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Reagan Week – “Ronald Reagan as President”

February 5, 2011

February 6 marks the 100-year anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth.  In Celebration of this sepcail day the Camden County Republican Party will pay tribute to “Reagan Week” by offieng at least one post a day for thenext week dedicated to the Gipper.  Below is Stew Bolno’s reflection of Ronald Reagan as President of the United States.

Ronald Reagan

Just imagine, he was born prior to the invention of radio, talking pictures, and television yet used each of them to become a successful actor, pitchman, pundit, politician, and President of the United States. In death, the significance of his accomplishments continues to grow. Our current President is attempting to channel his spirit in the hope that he can grasp and adopt some of the magic that was “The Gipper.”

However, like most great men, Ronald Reagan can not be duplicated. Imitation by others may be the sincerest form of flattery, but copies of the original always pale by comparison. The voting public will not buy counterfeit examples.

Frankly, the reason Ronald Reagan was successful had little to do with his image. What made him effective was his thinking process, his priorities, and his accomplishments. The appreciation and affection people have for Reagan, to the disappointment of his detractors, is not about style.  Rather, it was, and is, the substance of the man that resonates and explains the high opinion so many have of him.

Below are key items that contributed to his ability to be a unique, special, and influential leader:

· He believed in, and was guided by the God of the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Founders of our Country – This ensured that he was able to keep his ego under control and kept him humble even while in the position of President. Recent history tells us that these attitudes and behaviors are more of an aberration than the norm, for leaders of countries.

· He loved America – Mr. Reagan understood and appreciated the uniqueness of the United States. When Barrack Obama failed to recognize the special and earned “exceptionalism” of America, it is likely that a living Reagan would have cringed on the inside, when he heard those comments.

· He loved Americans – He was known as a relatively shy man. However a job requirement, while working for General Electric during the 1950’s, was to visit their plants. This put him in touch with working class citizens on a regular basis. Additionally, as a modest person who was born with few family advantages, he understood what it took to earn a living and to make one’s way in the world.

· His advanced age,  was an advantage – At 69, he owns the record for being the oldest candidate ever elected President. However, this fact enabled him to have a successful career prior to politics. He had to apply and win “real” jobs after his acting career faltered. He served in CEO positions (President of the Actors Guild Union and two-term Governor of California) prior to becoming President. Few people were better prepared for the job than he was.

· He understood his role as well as the responsibilities of the President of the United States – One day,  he was asked about his Presidential qualifications by a reporter who diminished his experience as an actor. Ronald Reagan simply looked the reporter in the eye and stated; “I don’t know how a person can do this job without being an actor.” Reagan understood that, as President, there were expectations of anyone who had the job. Therefore, he did not attempt to overly personalize the office. He always knew that he didn’t own the position, but that he was merely serving in it for a period of time.

When visiting Russia before the cold war ended,  he verbalized a well-known Russian phrase and, in the language of the people he said “trust but verify.”   Ronald Reagan earned the trust of the American people. And as time passes, his accomplishments as President continue to be verified by a growing list of historians, as some of the most significant in our history.

Happy 100th birthday, Mr. Reagan.

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