At a time when America’s elites said that the United States was in an irreversible decline, and the rest of us should just get used to it, Ronald Reagan stood athwart what was then considered the tide of history and said: “No.” A new generation of Americans, who did not understand why the nation’s nerve should fail just when they were coming on the scene, eagerly embraced his confident vision of the future, and he led them out of the dark times into which the country had fallen.
President Reagan’s accomplishments were legion in both domestic and foreign policy. In the days to come, we’ll be talking about those policy successes. But Reagan’s greatest contribution was his unique ability to inspire Americans with his own optimistic spirit. Ronald Reagan was right when he proclaimed that it was morning in America, but without him, it might not have been.
No one in this century has made a greater contribution to his country, or to the freedom of the world’s peoples. Is there room for one more on Mount Rushmore?
UPDATE: President Bush’s excellent statement on President Reagan’s death is here. President Bush’s conclusion:
He always told us that for America, the best was yet to come. We comfort ourselves in the knowledge that this is true for him, too. His work is done. And now a shining city awaits him.
May God bless Ronald Reagan.