Lee Edwards on Ronald Wilson Reagan

President Reagan, Nancy Reagan, Tom Selleck, Dudley Moore, Lucille Ball at a Tribute to Bob Hope’s 80th birthday at the Kennedy Center. 5/20/83.

Ronald Reagan_The Presidential Years Part 4 of 4

Lee Edwards of the Heritage Foundation wrote an excellent article on Ronald Reagan and the events that transpired during the Reagan administration,  and I wanted to share it with you. Here is the 15th portion:  

Aside from the decline of the New Right, the 1980s were generally bountiful years for conservatives as all the elements of a successful political movement came together — a consistent philosophy, a national constituency, requisite financing, a solid organizational base, media support, and a charismatic, principled leader.

At the center of the movement was that remarkable political fusionist Ronald Reagan, who brought in Southerners, fundamentalist-evangelical Protestants and ethnic Catholics while holding on to libertarians and Midwesterners. He did so by appealing, as he put it in his final address, to their best hopes, not their worst fears. He did so by reiterating traditional American themes of duty, honor and country. “In his evocation of our national memory and symbols of pride,” said William J. Bennett, “in his summoning us to our national purpose and to national greatness, he performed the crucial task of political leadership.”[lvi]

Reagan was faithful to conservative ideas at a time when Americans, at last, were ready to listen to them and act on them. He framed the debate, as analyst Peter J. Ferrara pointed out, forcing his adversaries to respond to his proposals on taxes and splending. He forced the debate “to take place on his terms and his choices” which were, wherever possible, to lower taxes, cut government programs, eliminate regulations, and reduce government handouts.[lvii]

He did not need focus groups and public polls to chart the path of his administration. He saw it as his duty to get government off the backs and out of the pockets of the people. Always, Ronald Reagan sought to restore power to the people rather than grab it for himself.

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