My Tribute to Ronald Reagan, The Great Liberator
By Jeff Head, June 10, 2004

These are my feelings at the passing of a truly great American. Those of us who personally witnessed his life and service to this nation will prove to be among the most priveleged American citizens of all time.

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) was simply the greatest president in my lifetime, and I believe the greatest President of the 20th century. I believe he was among the greatest two or three Presidents this nation has ever had.

He epitomized the traditional American spirit of a positive, can-do attitude, reliance on fundamental moral principle eminating from faith in God, dedication to the principles of individual liberty, and a commitment to the soveriegnty and independence of this great, free republic we call the United States of America.

His foreign policy "brought down the wall" and curtailed one of the greatest menaces to freedom the world has ever known. Contrary to revisionists and those who would want to bestow some of that honor on others...the world knows, God knows, and we know that it was Ronald Reagan's drive, unwaivering commitment and faith, his direct challenge to the evil of that day, and his vision that defeated the "Evil Empire" and liberated hundreds of millions of people from its clutches. No one else in any major office of government or political party believed it could happen so quickly...except Ronald Reagan. History has proven him right.

His economic policies turned the misery index of the late 70's into a boom for American industry and into personal opportunities for growth for the individual American citizen. He did it by understanding the simple truth that the American people, and private American industry can better manage and invest their money than government can if you simply let them keep it and then take the onerous burden of so many social regulations off their back. Again, he was right.

I lived through the misery index, having gotten married as a young 22 year-old during the disasterous administration before Reagan's. Before that, I saw the unfortunate "go along to get along", New Deal caretaker Republican and Democratic administrations that went before. I personally witnessed and lived through the unbelievable difference Ronald Reagan and his policies made.

We were proud of our nation, proud of ourselves, proud of the flag, and proud to be called American citizens under Ronald Reagan. His enthusiasm was contagious and his optimism was inspiring. His humor and ability to not take himself too seriously was obvious for all to see, but this did not diminish in the least his ability to communicate and even convince those who did not agree with him to come around to the "American" way of thinking.

In some ways I feel as though a sterling light, a great beacon in that shining city on the hill has gone out. But the shining city remains, and his vision for it remains, and it is now up to us to ensure it continues.

Despite the fact that his administration ended almost sixteen years ago, and that he himself left the public eye over ten years ago...his legacy and the respect and love for him remains. This has been aptly attested to by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands who made time during the week of mourning for him to visit his casket, to stand by roads, to wait on overpasses and to proudly and with great feeling hope for even a glimpse of his passing. If his earthly remains had been taken on a trip across the country, the same would have occurred in every city, in every town, in every hamlet and village and tens of millions would have paid their respects...such was the great love and admiration for this great man.

This is despite the best efforts of major media moguls, political party pundits, liberal educators and others to try and dimminish his accomplishments, lessen his person, and rewrite history. Let this last week be a testament that the people know...they are not and will not be fooled as long as there is a shred of common decency, virtue and love of liberty running through the collective fabric of our society.

We have new challenges now. The great challenge of terrorism based on radical Islam. The menace of another growing evil empire in our time, the Red Chinese and the globalists who are enabling them. We also have the even more insidious challenge of the continued encroachment on personal liberty, on our national sovreignty and independence that many enemies amongst us, within our own borders, continue to foist on our Republic. They do it under many names and guises, in the name of the UN, NGO's, globalism, the culture of death, so called third ways that are nothing more than the way of tyrants past and present, radical environmentalism, the push for sustainable habitats that are in reality controlable habitats...and the list goes on and on. But these challenges are just reincarnations of the same challenges Ronald Reagan faced...and he showed us how to deal with them.

As he said, we must make no apology for, and we must not shirk from speaking about, facing up to, or combating things that are controversial when it comes to defending our liberty.

I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this.

It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government."

This idea? that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue ...whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream-the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits."

The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.

May we choose the path Ronald Reagan chose, and may we thank God that he did choose that path because the world is much better place as a result.

God bless and rest you Ronald Reagan...and God comfort and keep you Nancy and family, we love you all dearly and you are in our hearts and our prayers.


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