Saturday, June 05, 2004
Remembering the President
I never had the opportunity to vote for Ronald Reagan. The first presidential election I was old enough to vote in was the 1988 race, and I voted for the first President Bush. But my formative middle school and high school years, those first political discussions and economics classes and civics courses and mock senate events - those were the years of the Reagan Presidency.
After a decade-plus battle with Alzheimer's President Reagan has passed away. In many ways, especially in listening to the pundits react on the afternoon news break-ins, this was the last man in leadership who spoke convincingly to both sides. He was bipartisan in a way that's needed now. Perhaps he was the man that I am looking for in this election, this climate of divisiveness - one who's firm in his own convictions, who's main concern is to do the job well and to take care of matters that are important. Somehow, a person like that brings people together. It happened then, and it could happen now.
He had his faults, and in the coming weeks we'll hear of them again, I'm sure. But during the 80s, he was the most popular character in politics, and he did most of what he said he would. There is no Berlin Wall. There is no Cold War. If nothing else, he elevated America beyond where it was: no longer one of the superpowers, but *the* superpower. That is the pedestal to which we must now live, for better or for worse.
As he was always the optimist, I have hope that the best is yet to come.