Ronaldus Magnus

A Postscript on William Clark

Featured image One of the great and sometimes overlooked resources for researchers on modern presidents is the Oral History Project of the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.  The oral histories they compiled were invaluable resources for my own Reagan book research almost ten years ago, saving me the trouble of having to re-interview many key people. There was one file that was closed to researchers, however—the oral interview with William »

William P. Clark, RIP

Featured image Sad news comes today of the passing of William P. Clark, who passed away this morning at his ranch near Paso Robles after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.  Clark served Ronald Reagan as deputy secretary of state (chiefly to keep an eye out on Al Haig), national security adviser, and secretary of the Interior. Known as “The Judge” from his tenure on the California Supreme Court (to which Reagan »

Power Line @ The Reagan Library

Featured image So I’ve been at the Reagan Library all week, doing an intensive course on Reagan for about 30 high school history and government teachers for the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History.  That’s the main reason posts have been scarce: we’re in the seminar room much of the day.  Did I mention my voice is a bit hoarse? The teachers, selected from a large pile of applications, were superb (even the »

Liberals and Race

Featured image John’s post last week on “What Did Lee Atwater Really Say” is a hugely important piece of revisionist journalism, and its theme deserves sustained attention, as the Left these days defaults immediately to calling conservatives and Republicans “racist” because their arguments are otherwise so weak.  Notice, in this regard, the new ABC News poll out yesterday finding that a whopping 76 percent of Americans oppose race-conscious college admissions.  Rather than »

William Casey at 100: Herbert Meyer’s Brilliant Lecture

Featured image I made a brief reference here the other day to a lecture Herbert Meyer recently gave to the Young Americas Foundation on the occasion of the 100th birthday of William Casey, Ronald Reagan’s extraordinary CIA director.  Meyer was a special assistant to Casey from 1981 to 1985.  This lecture, along with Meyer’s contribution to the endgame of the Cold War, deserve more attention. American Cold War policy might be said »

SDI 30 Years On (With Video Update)

Featured image Earlier this month Paul Kengor and others brought to our attention the 30th anniversary of Reagan’s famous “evil empire” speech, which was, keep in mind, chiefly a domestic policy speech where Reagan slipped in the evil empire reference that his foreign policy apparatus had managed to strip out of previous foreign policy speech drafts.  But there was no getting around the objections of both the State and Defense Departments to »

Happy Birthday, Ronaldus Magnus

Featured image Today is Ronald Reagan’s 102nd birthday, and the usual observances are under way at good places everywhere.  I know that since November I and many others have drawn our attention to Reagan’s 1977 CPAC speech on “A New Republican Party,” which holds up fairly well in the current circumstances.  But it is also worth having a look at the article Reagan wrote in the December 1, 1964 issue of National »

Max Kampelman, RIP

Featured image One of the themes of my Age of Reagan books is that to a certain extent Reagan’s administration represented a coalition government, as he had a number of prominent Democrats or ex-Democrats (like Minnesota’s Jeane Kirkpatrick) serving in senior posts.  One of the most significant was Minnesota’s Max Kampelman, who passed away last Friday at the age of 92. Kampelman had been very close to Hubert Humphrey, and in fact »

It Always Comes Back to Ronaldus Magnus

Featured image Reagan nostalgia is often overdone, and I’ve been at the forefront in criticizing Republicans who claim to be “Reagan Republicans” but who don’t bother to study the man carefully enough to understand the skill and practice involved in his success.  Many lazy Republican pols seem to think it sufficient just to invoke his name. On the other hand, Reagan was ahead of his time on so many issues, and among »

Team Obama channels Vladimir Putin, not Ronald Reagan

Featured image Lena Dunham’s embarrassing “First Time” ad on behalf of President Obama has drawn quite a bit of criticism because in it Dunham uses sexual innuendo to compare the first vote experience to a girl losing her virginity. The left, though, claims that Dunham’s “first time” joke about voting “goes way back to another presidential candidate: Ronald Reagan, less than a week before he ushered in the Republican landslide of 1980.” »

Final Observations

Featured image I was on the road all day yesterday down to LA and back (more about that errand in due course), so I missed the debate after party here.  One benefit of a long morning car trip on the left coast is getting to listen to Rush Limbaugh the old fashioned way on the car radio, and Limbaugh was making many of the same observations about the debate as Scott, Paul, »

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Featured image Is it Reagan’s Revenge that the question Reagan posed to the nation in his 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter inevitably haunts Obama today as he stands for reelection? Watch David Axelrod dance around the question this morning on Fox News Sunday. I don’t think it’s enough for Romney to prevail that the answer to the question is no, any more than it was for Reagan, but the answer is no. »

Remember What A REAL Recovery Looked Like?

Featured image When Ronald Reagan ran for re-election in 1984, he won in a landslide, carrying 49 states. Why? Because he had a great record to run on. His free-market policies led to explosive economic growth that blew away the stagflation of the Carter years and reinvigorated the American spirit. Reagan ran on a simple platform–freedom brings prosperity–as this ad from Americans For Prosperity reminds us: Barack Obama can’t run a campaign »

Friedrich Hayek, Cold Warrior

Featured image My occasional series on F.A. Hayek last fall drew exclusively from his economic books, especially The Constitution of Liberty.  But cleaning up some old files today I came across a 1983 interview with Hayek in Encounter magazine where he displayed that he was not only a dedicated Cold Warrior, but understood the logic of deterrence and completely approved of President Reagan’s peace-through-strength strategy: Question:  Isn’t high arms expenditure also a »

Things Are Spinning Out of Control

Featured image Okay, I take a back seat to no one in admiring Ronaldus Magnus, but this is just over the top (though I do admit I kinda like it–I mean, if we can have “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter,” why not this): »

Tear down this wall at 25, part 2

Featured image Not many speeches are mighty deeds. When Ronald Reagan stood in front of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate on June 12, 1987, he performed a mighty deed by giving the speech he gave (video excerpt below). Our friend Peter Robinson was the man who wrote the speech. He tells the story behind the speech in his memoir How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life. On the occasion of the »

Tear Down This Wall at 25

Featured image Today, as has been widely noted throughout the morning on all the right Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, is the 25th anniversary of Ronaldus Magnus’s speech at the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, where he issued his demand, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”   Oh what the heck, here’s how I describe the scene in the opening passage of The Age of Reagan: MOST of his senior aides didn’t want him »