nuclear powers.

On the home front, Reagan was equally impressive with sweeping reforms to social entitlements, including reductions in welfare spending. This not only ended the vicious cycle of racial and cultural dependence on government, but it also helped fund the tax cuts Reagan was able to push through Congress. Reagan’s economic policies became known as “Reaganomics” or “trickle down economics.” History has proven his policies were successful at creating an economic environment which led to much of America’s prosperity well after Ronald Reagan departed the White House.

When President Ronald Reagan left office he had successfully reinvigorated the American people and changed the mindset that government was the default answer to many of our problems. Without a doubt, Reagan had fulfilled his campaign pledge of 1980 to restore "the great, confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism." After eight years of Ronald Reagan in the White House, the Republican Party was once again the political party of the common man and the party that motivated Americans to believe in a positive future of our nation. Reagan inspired countless numbers of future Republicans, including yours truly to become politically active. His legacy is one which will live forever in our history by the way he conducted himself as President and the principles for which he stood without any reservations or apologies.

Without Ronald Reagan winning the 1980 election, the Republican Party, and in fact this Country, would not be as strong, prosperous or as proud as we are today. History has deservedly been good to Ronald Reagan. In most polls concerning who people believe has been our greatest President, Ronald Wilson Reagan is always first or second.

Certainly not a perfect President, but this Reagan follower wished we had more leaders like Ronald Reagan. Contrary to Mr. Rubino’s opinion, the Republican Party should look to the fundamental principles of the great people who established the Republican Party and have fostered its principles, people such as Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and yes, Ronald Reagan.