There’s an curious trend happening these days — some might even call it disturbing — in which members of the Left are falling all over each other to compare Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan. If it weren’t so odd, and at times over the top, it would be easy to dismiss it as quaint and merely laughable, but this meme has become head-stratchingly bizarre.
The comparisons have been going on since Obama was barely inaugurated, but the last few months have seen an upswing in the Obama-as-Reagan narrative. We can point to two occasions which come together to serve as the main impetus for what has turned into a seemingly endlesscomparison. The first and most obvious one is the centennial of President Reagan’s birth. This momentous event has been accompanied by a wave of Reagan nostalgia, obviously from all of us here on the Right, but, interestingly enough, also from the Left. That’s right, even the Left has finally come around to see what a great man Reagan was, albeit grudgingly.
The second event is actually a pair of speeches President Obama made within a few days of each other. When Obama spoke at a memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shooting, he made a masterful speech, even if the service was marred by truly strange crowd behavior. The speech was possibly one of Obama’s finest moments. A couple of weeks later, he delivered his State of the Union address. The mainstream media attempted to paint the address as another deftly delivered speech, but it was just full of the same empty, vague platitudes as any number of speeches Obama gave during his campaign.
Seizing on this train of nostalgia for a truly remarkable president like Reagan and on a pair of alleged high notes for Obama, the Left has picked up the ball of Obama-Reagan comparisons and run with it. Time even ran with a now notorious cover featuring a photoshopped image of Reagan standing next to Obama, his arm around the younger president’s shoulder, a photo that is as tacky as those electronically edited duets between a living singer and a deceased one. It was an audacious move, to say the least.
Sadly, we know the truth. Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan. And even though most of us know this fact, it’s worth pointing out the reasons why there is no comparison between the two men. Here’s a list of reasons why Obama can’t even hold a candle to Reagan.
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Ronald Reagan is one of my few earthly heroes. As a kid, I was much more politically precocious than most kids, and Reagan got my attention. I was enthralled by him and what he had to say, and I wished to be able to vote for him. Fortunately, millions of Americans were equally enamored (or at least disgusted by Jimmy Carter) enough to sweep him into the presidency. And for eight years the country had the privilege of his leadership.
What is it about Ronald Reagan that was so appealing to so many people? I really do believe that part of it was the deep dissatisfaction with Carter and his policies and personality. Disastrous foreign policy and economic misery were the hallmarks of the Carter years, and Reagan presented an alternative. Reagan brought a can-do attitude to the table, while Carter’s attitude basically boiled down to, “Things are tough. Deal with it.” Reagan’s optimism and cheer stood in stark contrast to Carter’s dour seriousness.
But it wasn’t just what Reagan wasn’t that made him an attractive candidate. He stood for so much that Americans found to their liking. Reagan’s deep, honest faith in God and in America, his belief in the power of the market to create a strong economy, his confidence in his nation’s leadershipon the world stage, and his innate trust in the unique potential of every individual came together to capture the American spirit and lead to the best presidency of my lifetime. And I believe his was among the best presidencies in our history.
So, in conjunction with the thirtieth anniversary of his inauguration (January 20, 1981) and the upcoming hundredth anniversary of his birth (February 6, 1911), I have compiled a list of ten ofRonald Reagan’s defining moments. These aren’t necessarily the top accomplishments or most momentous occasions of his presidency, but I believe they speak to why he was such a successfulleader.
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I don’t have many earthly heroes. As a man of faith, I try my best not to put my trust in human beings. While there are plenty of people throughout history and in my life that I love, admire, and respect, there are only a few whom I would consider heroes. Alan Shepard, the first American in space. Walt Disney, for plenty of obvious reasons. One of my greatest heroes is Ronald Reagan.
Thirty years ago today, Ronald Reagan took the oath of office and was inaugurated as president. At an age when many men were well past retirement, Reagan, just shy of 70, would embark on a new and historic phase of his career. Continue reading Thirty Years Ago Today