Reagan: A leader loved by the nation, the antithesis of Obama

I had recently moved to Los Angeles when the nation received the news in early June of 2004 that former President Ronald Reagan’s health was rapidly declining. In true LA fashion, helicopters began flying overhead and news trucks zipped near my apartment on the West Side. I knew Reagan’s home was fairly close by, but until that day, I didn’t realize how close: a mere two miles away.

When news came of Reagan’s death, the outpouring of support in Southern California was immediate and phenomenal. People stood in mile-long lines, lasting many hours, to board shuttles to his Presidential Library in Simi Valley just north of LA in order to view his casket. I recall riding back on the shuttle from the Library after the viewing (one of over 105,000 who did so during the course of 3 days) just as the beautiful western sky was turning to dusk. As we crossed over the Ronald Reagan Freeway, there were cars lined up along the side of the road with their headlights on, for as far as the eye could see, trying to get off at the Library’s exit. It was like something right out of the end of Field of Dreams (which was the released the year Ronald Reagan left office, incidentally).

A similar outpouring happened in Washington, DC, where again over 100,000 viewed his casket. On the day of his funeral (which was this week eight years ago) hundreds of thousands more lined the procession in Washington and in Southern California. As Field of Dreams’ character Terrance Mann, played by James Earl Jones, would say, “People most definitely came.”

This public display of adoration and respect was a reflection of what Americans thought of the 40th President. Seemingly unfathomable in today’s political climate, Reagan won his 1984 reelection with 49 of 50 states, topping his 1980 landslide of 44 states. Neither number has been matched since. He sold me, when I was 13 years old: I spoke in support of him at an all-school assembly, and I’m happy to report he won that election far-and-away too. Later, I was thrilled when President Reagan came to speak at West Point, while I was a cadet there.

Why did so many come to love and believe in him so much? As he humbly acknowledged in his Farewell Address, people nicknamed him the Great Communicator, but he felt what was really the case was that he was communicating great, time-tested ideas, which resonated as true. He noted they didn’t “spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation — from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries.”

Read more at HERE.

  • What a fantastic piece. Thanks for not wasting to much time on BO.

  • Srteve

    President Reagan loved and believed in this nation. He believed his job was to protect the nation and its citizens. President Obama does not love and respect this nation. He believes his job is to support other nations and himself, not the citizens.

    • Michael

      Of course President Obama loves his country, the U.S., just as much as Reagan or anyone else.

      Of course President Obama believes in the U.S. just as much as Reagan or anyone else.

      Of course President Obama respects the U.S. just as much as Reagan or anyone else.

      There is no evidence that President Obama “believes his job is to support other nations and himself, not the citizens.”

      What “other nations” do you think President Obama supports? President Obama has not given any indication of being a Zionist so you cannot be thinking President Obama supports Israel.

      What has President Obama done that would make you think he “supports himself not U.S. citizens”?

      Almost all politicians do whatever they can to get elected then to get re-elected. Ideally politicians’ actions and needs should match what the U.S. needs. Unfortunately too often politicians do what is wanted by special interests which in Reagan’s case was the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us against in 1961, the very rich when Reagan

  • Michael

    Under Reagan the federal debt increased by around $1.7 trillion, meaning Reagan doubled the federal debt.
    Under Reagan Fiscal Year 1981 the federal debt was $1,142,034 then Fiscal Year 1989 the federal debt was $2,857,430