I could write pages and pages of reasons why we need a President like Ronald Reagan. When Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976, expectations were high. President Carter was elected amid high hopes and huge goals. Those hopes were diminished soon after, very similar to the 2008 election. However, when President Carter left office, unemployment was right around 6%; not nearly as high as the current rate, but still high enough to be a recession in that time period. When Republicans began searching for their candidate to go up against President Carter in 1980, they were looking for someone who could unite the conservative base and excite them to get out and vote.
They found that candidate in Ronald Reagan. A former actor and governor of California, he was exactly the energetic, hopeful, charismatic candidate that conservatives were looking for. He united the conservative base and even brought some voters over from the opposing side. He won the 1980 election over President Carter by the widest margin in history. President Reagan united the country during his eight years in office and did an almost unprecedented amount for the conservative cause.
When you ask people today about President Reagan, what most remember about him are his character traits. He was energetic, honest, hopeful, charismatic, determined, and strong. When Ronald Reagan was our President, the world viewed America through a completely different lense; our enemies feared us and our allies had never been prouder to stand with us. The Iranian hostage situation was the perfect example of that: President Carter had been unsuccessful in bringing those hostages home. When President Reagan was sworn in as President, Iran released those hostages within a matter of weeks. That is the perfect example of the world’s view of America under President Reagan. Our enemies knew that messing with the United States of America would result in a horrible outcome for their own country. America today no longer has that respect in the world. In fact, we have moved to the opposite side of the spectrum; our enemies know that they can undermine U.S. laws and nothing will be done to punish them.
President Reagan was a breath of fresh air for this country. After four years under Jimmy Carter, Americans were more than ready for a fresh start. The current field of GOP candidates has been known for the lack of excitement they have created among the conservative base and its voters. This lack of enthusiasm is frightening if we are really committed to defeating President Obama in November. If people are this apathetic regarding the race, how many of them will actually vote in November? Even if they say they will vote for whomever the nominee is, there is no guarantee that their apathy will turn to excitement overnight. We need someone as our nominee that voters can get excited about and inspired by.
President Reagan was dedicated to this country’s future. One of his most memorable quotes is at the top of this website: “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.” President Reagan understood that the fight for freedom is an ongoing one that needs to be passed through generations. The fight never ends on this side of heaven. That torch of freedom must be passed to the next generation to carry on; but only as long as they understand how precious a gift that torch truly is.
One of my favorite lines of this entire election season was this: “We voted for Reagan before we knew that he was the Reagan we now know.” President Reagan proved himself in office; but he had a commanding presence about him even before he was elected. I am not saying we have the best field of candidates in this year’s race; but I am saying that we need to find the candidate who best resembles President Reagan and throw our support behind that person. Not the person who knew President Reagan; knowing someone does not automatically make you like him or her. We need the person who embodies the values and policies that President Reagan represented. Is there such a person in this field? Maybe. To find out requires more vetting of certain candidates. Either way, what we truly need in this country right now, to bring us out of this economic mess, is someone with President Reagan’s convictions. It is going to take a special kind of candidate to defeat President Obama and really make a difference in office; it has to be someone just like Ronald Reagan.