The “Reagan Renaissance” is seldom heralded by today’s history scholars – and that’s a shame.
A one-liner is usually all they can spare from their considerable labors to revise the past so that they may pacify the woke among us.
And predictably, their minimalist assessment goes something like this: “Ronald Reagan’s boundless optimism induced his fellow countrymen into believing it was ‘Morning in America’ again.”
But for the vast majority of Americans who were of voting age in the 1980’s, and experienced the “Age of Reagan” first-hand, they know it was much more. The end of “stagflation.” The restoration of a strong national defense as well as a strong economy. And yes, a consensus that “America was back.”
No wonder the 40th president won a second term in a landslide of historic proportions, carrying 49 states and the District of Columbia. The television ad that typified the successful 1984 campaign proclaimed that “It’s ‘Morning in America’ again.”
That line so resonated within the national consciousness that even contemporary critics employ it in a quick dismissal of the Reagan years.
While conservative historian and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich describes Reagan’s distinguishing characteristic as “cheerful persistence,” the fact is that the former radio sportscaster and Hollywood actor was likewise persistent in warning Americans about a fate considerably less cheerful.
“Freedom,” Reagan said, “is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Reagan concluded that thought in a way that sounded both presidential and prophetic: “Or one day, we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Sadly, it now appears that “one day” is fast approaching.
Welcome to “Mourning in America.”
Thoughtful Americans, regardless of partisan label or political philosophy, find themselves mourning the unprecedented FBI raid on the home of a former President.
No less a liberal than Alan Dershowitz, lifelong Democrat and Harvard Law professor emeritus, wrote that the “full-scale morning raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home does not seem justified…If it is true that the basis of the raid was the former President’s alleged removal of classified material from the White House, that would constitute a double standard of justice.”
In a column for “The Hill,” Dershowitz goes on to explain that two figures who have enjoyed his political support—2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger—were spared raids of their homes “for comparable allegations of mishandling official records in the recent past.”
Dershowitz has repeatedly warned against the criminalization of political differences, but that appears to be precisely what the Department of “Just Us” is doing right now.
Simply stated, the Biden Administration authorized a raid of the home of a former President, who could very well face Joe Biden as the Republican presidential nominee again in 2024.
Gingrich put the sordid episode into context: “If they can do this to a former and potentially future president, what can they do to you…or your cousin, or your friends, or your neighbors? And I think it’s a very scary step towards a police state.”
Newt’s concern is compounded by the Left’s goal of adding 87,000 new IRS agents.
Rest assured, when they show up at your door, they won’t be there for tea and crumpets…they’ll go for your “cookie jar” instead. What else will crumble? The cornerstone of American jurisprudence—the presumption of innocence to which the accused is entitled.
An earlier Congress (in which this columnist served) enacted the “Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights” to assure that the burden of proof remained on the IRS during an audit, but like the original Bill of Rights, certain individual freedoms appear headed for permanent misplacement in the “lost and found” of a newly-founded “enforcement state.”
Listen again to President Reagan: “The future is best decided by ballots, not bullets.” Your vote can turn the current “Mourning” into “Morning” once again.
That’s a promise.