Saturday, July 12, 2014

Why Reagan Is Winning The Historical Argument

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have."

~Ronald Reagan

It was a rather shocking poll--a new Quinnipiac Poll showed that Americans ranked Barack Obama as the worst president since World War II. He ranks even lower than the man he's blamed for all his problems since 2008--George W. Bush.

What many overlooked was something else extremely interesting in that poll.  By a wide margin, Ronald Reagan is rated the best post-World War II president. Nobody else even comes close.  His ranking is twice that of second-place winner, Bill Clinton, and more than four times the numbers received by JFK

It's not hard to see why.  In foreign policy, Reagan’s “peace through strength” philosophy was trashed at the time by liberals as reckless warmongering, but it worked.  It led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.  America was respected in the world.  Under President Obama, we see no foreign policy at all.  Red lines that when crossed mean nothing, a Middle East in chaos, Iraq being overrun by ISIS just as many had predicted (but somehow it caught the White House by surprise), and we see the resurgence of an emboldened Russia fearlessly thumbing their noses of the United States.  Much of the problem is we've lost respect in the eyes of enemies and allies alike. 

Reagan also believed that Big Government was the cause of most problems, and not the solution.  Americans have now experienced the Big Government Reagan railed against--Obamacare, the IRS scandal, the NSA, the mess at the Mexican border.  At the heart of each of these issues lays the exact same problem--a bloated and corrupt government running out of control and unchecked.

And Reagan understood the economy.  His tax cuts and policies kicked off one of our most rapid and enduring recoveries from a recession in American history.  He unleashed the power of the people, rather than depending on the Government to solve all our problems.  The Obama recovery at its best is almost impossible to see.  The White House keeps telling us things are getting better, but most people aren't actually seeing anything getting better.  In fact, the last two quarter the GDP has lost ground--we're no longer growing, we're shrinking.  The White House claims it was because of winter apparently.  That trend is heading in the wrong direction, and most Americans know we have winter every year.

And Reagan understood the importance of a positive message.  He brought people together, he had a message that people understood, and whether you liked Reagan or not, the eighties were an era of optimism and growth.  Americans thrived, and believed they could do whatever it was they wanted to do.  Reagan didn't spend his time blaming others for the country's problems, he fixed them--and the country was a mess when he was elected President.  But America believed in Reagan, and Reagan believed in the American people.  Reagan never had a Republican House, so he worked with Democrats to find things they could agree on, and worked tirelessly with Tip O'Neil, the Democratic Speaker of the House to get things done--and they did.  Together they solved problems, and together they passed legislation.  Obama blames others, he makes excuses, he refuses to work with the other party, and he's divided the country along political lines, gender lines, and racial lines.  Unlike Reagan, he divides rather than unites. 

Barack Obama’s message could not be more different than Ronald Reagan's message. He campaigned on the theme of “smart government."  Polls like this demonstrate after six years of Obama's so-called smart government, Americans are beginning to realize it isn't smart government the country needs more of--it's decisive leadership.  As Reagan so aptly pointed out, "Man is not free unless government is limited."


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