The Old Man On The Mountain

A View From the Backwoods of NH

Ronald Reagan

Who will be the next Ronald Reagan?
(This story was written in 2010)

Good morning from the snowy mountains of the Great White North. The Old Man on the Mountain here with today’s question “Who will be the next Ronald Reagan?” Now, before I get a slew full of letters about the Reagan Presidency let me tell you what I remember and liked most about the man –

He brought World respect back to America by ensuring that the World knew we had (or would have) the best defense weapons available. Not war, but defense. And he began to dismantle the Federal government, bringing it to what he felt the Federal government should be – protection of its citizens – be it from unwanted aggression or natural calamity. While he has been criticized for the cuts he made, I believed (and still believe) that what he removed from the Federal government didn’t belong there. It belonged (and belongs) at the State level, where each of our 50 States can determine how, where and how much should be allocated in tax revenues for a specific level of service provided, be it education, health care or just standard of living. And rather than leave these decisions up to a “pork barrel” entity, he tried to ensure that the voice of the people could be heard. Because, after all, anyone should be able to get to their State House to argue such things as why should Hawaii’s taxes be used for a study on snow removal in the northern states (just an example, not actual – I hope). It’s not as easy to get to Washington to do this (or to be heard).

Unfortunately I see just the reverse happening. For example, I read in the news that the current administration has taken it upon themselves to be the Global Apology Ambassadors for the United States. No more will we rule with might, as we’ve been ordered to “take down our flags, lest we offend others” or that we would “never retaliate with nuclear weapons, regardless of what we’re attacked with”. If this last statement had happened during the Cold War we’d all be speaking Russian now from our collectives. Even Jimmy Carter, the “Great Humanitarian” wouldn’t have dared take this kind of a nuclear stance. He understood that sometimes only fear can keep an enemy in check. And while he may have, at the time of decision, chosen to NOT use nukes, he would NEVER make it a public statement. Instead, he tried to remove the nuclear threat from both sides in an even, steady dismantlement.

And I can’t think of a President before today that would even consider taking down the American flag to avoid offending others. To me, our flag has always symbolized what’s right with the world. And, while we shouldn’t be the “world police”, we do need to let others know that there’s at least one vestige of humanity out there that offers hope to those less fortunate. A vestige that’s keeping an eye on the rest of the world, ready to step in if needed to support the rights of humans across the world. And the symbol for that vestige is the American flag. And if someone’s offended by our flag, then they’re offended by us and the way we live. By taking down the flag, we’ve conceded that we too are offended by the way we live and I, for one, have a real issue with that. You see, I have friends and family that have gone to great lengths to ensure our way of living. Fortunately for me the cost has not been as great as it has for so many Americans whose sacrifices to ensure our way of living are immeasurable.

So, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for the next Ronald Reagan. The person that’s going to make me unafraid to be an American, at home or abroad, by flying our colors with pride. The person that’s going to let the world know that we’re not going to take crap off of anyone. And if anyone’s dumb enough to start something, we’re going to end it – quickly and cleanly. No more Afghanistan, no more Iraq, no more long-term fixes – just quickly and cleanly. By whatever means necessary. And most importantly, return the government to the people by removing what doesn’t belong at the Federal level and returning it to the States to decide – not a handful of long-distance representatives and twisted lobbyists who vote their own agenda.

That’s what I remember most about Ron and his administration – making Americans proud of America.