Thursday, February 03, 2011

Reagan at 100

The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing. (October 27, 1964)

I'm sure that President Obama would agree with this quote. The difference is that he sees nothing wrong in controlling people. That is what the progressive movement is still about. That is what the nanny state is all about, too. The people at the top are sure that they know what is best for people and they want everyone to conform. Obamacare makes sure that you have to carry a minimum amount of insurance. Trains control where you go and when. The EPA has issued orders that will force smaller cars and more expensive power.

Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich because he thinks that government can make better use of their money than they will.

Reagan understood that no single solution works for everyone and freedom includes the option to make the wrong choice. He also wanted an America that is strong enough to protect these freedoms.

When Reagan spoke these words we were in a decades-long competition with communism which tries to eliminate all choice. When Reagan became president he made it his goal to eliminate communism. He was successful. Much of the world lived under communist rule in 1980 and it was expanding across Africa and South America. The principle exporter of communism, the USSR collapsed a few years after Reagan's presidency ended and only a handful of true communist countries remain. China can no longer be called communist and even Cuba is loosening its grip on people.

Very few presidents leave such a mark on the world. President Obama does not have a chance of accomplishing as much for the simple reason that he does not have the vision for it. Neither did Clinton or either Bush. George W. Bush tried to with his democracy initiative but he failed on the follow-through.

People did remember Kennedy's inauguration speech on its 50th anniversary but the Kennedy administration actually amounted to very little. His biggest achievement was setting the goal of landing a man on the moon. Johnson's centennial came and went without note even though he gave us our modern welfare state. Nixon may be remembered but not in a good way. Ford was barely remembered at his death. People think of Clinton fondly now but by the end of his term he had turned his presidency into an SNL punch-line ("What did you expect? We're the Clintons.")

It is scary to think of how different this country would be if Jimmy Carter had won a second term or George H. W. Bush had won the primaries.

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