It was always thus. In 1775, Patrick Henry urged his fellow Virginians to fight the might of the British empire: "Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave."
Some things Reagan never achieved. The vision of smaller, limited government remains just a vision. No significant rollback of any government has happened in my lifetime. Despite Reagan's appointments, the Supreme Court remains unapologetically sexually liberal, relentlessly committed to remaking society along the lines of sexual revolution: unlimited abortion, gender indifference, elevating sex to the dignity of a constitutional right, the redefinition of marriage, an unlimited pursuit of pornographic pleasure -- all these have become for too many, thanks to the courts, the ultimate meaning of that precious word "freedom."
In his farewell address, President Reagan addressed those who drew the wrong lesson from his presidency, his influence and the affection he won from the American people:
"And in all of that time I won a nickname, 'The Great Communicator.' But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things."
Great things. Beautiful things. True things. May he rest in peace.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.