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Reagan and Me

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Ronald Reagan

Today is my 55th birthday and the 101rst birthday of Ronald Reagan, the man who gets my vote as the best president of my life time.  As the video clip above indicates, Reagan was a liberal Democrat for the first half of his life.  He often referred to this, sometimes humorously:

Sometimes seriously:

The classic liberal used to be the man who believed the individual was, and should be forever, the master of his destiny. That is now the conservative position. The liberal used to believe in freedom under law. He now takes the ancient feudal position that power is everything. He believes in a stronger and stronger central government, in the philosophy that control is better than freedom. The conservative now quotes Thomas Paine, a long-time refuge of the liberals: ‘Government is a necessary evil; let us have as little of it as possible.’

I of course lived during the time of Reagan’s life after he had become a conservative.  When I was seven years old I watched on television a speech, often referred to by Reagan biographers as The Speech, that Reagan gave in support of Barry Goldwater.  That speech led me to become a conservative.  The clip below is from a section of the speech that I have recalled all of my life:

Politicians come and go, but a real statesman like Ronald Wilson Reagan is unforgettable.  Happy birthday Mr. Reagan.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

38 Comments

  1. All the great things that Reagan said in his speeches and carried out during his administration will be, at least for me, tarnished by his creation and insistence upon drug testing. This opened the door to the total government intrusion we see today. It was the first step in a process of acclimation. Peeing in a bottle has led to naked body scanners which will invariably lead to searches of homes and detentions. I lay this squarely at the feet of Ronald Reagan. I’ve never been able to square his talk about limited government with the reality that he was so willing to allow government to invade and control our persons in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.

    I have a hard time seeing him as a true conservative, at least as he defined it.

  2. The right to come to work stoned Tom has never struck me as an essential freedom. However, I am not going to allow this thread to become a debate over that issue and all further comments on that score will be deleted.

  3. Happy birthday Donald! Hope you enjoy it.
    It’s my niece’s birthday too; she went from being raised Catholic, in a staunchly Reagan and conservative home, to becoming a liberal!
    I plan to send her the quote, and this clip, it is ever so enlightening!

  4. Happy Birthday and many returns of the day – please God.
    For me, The Speech was the last clear outlook placing the USA in history, because I later had trouble listening to speeches. I remember thinking about Mr. Goldwater and possibilities, then watching the advent of those appeasements and accommodations within and without, during which time Mr. Gingrich percolated into my hearing.
    When Pres. Reagan answered Sam Donaldson, I was able to understand conservative and liberal – slower learner at 8 yrs and a couple weeks older than you back then. Now it’s, why does the word speech have 2 e’s when speak has -ea- , type of thought interference. Also, one candle on the cake does the trick.

  5. Where’s the justice? Don gets to share a birthday with Reagan while I have to share mine (Feb 27) with Cardinal Mahony. Oh the humanity!

  6. If sharing a birthday with Cdl Mahony isn’t bad enough, I was confirmed by Bp Gumbleton. Yeah, that Bp. Gumbleton.

  7. Happy birthday Don. In not too many years, you will, like I now do , have to start counting backwards. 😉

    Interesting – in NZ today (or rather yesterday – its the 7th here right now) the 6th. February is the country’s national holiday – Waitangi Day, commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 between the British crown represented by Captain Hobson of the Royal Navy, and the Maori chiefs of NZ, and the various early settlers of that time. Sadly, it has become a day of protest from radical maori groups who disrupt ceremonial proceedings and insult the dignatories – including their own kaumatua (elders)

    Also, in 1952 it was the day that King George VI died, thus commencing the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, who attained her 60th year as the reigning monarch of Great Britain. (must confess, I tend to hold republican sympathies, but I’m not too choked about the current situation) – at least we have stability, which is what the old maori chiefs wanted back in 1840; there was much intertribal warfare back then, and with the advent of muskets in around 1820, the maori population was in decline due to the killings in battle.

    But of course, none of this is as momentous as the date you came into this world 😉
    God bless you, mate.

  8. Thank you Don, and I found the history comments fascinating! Queen Elizabeth II has been an adornment to the throne of the United Kingdom, unlike some of her predecessors. My mother, who was born in Newfoundland, always thought quite highly of her. Long may she reign! (At least until the plant talker can no longer succeed her!)

    Happy Waitangi Day! Ah, the racial grievance industry knows no boundaries. Some people, for fun and profit, are always quite willing to enflame racial animosities. That is often their only talent.

  9. A word about sovereignty.
    God was against the Israelites having a king, His Chosen People. David as Supreme Sovereign ought to have set his kingship aside and exercised his sovereignty as a whole and complete person, exercised his sovereignty over himself by freeing the Israelites from their fealty to a sovereign king, leading his people to almighty God alone.
    The crown of king was offered to then President for two terms, George Washington. George Washington turned down the crown as king, nor would George Washington accept a third term as president.

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