Reality Check: Reagan’s Legacy is Our Own

There is something in the nature of democracy that opposes us to the task of electing the best man in America. We much prefer the opportunity to vote for the man (or woman) who represents the best of America. Ronald Reagan, in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s phrase, was just such a ‘representative man’—less a heroic executive than a popular legislator elected to embody public opinion in a vast district that reached from sea to shining sea.

Stroke of the Pen

Bush’s penchant for expanding executive power shows that he misunderstood the most important aspect of governmental institutions: They should be one-size-fits all. Officeholders set precedents that will be utilized not only be good, honest, decent men, but also by ambitious, greedy, and abusive men.