I read the New York Times last week and apparently a fellow named "Iran-Contra" died recently. But that's all I'll say about the people who have consistently been on the wrong side of history and whose publisher is a little weenie who can't read because he has "dyslexia." The three key ingredients to Ronald Reagan's sunny personality were: (1) his unalterable faith in God; (2) for nearly 30 years, he didn't fly; and (3) he read Human Events religiously but never read the New York Times.
Even in his death liberals are still trying to turn our champion into a moderate Republican ? unlike the religious-right nut currently occupying the White House! The world's living testament to the limits of genetics, Ron Jr., put it this way at Reagan's funeral:
Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man. But he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians of wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage.
Wow. He's probably up in Heaven ? something Ron Jr. doesn't believe in ? having a chuckle about that right now. To hear liberals tell it, you'd think Reagan talked about God the way Democrats do, in the stilted, uncomfortable manner of people pretending to believe something they manifestly do not. (In a recent Time magazine poll, only 7 percent of respondents say they believe Kerry is a man of "strong" religious faith, compared to 46 percent who believe Bush is.) Or, for that matter, the way Democrats talk about free-market capitalism.
The chattering classes weren't so copacetic about Reagan's religious beliefs when he was in office. In 1984, Newsweek breathlessly reported that:
Reagan is known to have read and discussed with fundamentalist friends like [Jerry] Falwell and singer Pat Boone such pulp versions of biblical prophecies as Hal Lindsey's best-selling "The Late Great Planet Earth," which strongly hints of a nuclear Armageddon.
One hundred Christian and Jewish "leaders" signed a letter warning that Reagan's nuclear policy had been unduly influenced by a "theology of nuclear Armageddon." In the second presidential debate that year, President Reagan was actually asked to clarify his position on "nuclear Armageddon."
Most confusing to Democrats, at the time Reagan was doing all of this Bible-reading and consorting with preachers, he hadn't even been accused of cheating on his wife. What kind of angle was he playing? liberals asked themselves.
Meanwhile, President Bush says he appeals to "a higher father" and liberals act like they've never heard such crazy talk from a president.
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift says Bush is unlike Reagan because Reagan "reached out, and he was always seeking converts." That's true, actually. I think Reagan would have favored converting Third World people to Christianity. (Now why does that idea ring a bell?) Clift continued: "That is the big difference between Ronald Reagan and the president we have today. The president today would like to consign his political opponents to oblivion."
Here is how Reagan "reached out" to Democrats:
- Reagan on abortion: "We cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide."
- Reagan on gay rights: "Society has always regarded marital love as a sacred expression of the bond between a man and a woman. It is the means by which families are created and society itself is extended into the future. In the Judeo-Christian tradition it is the means by which husband and wife participate with God in the creation of a new human life. It is for these reasons, among others, that our society has always sought to protect this unique relationship. In part the erosion of these values has given way to a celebration of forms of expression most reject. We will resist the efforts of some to obtain government endorsement of homosexuality."
- Reagan on government programs to feed the "hungry": "We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet."
Would that more Republicans would "reach out" to Democrats the way Reagan did!
Most peculiar, the passing of America's most pro-life president is supposed to be a clarion call for conservatives to support the disemboweling of human embryos ? in contrast to that heartless brute President Bush always prattling on about the value of human life. Someone persuaded poor, dear Nancy Reagan that research on human embryos might have saved her Ronnie from Alzheimer's. Now the rest of us are supposed to shut up because the wife of America's greatest president (oh, save your breath, girls!) supports stem-cell research.
Ironically, the always market-oriented Ronald Reagan would probably have asked his wife, "Honey, if embryonic stem-cell therapy is such a treasure trove of medical advances, why isn't private research and development funding flocking to it?"
President Bush has never said that fetal stem cells cannot be used for research. He said "federal money" cannot be used to fund such research. If leading scientists believed fetal stem-cell research would prove to be so fruitful in curing Alzheimer's, why is the private money not pouring in hand over fist? Do you realize how many billions a cure for Alzheimer's would be worth, let alone all the other cures some are claiming fetal stem-cell research would lead to? Forget Alzheimer's ? do you know how much middle-aged men would pay for a genuine baldness cure? Then again, Porsche sales would probably fall off quite a bit if we ever cured baldness.
But you can't blame Nancy. As everyone saw once again last week, she's still madly in love with the guy. She'd probably support harvesting full-grown, living humans if it would bring back Ronnie. Of course, I thought it was cute and not creepy that she consulted an astrologer about Reagan's schedule after he was shot. That didn't make astrology a hard science. But liberals who once lambasted Nancy for having too much influence on Reagan's schedule now want to anoint her Seer of Technology.
The lesson to draw from what liberals said about Reagan then and what they are forced to say about him now is that the electable Republican is always the one liberals are calling an extremist, Armageddon-believing religious zealot. That certainly bodes well for President George W. Bush this November, thank ? you should pardon the expression ? God.