Ronald Reagan—Inspiration for Personal Development
The first Presidential election I was old enough to vote was 1980, Ronald Reagan’s first successful run. My journey during his two terms was a miracle—from a lost anti-American liberal to a proud American veteran and conservative. Was that a coincidence? Or was it leadership?I was a 20 year old, maggot-infested, long-haired, skull-full-of-mush product of liberal brain-washing. I read Time magazine every week, and watched Walter Cronkite on the 6 o’clock news. I’d spent twelve years in National Education Association controlled public schools. I knew that Joseph McCarthy was bad, that Richard Nixon had done something really bad and was “Tricky.”
I knew that it was cool to “party.” That drinking and marijuana were ways to open your mind and show how counter-culture you were. I knew that Ronald “Raygun-zzzz,” like they pronounced it on theAs I looked for my voter registration card, I couldn’t have cared less about the vote. I had no appreciation of my country, my freedom, or the grave responsibility that our country entrusted me with—the right to vote.
album, was a
whacky old kook. Woodstock
Drinking a six-pack every night, everything was pretty much a fog to me. I’d screwed up, big time, flunked out of college. Now I waited for the date to report to Air Force basic training. Riding my ten-speed over the
Faced with the momentous decision, Jimmy Carter, or Ronald Reagan, I threw away my vote. Thank God I didn’t vote for Carter, but I didn’t vote for Reagan either. Something I’d read in National Lampoon stuck with me when I went to the fire station that day, and I wrote in “Nobody.” What a waste.Basic training in
Three years in the
Discharged and back in college, it was President Reagan’s second term. Of course, I’d voted for the Gipper the second time around, fully aware and sober.
Being a veteran in a university, during the long peaceful Cold War interregnum, was eye-opening. I saw the liberal bias and vile anti-Americanism on campus, directed at President Reagan.
Ronald Reagan was my hero now. He stood up to the communists, who I now understood, after studying the Vietnam war, and communism, were exactly what President Reagan called them—evil. And he stood up to the American friends of the communists, the Progressives, liberals—Carter, the Kennedys, McGovern, Jesse Jackson, and the press.
Every day, I realized more and more how right President Reagan was, in foreign policy and in domestic policy. By 1989, when President Reagan left office, I was teaching at a university in
Every day, I thanked God I was an American, and that my country was a shining beacon of hope, freedom, and prosperity for the world. I was proud to be a Reagan American.
Ronald Reagan, reviled by the Progressive haters, and denigrated by the liberal press, was the ideal of American humility, humor, dignity, honor, and quiet determination to do the right thing.
Ronald Reagan’s presidential administration coincided with my own coming of age, and emergence from a liberal haze of ignorance and weak-minded following.
Ronald Reagan was a real American hero. An original and a role model. With his philosophical and moral guidance, we all had a chance to glimpse his shining city on a hill. Did you?Was it a coincidence that I made the journey from a lost liberal to American conservative during President Reagan’s time in office? What do you think?