America Remains Exceptional Because of Reagan’s ‘Informed’ Patriots

Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War without firing a shot. He willed himself to victory over the Republican establishment during an era when Rockefeller Republicans had more firewalls, and brought America out of Jimmy Carter’s malaise. RFK loyalists from 1968 proudly became Reagan Democrats as national Democrats started to morph into a hybrid of “limousine liberals” and multiculturalists who always blamed America first. 

Events in Eastern Europe today, America’s sluggish economy, and a Republican Party that has trouble connecting with American workers of all backgrounds cast an even brighter glow on Reagan’s legacy.

Yet with all that Reagan accomplished, he said in his Farewell Address that “one of the things I’m proudest of in the past eight years” was “the resurgence of national pride that I called the new patriotism.”

Reagan knew that though “this national feeling is good,” it would not “count for much” or “last unless it’s grounded in thoughtful and knowledge” that he called an “informed patriotism.”

“I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit,” he said. “Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.”

Though Reagan’s memory would fade with the onset of Alzheimer’s, he would never lose his sense of what made American exceptional. That’s in the soul. 

Delivering his homily at Reagan’s funeral in California 10 years ago, Sen. John Danforth read from the Gospel of Matthew: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.”

“It was his favorite theme, from his first inaugural address to his final address from the Oval Office,” Danforth said. “For him, America was the shining city on a hill.”

Reagan knew that for America to always be the world’s North Star, its citizens had to be informed about what made the country and its common culture so exceptional and indispensable. And he was fierce in fighting to preserve a nation that the Founders could still recognize. 

Yet 10 years after his passing, establishment Republicans who never liked Reagan or understood why the unwashed did are trying to whitewash history, claiming Reagan would have trouble winning over a conservative movement that is fighting for the same ideals in a different–and more digital era–where Twitter has replaced newspapers and the news cycle has become a constant, ceaseless, and unrelenting news stream.

Craig Shirley, one of the most esteemed Ronald Reagan biographers, recently wrote that those who falsely assert that Reagan would find not fit in today’s conservative movement “confuse tactics with principles.”

“They charge that it is forgotten that Reagan compromised; but in fact, conservatives celebrate him for compromising on tactics, but never on goals or principles,” Shirley wrote. “Changing tactics can be smart politics. Changing principles is not.” 

Shirley, as Mark Levin has so often mentioned, observed that “the very forces of the establishment Republicans who made war against Reagan before he was REAGAN are at it again, saying the Gipper could not have survived in the modern Republican party or would have been rejected by the tea party or could not have been elected today.”

Jeb Bush has said Reagan would be too liberal for the modern GOP. Jon Huntsman has made the same claim. As scions of wealthy, establishment families, their observations need to be taken with a little more than a grain of salt. Actually, the fight inside the GOP today, pitting the insider elites against the outsider reformers, is very much like the fight in which Reagan found himself in the mid-1970s. Reagan, the intellectual populist, was a tea-party leader long before there was a tea-party movement–but there was a conservative movement, and he was very much the leader of that vibrant political force.

“Actually, the Constitution would forbid him from completing a third term, and we all know in what reverence he held that sacred document,” Shirley wrote. “Those same forces who thought men like Bill and Jim Buckley were unsophisticated and out of touch are now making war against the intellectual conservative forces of the tea party. It’s as if an Iron Curtain has fallen across the GOP, with the statists on one side and the forces for individuality on the other.”

Reagan’s critics within the Republican Party and those who actively wrote missives opposing him from the other side in the 1970s and 1980s continue to prove how ignorant they are of Reagan’s appeal by mocking limited-government and working-class conservatives who seek to fundamentally restore America’s greatness. But even his harshest critics, some of whom have even become Republicans, pay homage to Reagan’s prescience and all of his accomplishments. How could they not? 

