More than in years past, it seems right to revisit our past great leaders like Ronald Reagan, and, last week, Andrew Breitbart, on what would have been their birthdays. Today would have been Ronald Reagan’s birthday; he was born February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois.
I was born in 1980, and associate Reagan more broadly than specifically with a time of honorable presidents, a belief in America’s exceptionalism and its power, and a humility. Today, it seems almost impossible that an American president would view himself as a servant-leader rather than mandate-driven demi-god, but that is above all how I think of Reagan.
Reagan’s character, his style of leadership, his principles economic and foreign, and his legacy are all, really *must* all, be under attack today by the left because he was proven right.
Charles Krauthammer has written that the left has taken to describing Reagan, dismissively, as an “optimist” rather than the tough visionary he was. I came across this video, a promotion for a film about the Reagan Ranch, and it seemed, to me, to capture what the description “optimist” misses about Reagan:
When Reagan responds to Margaret Thatcher’s question of what he does at his ranch, he responds:
It casts a spell, there’s such a sense of seclusion and, I suppose, it’s the scriptural line, “I look to the hills from whence cometh my strength.” I understand it a little better when I’m up here.
I understand it all a little better when I return to the servant-leadership of Reagan.