Friday, January 20, 2006

It was 25 years ago today......

Peggy Noonan reflects on the fall of the mainstream media and what is ahead for the GOP on this, the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's inauguration as President of the United States. I still remember that day, Jan. 20, 1981, sitting in my 6th grade class at St. Pius X elementary school in Loudonville, NY. The split screen on the TV with Reagan's hand on the Bible taking the Oath of Office on one half and footage of the American hostages being released from Iran on the other. It was quite an amazing sight to view live. If you weren't alive yet or old enough to remember it, there is no way to really understand the magnitude of what the viewers were seeing. To you, this is merely history. To us, it was breaking news, a nationally unifying POSITIVE event to see these two things juxtaposed. Ah, I'm just feeling old since I saw the animatronic band at Chuck E. Cheese last night perform "In A Big Country" by Big Country. It's official -- corporations are targeting Gen X-ers as parents of young children now.


At 1/20/2006 01:31:00 PM, Blogger Hirons said...

25 years ago today I was on the mall witnessing the swearing of President Ronald Wilson Reagan - okay we were in our Chrysler Aspen wagaon, my mother was yelling at my dad because we ran late - having planned on being on the Capitol grounds for the swearing in. We were driving around the streets of SE DC trying to find parking listening to the speeches on the radio. Fortunately we found parking in time to make it to the parade route to see President and First Lady Reagan riding down Penn. ave waving to the crowd while standing through the sunroof of the Presidential limo.

I still have a great picture I took with my cool 110 film Kodak camera with the Pres. and First Lady in her red dress in the limo and an plastic American flag - handed out to the crowd - waving in the foreground.

Wow 25 years and I remember it like it was yesterday!

At 1/20/2006 01:41:00 PM, Blogger James E. Martin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/20/2006 01:47:00 PM, Blogger James E. Martin said...

69 years ago today a president who actually changed and cared for America said in his inaugural address:

But here is the challenge to our democracy:

In this nation I see tens of millions of its citizens—a substantial part of its whole population—who at this very moment are denied the greater part of what the very lowest standards of today call the necessities of life.

I see millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hangs over them day by day.

I see millions whose daily lives in city and on farm continue under conditions labeled indecent by a so-called polite society half a century ago.

I see millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.

I see millions lacking the means to buy the products of farm and factory and by their poverty denying work and productiveness to many other millions.

I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

But it is not in despair that I paint you that picture. I paint it for you in hope—because the nation, seeing and understanding the injustice in it, proposes to paint it out. We are determined to make every American citizen the subject of his country’s interest and concern; and we will never regard any faithful law-abiding group within our borders as superfluous. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

Reagan was nothing.

At 1/20/2006 02:18:00 PM, Anonymous Suedehead said...

You should buy the Big Country box set; so many great hits!

Oh, and the news that "Reagan was nothing" probably comes as a surprise to the Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, etc., that he freed when he destroyed Soviet communism. (over the objections of the Democrats)

At 1/20/2006 02:56:00 PM, Blogger James E. Martin said...

As a student of history I have never seen an intelligent argument that Reagan’s policies resulting or even aided in the downfall of Communism. I have seen very good one's about IKE/Nixon’s policies as well as one on LBJ policies resulting in communism falling, but never Reagan (people just say it without any evidence or though, very sad).

At 1/20/2006 03:13:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

NOVA Dem, I take it you mean the president who violated the Constitution on so many fronts, from rounding up Japanese-Americans (including women and children) and placing them in internment camps (a far cry from catching terrorists on the battlefield in foreign countries and putting them in G'tmo) to expanding and packing the Supreme Court to being such a meglomaniac that he thought only he could save the country and had to run for unprecedented third and fourth terms in office (lying about his health while he was at it, dying shortly into his fourth term) to expanding the Federal Government far beyond its constitutional scope.

NEWS FLASH!!!! FDR's economic policies were a complete failure and prolonged the Great Depression. If his New Deal economic plans were so great, they would have worked, but they didn't. His words are nice, but rhetoric doesn't produce results. Only WWII got the economy going and pulled us out of the Great Depression.

If ever there was a failure as a President, it was FDR where the "F stands for Failure." We're still paying the price of his actions today. If you don't believe me, check your paycheck, see how much FICA tax is being taken out of it and then tell me if you'll ever see that money back from the socialist Ponzi scheme that he developed and we're all enslaved to today.

Reagan started out as an FDR Democrat, then he saw the curtain get pulled back and saw that the Wizard of Oz was just a man and wised up.

Oh, and a tip of the hat to Suedehead's comment. Why did Reagan have to liberate the people of Eastern Europe? Because FDR sold them out at Yalta, forcing them into the slavery of Communism for 40 plus years. Nice going, genius.

At 1/20/2006 03:33:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

And as a student of history, obviously you have not been exposed to enough books and scholars who have made just those points in an intelligent way.

Ike and Nixon believed in containment as first espoused by George Kennan in the Truman Administration. As far as Johnson playing a role, someone was obviously smoking something to come up with that theory. Reagan was the first President to reject the theory of containment and called for the rollback of Communism, backing democratic forces in nations such as Poland with the Solidarity movement. There are some excellent accounts out now about the relationship between the U.S. and the Vatican and how they worked together to bring about the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe starting with Poland.

I see in your profile that you are a student, so perhaps you do not have the benefit of having lived through (or remembering) many of these events as they unfolded in the '70s and '80s, so I'll give you a pass on that.

I'd encourage you to keep an open mind and read as many accounts from a variety of sources as you can.

At 1/20/2006 04:21:00 PM, Anonymous Atlanta Lawyer said...

A couple of years ago I took my oldest daughter to the Carter Presidential Library here in Atlanta so she could get some information for a school paper on Jimmy Carter. As we toured the museum, my overwhelming reaction was that I had forgotten how bad that period of time was.