By the time of the Goldwater speech, he was already a champion of the individual over the state, the essence of American conservatism. In his adult life, he never awakened in the morning saying to himself, “Government is popular now, so I will switch my principles and embrace big government.” In fact, his mature American conservatism, including the opposition to centralized authority, came at a time when the American people still generally believed in government. His embrace of the pro-life cause came at a time when the science wasn’t what it is today and the pro-abortion position was the more popular position for politicians, including within the GOP. Indeed, it was allies of Reagan’s who added the pro-life plank to the GOP platform in 1976, where it remains to this day.

His rejection of containment and détente and advocacy of actually winning the Cold War shocked the establishment, but by the end of the 1980 campaign, the American people had come to share his viewpoint and in point of fact supported nuclear superiority over the Russians.

But as Shirley noted, Reagan did not need titles, accomplishments, or praise to be complete as a man. He knew what was important and focused on America’s long-term health. He asked Americans, “Are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world?”

“Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions,” he reminisced in his Farewell Address. “If you didn’t get these things from your family you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school.”

And if all else failed back then, Reagan said that Americans could still “get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties.”

Reagan lamented that as the country was about to enter the nineties things were changing. He observed that “younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children” and “well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style” for those who create popular culture. 

“Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom — freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs [protection].” he said, echoing his previous words about how freedom is only one generation away from extinction. 

Reagan feared a dangerous future in which reparations and balkanization would further disunite America, as the late historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. often noted.

The Gipper told children to call their parents out if they were not being taught to be informed patriots. And were he alive today, he would relish the many opportunities he would have to use new media to remind Americans about its common culture.

Reagan mastered radio, “talking pictures,” commercial television, and the news cycle dominated by the big-three networks. And, as Shirley delightfully mentions, he would “probably be using Facebook and Twitter (perfect for his quips!) and all the other new forms of communication to advance his ideas” because “technology always fascinated him as a method of spreading ideas.” No doubt, Reagan would have made Americans more informed patriots 140 characters at a time or with YouTube videos that would have effortlessly cut through today’s fragmented media landscape.

Shirley concludes that “to say Reagan would not fit in today’s GOP or modern politics is to underestimate him once again” and is a flat-out “indolent argument.” 

“Some have suggested that Reagan could not survive in today’s GOP because he was ‘a man of his times,'” Shirely writes. “In fact, given his principles, his vision, and his moral convictions, Reagan was a man for all times, for all seasons.”

The day there is no place for Ronald Reagan in the conservative movement will be when America is no longer exceptional, all cultures are viewed equally, and the United States is considered just one of many countries on a map. The world will have lost its “last, best hope.” Worst of all, it will also probably be a day when there are two pastel globalist political parties that represent two sides of the same coin without a vibrant grassroots, non-elite movement to fight for an America that represents that shining city on a hill that Reagan personified.

Do those who seek to vindictively and pettily distort Reagan’s legacy want to live in such a world? 




Source: Breitbart Feed

Obama Administration Gives Iran Six-Month Free Pass on Sanctions

The Obama administration is of the opinion that now is the time to reward Iran for supposedly “cooperating” with the international community. In doing so, the White House announced Wednesday that the U.S. would suspend enforcement of Iran oil sanctions for six months.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said:

While market conditions suggest that there is sufficient supply to permit additional reductions in purchases of Iranian oil, the United States has committed to suspend Iran oil sanctions for six months and pause efforts to further reduce Iran’s crude oil sales for a six-month period under the Joint Plan of Action between the P5+1 and Iran. In return for this and other limited relief measures, Iran has committed to take steps that halt, and in key respects roll back, progress on its nuclear program.

Carney claimed that the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “has verified that Iran is complying with these new commitments.” He continued, “Global oil supply disruptions in recent months increased, compared with earlier this year, but the resulting supply was offset by increased petroleum production, particularly in the United States.” Carney said that because there is a sufficient supply of non-Iranian oil in world markets, the Obama administration felt it necessary to lift the sanctions entirely.

The sanctions relief comes on the heels of Iran’s Ayatollah openly stating that he did not believe the U.S. would ever consider a military strike to thwart Tehran’s nuclear capabilities. The Ayatollah stood on a podium surrounded by banners that read, “America cannot do a damn thing.”

