Today is the birthday of a man who is probably history's most beloved conservative: Ronald Wilson Reagan
I am pleased to say that I was around during his presidency and remember him well. I normally live in Australia but was in America for a short time during his second campaign for president and did my very small bit for him while I was there. I wore a large "Reagan/Bush" campaign button wherever I went. I was in NYC at the time so I did get some funny looks over it.
Reagan was such an electrifying political figure that many of his speeches were broadcast worldwide so I saw them even while I was in Australia. And I noted how he always referred to himself as "your president". He rightly cast himself as a servant of the people. And partly because of that I felt he was my president too even though I lived in Australia.
The speech I particularly remember of course was the solemn speech he gave when the space shuttle crashed. America was lucky at that time to have a man who could give exactly the right speech to mark its heroic loss.
I remember waking up on that morning in the company of wife and children in my big and comfortable home and amid smells of breakfast pancakes cooking -- to turn on the TV to hear that awful news and feel distressed but comforted that the man bringing me that awful message about our reach for the stars did it in a way that I felt.
But most of his other speeches were marked by humor. There are many collections of the jokes he told but this is my favorite:
You have to know of the prior Dan Quayle/Lloyd Bentsen matchup to get it, of course, but Bentsen's remark has been widely repeated so I think that most reading here would know of it
Saturday is my Sabbath so I would not normally post anything today but Reagan is the man I most admire so I felt that I needed to say something on this day. We will never see his like again.