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Saturday, June 05, 2004

RIP President Reagan 

We had a retirement ceremony at the Reserve Center today, and among the letters of congratulations that were read was one from Ronald Reagan. Little did we know that at around the same time the letter was being read, or shortly after, President Reagan passed away.

He was a gentleman of principle. Whether you agreed with him or not, nobody can say that he didn't know what he believed in or that he didn't stick to his beliefs.

He had the courage to do what was necessary to end the Soviet threat--namely to show them that it was futile to try to match the United States militarily, and impossible under their economic system. Communism fell because of his policies. And today, the former communist nations of Eastern Europe are to varying degrees free-market democracies. Some of them are flourishing, and the western alliance of NATO now includes a number of past Soviet republics and client states. Whatever your opinion of Reagan-era military spending, it tipped the scales and we live in a better world because it.

New threats have emerged, of course. The world which Reagan helped to end has given way to a much more uncertain world, and maybe a more dangerous one. In facing the threat of unpredictable terrorism and potentially unstable rogue nations, we need to maintain the kind of resolve he had, and do what needs to be done to emerge victorious.

President Reagan's legacy should inform us that we will win if we're willing to see things through to the end, by being tough when necessary (proposing a Strategic Defense Initiative), and through negotiation when possible (American-Soviet disarmament treaties).

We must remember the lessons of his presidency.

And regardless of politics, we must solemnly recognize the end of a distinguished life, and extend our sympathy to his grieving family.

Some, of course, are unable to do this, and I knew exactly where to find them. One disgusting and utterly predictable Democratic Underground reaction here.

I take heart, knowing that they are a tiny minority of hateful people who do not represent the left, the Democratic Underground community as a whole, or indeed anyone but themselves.

The rest of America mourns.
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