The Great Communicator, The Gipper, The Jelly Bean Man, Ronnie, however you remember him, President Ronald Reagan was a phenomenal leader of the United States. President Reagan is one of my biggest political role models. Like many young conservative, political students, I look up to his example of policy, civility, and genuine love and care for those working around him.
During this past July, I had the privilege to visit the Ronald Reagan Library in California. I was in awe the entire time. I saw and stood on the very Air Force One plane that he flew on. I watched an epic clip of his famous speech in West Berlin commanding Gorbachev to, “Tear down this wall!”. I watched an extremely touching speech he gave on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, and all I could think about was the degree to which he loved and cared for this country, its fallen, active, and veteran soldiers, and its citizens.
Of course every President has a love for the country or they would not put themselves through the grueling process of running for President. However there is a certain warmth and softness to his way of speech, and you can feel the emotion he put into his words. As he stood there on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, before surviving soldiers, he asks them all, “Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here?” Watching that speech brought forth tears to my eyes, and made me felt an immense sense of love and pride for our living and fallen soldiers that sacrificed everything to preserve this wonderful country we live in.
The type of Republican that the great President Reagan was is missed dearly today. While many Republicans still hold onto the principles that he stood for and the civility that he demonstrated, our party has turned away from those ideals.
Agree with or disagree with President Trump’s Policy (a lot of which I do agree with), much of his actions and words have torn a divide in the party. Whether it’s him vilifying long time Republicans such as Senator McCain, or saying there are some very fine people on both sides of the Charlottesville rally, he has put a nasty taste in many of our mouths.
Young Conservatives must see past this poor era in Republican politics, and look to the past for guidance. Ronald Reagan serves as a fantastic example, perhaps even the best example, of what it means to be a Republican.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.