Recently, the Ayatollah, Iran’s chief decision maker and ultimate authority, stressed that Iran would defeat “evil” America through endless “battle and jihad.”

After Khamenei announced for the world to hear that he intends to defeat America, while at West Point, President Obama spoke of the Iranian nuclear program. He stated, “Now we have an opportunity to resolve our differences peacefully.”




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And Now a Word About Nancy Reagan, American Morale, and the Celebration of Reaganism

For those who are considered to be members of the Reagan family–White House staff, campaign staff, writers, biographers, affiliated memberships–all have often heard over the years from their fellow citizens about Reagan, “He made me feel good about myself.”

For the less thoughtful, it was dismissed as a comment of the unsophisticated, reminding some of the quip by Adlai Stevenson in 1952 when an excited woman told him “All the intelligent people are voting for you” to which the Democratic nominee replied, “Yes ma’am, but I need a majority.”

In fact, the comment about individuals “feeling good” about themselves was precisely what Reagan wanted to achieve and even said so in his farewell remarks; he considered his greatest accomplishment the restoration of American morale and spirit.

The fundamental difference between Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan is that Obama wants the American people to feel good about him but Reagan wanted the American people to feel good about themselves.

This the essential difference between those on the left who believe in the state, who believe in collectivism–to acquire power by convincing (or ordering) the individual to surrender power ostensibly for their own good.

What liberals never want to debate are their own failings. After all, this is why GK Chesterton said the very purpose of progressivism was to make mistakes and then move on.

A nation of happy and self-confident spiritual individuals is a successful country; in another phrase, American Exceptionalism.

Reagan believed in this down to the marrow of his bones.

Yet he did not arrive at this world view all on his own. It came from his parents, it came from autodidactic education, and it also came from Nancy Reagan. No one who took as many unfair bean balls from the left and from liberal journalists over the years could have survived without a spring of individual optimism welling up from inside.

During the 1980 campaign, a perpetually dyspeptic reporter attacked Mrs. Reagan in a column for handing out chocolate to the traveling press. Rather than storming about, the next day, she walked down the aisle of the campaign plane again with her chocolates but with a sign around her neck that read, “Take one! Or else!”

You have to have a lot of self-confidence to do that, or to realize the press corps was attacking you as a way of getting to your husband. For over 50 years, she stood at his side and was blunt about her role, once telling an interviewer that of course she gave “Ronnie” her opinions and felt entitled to because, for one good reason, they shared the same bed.

She was once described as a “Metternich in Adolfo dresses.” Metternich was the great Austrian diplomat who got things done. Nancy Reagan got things done.

And then came the Alzheimer’s. During those ten years, she never flinched, never walked away, assumed the increased responsibility and did so with resolution and courage. This is known but what is not known, for instance, is that during the week of the funeral for her husband, she still took time to meet with and personally thank all the White House staff from the 1980’s.

That was ten years ago.

A large turnout is expected at the Reagan Library on June 5, the anniversary of the passing of the Gipper. Speeches by Fred Ryan, the estimable chairman of the Board of the Reagan Library, Jim Baker, Reagan’s very capable first chief of staff and later Treasury Secretary, will cover the legacy and the life and times of the 40th president.

There will also be a panel with Reagan biographers including Lou Cannon and moderated by Peggy Noonan. Also, a wreath laying ceremony at Reagan’s gravesite.

This year marks a number of important anniversaries for Reagan besides his passing. It is also the 50th anniversary of his historic speech for Barry Goldwater, the 25th anniversary of his departure from the White House and the 30th anniversary of his overwhelming re-election in 1984.

But for his friend, soul mate, guardian, lover, best friend and wife, Nancy Reagan, it is also the 20th anniversary of learning that her beloved “Ronnie” was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, plungin her life into an dark abyss, but also allowing her to find an ever deeper love for her husband and for her faith.

They had looked forward to their golden years together after the whirlwind of 40 years of national politics, from the days of the Screen Actors Guild to their eight monumental years in Washington.

