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Happy 100th, Ronald Reagan!

February 6, 2011

Reagan with his namesake, CVN-76

Today is the 100th birthday of Ronald Wilson Reagan, who I believe was the greatest President of the 20th Century and one of the greatest since the founding of our Nation. I can’t add much to the millions of words already written about his impact on not just our country but the world, except to say that I remember listening to his acceptance speech at the 1980 Republican Convention on television.

I was a graduate student who was having to compress two years of study into one, along with the responsibilities of a graduate assistantship, because inflation was making it impossible for us to live on what my wife was making at the time. Only a year before we thought we would be OK financially, but Jimmy Carter saw to the end of that. I remember thinking as Reagan was speaking, “Thank God, now we can get the country back on track and get out of this mess.”

And he did help us get out of the mess we were in, sometimes by just reminding us what America was about and how important freedom was. And that government should be less intrusive and take less of your money from you.

Then, of course, there was that whole “the Soviet Union is evil” thing. His plan: “We win. They lose.” And we did.

God Bless You, Ronald Reagan. May we all draw inspiration from your example. Our country can be so much more if we just keep his basic principles in mind and follow them: more freedom, less government. More capitalism, less control and taxation. A strong military to keep us safe and to maintain respect in a dangerous world. Trust, but verify.

See how simple it really is, my friends? That’s why he didn’t look worried. The man had principles that guided his decision-making. That’s all it takes. Stick to the right principles and make decisions accordingly. Then you can sleep at night, and maybe – if you are the President – the entire country will benefit.

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