Saturday, February 06, 2010

Ronald Reagan--One of Our Greatest Presidents

Today is Ronald Reagan's birthday. He was born 99 years ago on February 6, 1911.

Reagan's last day as president was 21 years ago. During his eight years as president Reagan set the course of winning the four decades long Cold War that had distressed the seven presidents preceding him. All, as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher noted, "without a shot being fired,"

His economic policies also brought the country out of the deep recession of the Carter years. Some statistics on Carter's economy and Reagan's:

7.18% - Carter (1980 - last year in office)
5.49% - Reagan (1988 - last year in office)

13.58% - Carter (1980 - last year in office)
4.08% - Reagan (1988 - last year in office)

misery index:
20.76 - Carter (1980 - last year in office)
9.57 - Reagan (1988 - last year in office)

Just for comparison with the economic problems Reagan faced, the misery index for George W. Bush's last year and Barack Obama's first year were:
9.61 - Bush (2008 - last year in office)
8.92 - Obama (2009 - first year in office)

Reagan confronted a misery index more than twice what either Bush or Obama have contended with. The economy was in a mess after Jimmy Carter's presidency.

Reagan had to deal with a nation in economic crisis as well as the Cold War with the prospect of nuclear destruction of the U.S. and the world. No other president has overcome such a dire threat to the nation and the world.

Ronald Reagan is already regarded by historians as one of the top 10 presidents. As political biases fade with the years, I predict he will rise to the top 4 along with Washington, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.

Washington and Lincoln have to be in the top two because the nation's existence was at stake. FDR faced a worse economy than Reagan, but the military threat to the U.S. was not as great in World War II (military attacks) as it was during the Cold War (total physical destruction). And over 400,000 Americans lost their lives in the course of winning World War II not to mention strict economic rationing imposed on the entire nation. In that context, Reagan's winning the Cold War without a shot being fired and with a flourishing civilian economy is quite an accomplishment.

His political critics called him a B-grade actor and laughed at his falling asleep in meetings and lack of ability to spew out facts and statistics. But Ronald Reagan had courage, insight and wisdom that none of them had. And he had vision. Fortunately for all of us, he (and we) have had the last laugh.


Mike's America said...

What a contrast Reagan was after four years of Carter!

I only wish there was another Reagan all set and ready to go for 2012.

T. D. said...

There will never be another Reagan.

But, I think Sarah Palin has courage, character and beliefs in line with Reagan's and Thatcher's. Whether the Lord will open the way both for a top leadership role and amazing success, is in His hands.

Thanks for your comment and all the insight you give on your blog about the character and greatness of Ronald Reagan.