Alas, it was not to be so. And yet, there is much to celebrate, much to be happy about, and much to consider. Would the epidemic of drug abuse have become a national issue without Nancy Reagan putting a spotlight on it? Would the millions raised for Alzheimer’s research have come about without her tireless campaigning for it?

The Reagans were often derided because she supposedly did not have a cause but what the liberal critics meant was she did not have a politically correct cause. Welcoming home the Vietnam POW’s was not politically correct in the early 1970’s but that is precisely what Nancy Reagan, Ross Perot, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan did.

Telling reporters in 1980 that his wife’s main cause, if he was elected, would be him caused a stir and yet, would John Adams be John Adams without Abigail? Would Franklin Roosevelt be the president he was without Eleanor? To believe in others, to believe in a country and a way of life, it is helpful and maybe essential to have Someone believe in you.

Nancy Reagan believed in Ronald Reagan.

The events at the Reagan Library on the 5th and every day, celebrate the life and legacy of Ronald Wilson Reagan none of which he would have been accomplished without Nancy Davis Reagan. There had to be something about Reagan that appealed to her, something she saw in him.

After all, she’d once dated Clark Gable.

 




Source: Breitbart Feed

Independent Newspaper Falls for Canadian Kinder Egg Satire, Pulls Story

Britain’s Independent newspaper has become the latest victim of news satire after it published an article about Kinder Egg smugglers in the United States.

Kinder Eggs have technically been banned in the United States on health and safety grounds since 1938, and in recent years it was revealed that a fine for bringing the Italian-based products into the country stood at $2,500 per egg.

But the Independent took a satirical article from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘This and That’ show a tad too seriously, running an article about a Kinder smuggling ring being exposed.

The original article reads

Three Canadian women are being held in a Seattle detention centre after an elaborate Kinder Egg smuggling ring was uncovered. Border officials have seized more than 6,000 chocolate eggs containing tiny toys such as a little plastic horse that is also a whistle. 

The Italian confectionary is popular in Canada but illegal in the US where small plastic items, like a wind-up, walking piece of cake or a raccoon playing the trumpet, are considered choking hazards. This has created a lucrative black market, a source of increasing tension between the Harper and Obama governments.

A 500 ft. tunnel running from the outskirts of Abbotsford, B.C. to a shed in Clearbrook, WA was detected late last week by Dale Lawson while he was walking his dog: “Buster got into this weird looking shed,” say Lawson, “he comes out with chocolate in his mouth.” 

Lawson, worried that his dog could get sick, took the chocolate and found it contained a plastic capsule. “I thought maybe it was drugs but when I opened it up it was a little plastic fox dressed like a queen. I called the police right away.”

Police arrived just as Melanie Russet, Marg Spooner and Lynn Dodwell emerged from the tunnel with flats of chocolate eggs. The three were taken into custody and more arrests on both sides of the border are expected.

It’s estimated that up to 800,000 eggs cross the border every year and while there have yet to be any reported fatalities, it’s only a matter of time before a child chokes on a tiny house with googly eyes or a pen shaped like a ski.

Satire written by Kurt Smeaton.   

But no one at the Independent seemed to read the last line, which exposed the piece as a joke. Instead the paper published an entire article about the issue this morning before pulling the story.

The article could still be found on the Independent website’s internal search engine at the time of publication, though the link now goes back to the homepage.

A number of Twitter users were also fooled.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Homeowner with a Gun Stops Kermit Gosnell’s Son’s ‘Alleged Home Invasion’

The son of imprisoned Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was “shot several times” by a homeowner during an “alleged home invasion.”

According to NBC10.com, police say Gosnell’s son – 22-year-old Barron Alexander – “was burglarizing a home shared by a group of undergrads in West Philadelphia” on the morning of June 4.

When he broke into the house, “three male residents were home.” Alexander “was taking items from the property, and a resident from the property woke up startled.” The resident called for help, and a second resident responded shooting Alexander “multiple times.”

Alexander was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he is “in critical but stable condition.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.




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