20 years after he left the Oval Office and nearly five years since hey died, two things seem clear: Ronald Reagan’s achievements were greater than seemed possible at the time of his scandal-filled presidency, and those achievements have been willfully misinterpreted by a Republican Party that often seems blind to the changes that have swept America since the Reagan years.
In contrast to the extraordinary insight that Ronald Reagan demonstrated with regard to the Soviet Union, his assessments of Nicaragua and Iran rested on a perilous measure of wishful thinking. The challenge for us today is to reconcile how greatness can co-exist with profound flaws, as it did in so many of our Founding Fathers.
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.
Since 1995, America’s Future Foundation has been the premier nationwide network of liberty-minded young leaders, providing unique opportunities to learn the ideas of liberty and develop the skills necessary to articulate them.
1513 16th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20036