Today is Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday. Turn on the TV and you’ll see lots of tributes-even during the Super Bowl coverage.
There’s dozens-maybe hundreds-of columns to read. I came late to the party, so to speak, LINK, so I’m going to limit myself to just a few points.
There are some who say Reagan couldn’t win the Presidency today. Maybe so. I think someone with his charisma, economic understanding and raw patriotism would be very popular. What’s not likely though is that we’ll get a candidate with Reagan’s unique blend of personal traits.
First, he was not a career politician. A self-made man, he came from humble beginnings and worked hard at a variety of jobs before finding success in the movie business. He entered politics at age 50. He was not a member of a political dynasty.
Second, and most importantly, he understood economics. He studied it in college but he kept studying, taking cues from Jack Kemp, Arthur Laffer and Jude Wanniski. His policies were widely criticized but he was proven right and the results were simply spectacular.
Lastly, he had respect for the unions as a member, and then President of the Screen Actors Guild, but knew when they pushed things too far as demonstrated when he fired the striking air traffic controllers. Today it seems that only Chris Christie has the guts to do what’s necessary as public sector unions and their out-of-control pension plans threaten state budgets from coast to coast.
The GOP needs a leader to emerge soon and grab the nomination for 2012. A strong work ethic, economic understanding, love of country and the people who make it great, and dedication to a smaller, limited government are essential qualities.
I share Ronald Reagan’s undying optimism. America must be full of great men and women who possess these core qualities.