Friday, June 03, 2005

Ronald Reagan

We saw a really powerful film about Ronald Reagan sponsored by the Fond du Lac Republican Party yesterday. It was IMPOSSIBLE to miss the analogies between Reagan and Bush. Among them:
  • Like Bush, Reagan was derided by liberals as an unintelligent simpleton (an amiable dunce). Why do liberals always call Republicans stupid rather than engaging them on ideas? People who can't win the war of ideas always reach for namecalling next. Well, this "simpleton" won the Cold War. It didn't just happen. Reagan and others in his administration were architects of a multiple-pronged strategy designed to do just that. And Bush is winning the war against Islamo-fascism, despite what the media would have us believe.
  • Like Bush, Reagan believed the world needed to see evil for what it was. While his predecessors busied themselves trying to "understand" the Soviet Union and "reach out" to it through detente, Reagan gave the world moral clarity. We couldn't win this great fight if we didn't call the enemy for what it was, he believed. Evil Empire.... Axis of Evil... there is a clear analogy.
  • Like Bush, Reagan believed that, as he said in the movie, freedom needed to go on the offensive.
  • Like Bush, Reagan believed that no one could win a Nuclear War. Thus, we had to take offensive action to prevent our enemies from getting to that point. What liberals just don't seem to understand is if we waited until Saddam (or those of his ilk) got nukes and became an imminent threat... it would be too late.
  • Like Bush, Reagan's predecessors allowed the enemy to grow in strength through appeasement. It's amazing how wrong liberals have consistently been on these issues. Regarding al-Qaeda, the USS Cole, the African bombings, Somalia... they all occurred on Clinton's watch and he did... pretty much nothing. Likewise, the Soviet Empire was on the offensive and was engaging in a major military buildup under the watch of presidents before Reagan.
  • Reagan understood that the Russians historically understood one thing: Strength. Bush understands that al-Qaeda understands one thing: Strength. It's been documented that bin Laden believed our retreat from Somalia demonstrated the true nature of American resolve and it emboldened him.
  • Like Bush, Reagan was reviled and second-guessed by the liberal establishment and the media and protestors. There were times his approval ratings sunk. How offensive it is that Amnesty International recently likened Guantanamo Bay to a gulag. This movie made it clear what gulags really were... and there is no comparison.
  • Like Bush, Reagan's policies were not always understood at the time. History will likely see Bush well, just as Reagan's derided Star Wars plan is now widely understood to have been key in the defeat of the Soviet Empire.
  • Like Bush, Reagan was not afraid to inject God into his speeches. He did not believe in moral relativism. This helped him to draw the line between good and evil that was so important in defining the terms of the Cold War.
  • Like Bush, Reagan did not stick his finger in the wind to see which way the wind was blowing. He followed up his words with action and they were consistent.
  • Like Bush, Reagan came to politics later in the game.
  • Like Bush, Reagan was accused of running up big deficits. But, without that military spending, we would not have won the Cold War.

The lesson for all politicians: Know what you believe and stick to it.