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Those who remember Washington's cold war culture in the 1980s will recall the shocked reactions to Reagan's intervention. People interested in foreign policy were astonished when in 1985 he met alone at Geneva - alone, not a single strategic thinker at his elbow! - with the Soviet Communist master Gorbachev.
His track record of pragmatism, depth and candor all speak to a person who would find the Tea Party simplistic, opportunistic and misguided. Reagan was surrounded by some very smart people who gave him very sound advice. They were not wondering where certain countries are on the map.
Ronald Reagan used to alarm other constituencies by speaking freely about the End Times foreshadowed in the Bible.
It seems that the most important thing about Reagan was his anti-Communism and his reputation as a hawk who saw the Soviet Union as an 'evil empire.'
I believe Ronald Reagan can make this country what it once was... a large Arctic region covered with ice.
You'll notice that Nancy Reagan never drinks water when Ronnie speaks.
Ronald Reagan was long thought to be the most conservative of Republicans. And by any standard today he is the most popular Republican in modern history. Yet he raised taxes 11 times, supported a ban on assault rifles and the Brady Bill, which mandated background checks, and established amnesty for 3 million undocumented workers.
I've really had two heroes in my life. My father and Ronald Reagan.
Always the eternal optimist, President Reagan instilled confidence and optimism at a time both were in short supply in our country.
Reagan proved deficits don't matter.
There's also some element of coming of age during the Reagan administration, which everybody has painted as some glorious time in America, but I remember as being a very, very dark time. There was apocalypse in the air; the punk rock movement made sense.
I often quote Ronald Reagan, who is pretty close to my favorite President ever, I will have to say that, but one of my favorite remarks he ever made was that when you look at Federal programs, there is nothing so close to eternal life on Earth as a Federal Government program.
Mr. Reagan spent World War II, the global conflict fought and won by his generation, making training films in Hollywood.
R. W. Apple, Jr.
It took Jimmy Carter to give us Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan said that he sought a Star Wars defense only in order to share the technology with the tyrants of the U.S.S.R.
If we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday at a time of presidential inaugurals, this is thanks to Ronald Reagan who created the holiday, and not to the Democratic Congress of the Carter years, which rejected it.
Some of my Democratic friends don't like it when I say that, but Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat and still a leader. He brought strong people around him, and he had a vision for where he wanted to take the country.
Letter writing was clearly important to Reagan. Even as president he kept dashing off letters to friends, pen pals, media people, statesmen, critics, and the kind of people who write to presidents never expecting a reply.
Ronald Reagan was a dim hack who did horrible damage to almost everything he touched.
Reaganism as a political movement has enormous resources behind it and it seeks - through stagecraft and through a tremendous level of effort toward propaganda - to present an image of Reagan that is so much larger-than-life that it sort of blinds us all, and keeps us all in a warm, happy, nostalgic state, thinking of a man who can do no wrong.
I believe in Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment, thou shall not speak unfavorably of another Republican.
Reagan won because he was real. He believed in America. He told people he was gonna make it great again coming out of a disastrous four years of Jimmy Carter and Watergate before that.
Strategic thinkers were naturally rattled to find this outsider fooling around with their work. They had been thinking strategically when Reagan was just another movie actor playing opposite a chimpanzee, for heaven's sake. They think Reagan is too naive, too innocent, to grasp the intellectual complexities of cold war strategy.
Watergate got us to think of leaders as mere mortals. America began to think of itself in a very different way - I would say a salutary way - and Reagan was most important in shifting the grand dynamic thrust of the American historical process by ending that.
The days when the words 'Hollywood actor' framed Ronald Reagan like bunny fingers as an ID tag and an implied insult seem far-off and quaint: nearly everybody in politics - candidate, consultant, pundit, and Tea Party crowd extra alike - is an actor now, a shameless ham in a hoked-up reality series that never stops.
C. S. Lewis
John F. Kennedy
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