As I watched President Reagan's funeral on C-SPAN this evening I recalled that he was the first president that I could, and did, vote for.
The newspapers and the pundits have been saying "all politics aside" Reagan was this, and "all politics aside" Reagan was that.
It is impossible to put all politics aside. That is how our nation, and the world are run. Everything is political. Reagan gave the United States back its self-respect lost during the previous administrations. Vietnam, Watergate, the Iranian hostages, all caused our nation great suffering, and Reagan made us understand that we could rebuild what was torn down.
Reagan was not without his detractors who disagreed with one policy or another. Most of them simply blame him for failings of others. However for each detractor there are hundreds of fans of President Reagan. Go ask someone from the former East Berlin, go ask someone from Russia, go ask any of the released hostages. Reagan gave us our country back from the naysayers.
Our military regained its strength and its pride. A career in the military defending the freedoms we hold so dear was again a noble calling. We were proud to be called Americans again; we stood tall and spoke plainly. When Reagan implored Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall." It was not simply Reagan saying that, it was all of us who cherish freedom, the freedom to think, the freedom to speak, freedom in our thoughts, freedom in our movements, it was all of us who wanted the wall down so that others could know the freedoms we cherish, yet often take for granted.
Our nation is again in danger of being dragged down by those who think they know what is best for our country and the world. Previous administrations and their talk of healthcare for all, employment for all, and a chicken in every pot spent more time on rhetoric and explaining why oral sex wasn't sex than on protecting freedom. Perhaps a few less lawyers in government would go a long way. Less rhetoric and more work would surely be forthcoming.
Freedom is a Human Right. We all, everyone in the world, have a right to freedom. As the richest, most powerful nation on Earth we have a great burden placed upon us. We don't necessarily want to be the big brother, or the world's policeman, but since we had the job foist upon us we had better do it well.
While who is president is certainly important, much more important to our nation are the holders of the office of citizen. To be President you must first be a citizen, to be in Congress you must first be a citizen, and citizen is the most powerful office we have. While those who were born here may take this for granted, think of the thousands, and hundreds of thousands of people who come here every year seeking to become citizens. It comes without pay, without recognition, without fame or fortune, yet what an important position it must be to draw people from all around the world to apply. As citizens we are instilled with the power delegated to no other. We are able to effect change in our government without war, without battles, without gunfire, or bloodshed. We have the power to vote; yet this most powerful weapon against tyranny often goes unused by those to whom it has been entrusted.
As citizens we must ask ourselves what we can do to spread the freedoms we hold so dear to the rest of the world. Our freedom should not be taken for granted; on the contrary it is a heavy burden. We must ensure the freedoms we enjoy are enjoyed by our future generations, and we must bring freedom to those enslaved, persecuted for wanting freedom, and denied freedom by oppressive governments. To bask in freedom while others suffer in oppression is morally reprehensible.
So task yourself with maintaining and promoting freedom in whatever way you can. Volunteer for a charity, give to food banks, give to Goodwill, join the military, work diligently to keep our economy strong, each thing you do for another makes you stronger and our nation stronger.
A little less talk and a little more action is what is needed. If you don't like something do something, write your elected officials, run for office, and most importantly vote. You have the power to change what your feel is wrong. It is the doer's and not the talkers that this nation needs. Ronald Reagan, while he was the great communicator, was a doer not a talker. Look at what he accomplished. What would have happened if we only had 8 years of talkers, I shudder to think.
So Ronald Reagan, you did your job, now let us, the doer's of tomorrow take it from here. Thanks for all the help, its time for you to rest.
Godspeed my President, and God Bless.