Friday, June 11, 2004


Here are some posts shamelessly cribbed from Roger Simon's comment sections.
"After the communist regimes collapsed in Eastern Europe in 1989 (in our case, Bulgaria), we were finally able freely to reunite with family we had not seen since 1945. I lost count of how many friends, relatives and colleagues in Eastern Europe later told us that for them, the key moment in the long hoped for slide to freedom came when Ronald Reagan boldly and openly called the Communist bloc "the Evil Empire". No other American President had ever dared such honesty. For them it was a watershed moment of such exhilaration, that they would never forget it. To this day they still feel gratitude for his courage and integrity, and for his belief that freedom was a God-given right for all people.
America should feel great pride that this man was twice elected to the Presidency. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Emzed @ 06/05/2004 05:08 PM PST "
"I voted for Ronald Reagan while on active duty, and his popularity amongst my shipmates cannot be overstated, matched only by the contempt we shared for his predecessor.

When I first reported aboard my sub, the Navy was still suffering from the malaise of a combination of the Vietnam hangover and the Carter years.

Ronald Regan inspired us and led us to roll back 35 years of Soviet expansion.

I'm amazed by the continued disdain my friends and family have for the man. My mother, a Roosevelt Democrat, insists he was a dunce.

When I point out to her that the leaders of the former Soviet Union credit him with winning the Cold War, she dismisses their admissions as irrelevant.

I'm proud to have voted for him, and sorry I never had the chance to meet him.

Rest in peace, Mr. President.

Posted by Miike Lief @ 06/05/2004 05:09 PM PST "
"Bill Bennett told a wonderful story about Reagan that gives you a great sense of the man and the President.

Bennett, I'm sure we all recall, was not beloved of the press. During one particularly bleak period when he was being savaged by everything from WaPo and The NY Times to the Menominee Falls Gazette, he attended a cabinet meeting.

Reagan entered with a thick folder labelled "Bennett." People began moving their chairs away from Bennett's.

Reagan opened the folder, full of newspaper clippings, columns and editorials. "A disgrace," he read. "Bennett should resign." "The James Watt of Reagan's second term."

Bennett just sat there, in terror. Reagan finished reading out the headlines, closed the folder, and looked up at the assebled cabinet.

"Well, that's what Bill's been doing," he said. "What's wrong with you guys?"

Posted by richard mcenroe @ 06/05/2004 05:15 PM PST "
"I am a life long Democrat (until Sept. 11, 2001 anyway) and I never supported Reagan and reflexively opposed everything he tried to do. But all that needs to be said is that when he took over the country seemed to be on the far side of a rapidly escalating decline. I defy anyone old enough to remeber the gaslines and the double digit inflation and the hostages and the aggressiveness of Brezhnev and the invasion of Afghanistan and all the other crap to say that in Jan. 1981, they ever thought things could get substantially better. Reagan did. He KNEW it in his bones. He didn't know much but he had a world of common sense and he KNEW that communism was a failed system and an evil to be fought and he KNEW that America's best days were ahead. And he was RIGHT. And I was WRONG! I ow realize he was a great leader and a great president. He had probably a greater positive impact through his leadership than any president since Truman. More than that, he had class, he had reverence for the office, for the American people and for the United States. The Democratic party opposed his efforts to win the COld War. It is true and cannot be denied. Not that we favored the Soviets. We just thought the Cold War could not be won. Yet within a year of his leaving office, Eastern Europe was FREE! He and Margaret Thatcher deserve the bulk of the credit for winning the fight against Soveit Communism. I have grown to be a true admirer of the man. All leaders are human, have their faults and failures. But Reagan had the touch of greatness and the country is better for having had him as its leader.

Posted by Doug @ 06/05/2004 07:55 PM PST "
"A little something for you Roger. "You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits." (Ronald Reagan - October 27, 1964 )
Available here.

Posted by Stephen Meyer @ 06/05/2004 09:53 PM PST "
"lindenen —

* 1979— Carter —
* Inflation 13.3% (1980): 7.5% unemployment

* Prime Rate of Interest at 21.5% (1980): a record high for the rate at which the Federal Reserve loaned money to banks made borrowing money difficult.

1980 — Reagan takes office —

* Prime Rate of Interest at 10.5 Percent (1983)
* Unemployment rates fall to 7.1 percent; interest rates fall (1984): significantly lower than it was in 1982, unemployment was beginning to stabilize at a low rate, while interest rates still fell, along with inflation, bringing the nation out of recession.

* Tax Reform Act (1986): lowered personal income taxes and eliminated around six million poor people from the tax rolls, appeasing both supply-side conservatives and liberals.

During the second quarter of 1987, the U.S. unemployment rate declined markedly, and by December was 5.8 percent—its lowest level in 7 years.

Inflation, 1988 4.4% based on Consumer Price Index

Prime interest rate 1988 (November) 10.5%

Posted by richard mcenroe @ 06/07/2004 01:51 AM PST "

Don't miss these posts from Lileks and Virginia Postrel:

This post seems especially apt somehow:

Don't miss the Siberian prisoner point of view:

And last but not least, read this review by Andrew Sullivan of what the East Coast Media and intellectual elite had to say about Reagan while he was president.


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