You cannot understate the impact Ronald Reagan had on this country. Also, if you weren't alive in 1980, you probably can't fully appreciate how significant that impact was, because you didn't experience the malaise that was the Carter years.

At 1/20/2006 04:48:00 PM, Blogger Corrie said...

If you're a student, you really owe it to yourself to read a history of the US other than Zinn's.

I remember watching it on TV my freshman year. It was so clear that the Iranians were deliberately snubbing Carter with the timing of the release. At the time I didn't consider that they realized Reagan would be a more agressive negotiator.

At 1/20/2006 04:50:00 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

Couldn't agree more with Atlanta Lawyer. The Carter adminsitration was a very bad time. Economically, Militarily, foreign policy. We can stipulate that Carter was an intelligent man with a sincere, Christian outlook, but, sheesh, he was one awful President. It was as if all the liberal lunacy of the past 20 years had been distilled into that administration and turned loose on the nation and the world.

In 1980 I had quit the federal government out of sheer exasperation, moved to California, and was enjoying myself immensely. I voted that November with absolute enthusiasm, even knowing from prematurely released returns that Carter was going down. Reagan's victory brought me back to Washington (and Virginia) and gave me four years of pride in being a federal appointee. It's worth noting this anniversary (which, not at all coincidentally, is also the anniversary of the release of the American diplomats who had been in Iranian captivity for more than a year).

At 1/20/2006 05:16:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

Reagan was great proof that perception becomes reality.

At 1/20/2006 06:36:00 PM, Anonymous Suedehead said...

I love it when lefties say Reagan is no good. It's like saying Paris isn't beautiful. I can't stand the French, their politics, their reflexive anti-Americanism; but I've been to Paris and its beautiful. To say otherwise is allowing my politics to blind me to obvious reality.

Sound like any lefties we know?

At 1/20/2006 07:30:00 PM, Anonymous Pike Bishop said...

and further to history student, I, as a history teacher, would love to see the sources you are reading. Reagan refused to accept peaceful co-existence and argued that there was only one outcome to the Cold War, "We win; they lose." Forcing the Soviets to spend more on the military destroyed their already ridiculously mismanaged and pathetic central planned economy. And let's not forget when he actually threw the total abolotion of nucleur weapons on the table at Reykjavik! What a move! Something liberals would have gone ga ga over if the Pres had had a D next to his name! Gorbachev blinked, not the Gipper. I guess you are getting the standard revisionist history that St. Gorby decided to end the USSR on his own, with no outside influence whatsoever!

At 1/20/2006 09:23:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Couldn't agree more on the pro-Reagan comments. I, too, was in the 6th grade at the time and remember it well. (Go Governors!, right Scott?).

At 1/20/2006 10:25:00 PM, Blogger Elle said...

"I'd encourage you to keep an open mind and read as many accounts from a variety of sources as you can."

like you, riley?

“Why did Reagan have to liberate the people of Eastern Europe? Because FDR sold them out at Yalta, forcing them into the slavery of Communism for 40 plus years.”

I’m guessing, as this is a conservative site, that the idea that any American president-dem or repub, had this much control over people (to “force into slavery” or “to liberate”) thousands of miles away and not under American jurisdiction isn’t the least bit troubling?

And, since I’m not a fan of communism, I won’t even talk about the slavery/negative aspects of capitalism—I’ll leave that to laborers like my mom who’s been slaughtering chickens for over 20 years now and still doesn’t make $10 an hr.

“a nationally unifying POSITIVE event”

My parents (I was a kid during Reagan’s years in office) are hard-pressed to find a single, unifying, POSITIVE event from Reagan’s terms… but I guess it depends on who you were interested in seeing unified. I do remember my wise old grandfather, sitting in a chair in the living room, reading political headlines from the local newspaper and shaking his head.

Finally (and I’m sorry TC for usurping so much space) I’m a history student too, a damned good one, and would like to point out that some of the crits of nova democrat are faulty and one-sided, too. While reagan may have warmed many of your hearts, he left some of us cold—and that’s as valid a feeling as any of your hero-worship.

At 1/20/2006 10:30:00 PM, Blogger Elle said...

oh yeah...

"I guess you are getting the standard revisionist history..."

why is history that includes more than "BIG IMPORTANT AMERICANS" (much like history really did!) revisionist?

your liberal friend, the ardent social historian who doesn't write primarily about politicians, businessmen, bankers, and oil barons,

At 1/20/2006 10:55:00 PM, Blogger James Young said...

One reads nova democrat's posts, and a single question arises:

What color is the sky on his planet?

About a year back, I was sitting by the hearth, smoking a fine, hand-rolled imported tobacco product and sipping a Crown Royal on the rocks, when I opened the Weekly Standard and came across an article about "Ukraine's Reaganite First Lady." Turns out it was about a woman I got to know in the early Nineties in D.C. by the name of Kathy Chumachenko, whose parents were Ukrainian immigrants to Chicago. When the Soviet Union fell, she returned to her parents' homeland as a business consultant, and met and married a banker. THE banker. Guy by the name of Yuschenko.

Like the old poster from YAF said, "What's the difference between a diplomat in Iran and a student in Grenada? PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN."

And willis, you (and elle) are living proof that those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.

At 1/20/2006 11:07:00 PM, Blogger Elle said...

james young...

just because i don't think reagan hung the moon, i'm doomed to repeat history? out of curiosity, can you tell me one point in my post that led you to this brilliant conclusion? what have i refused to learn? and exactly what is it that i'm going to repeat?

i'm guessing you won't have answers, because, out of respect for TC, i kept my post deliberately bland... and yet any indication of disagreement with your stance "dooms" me?

if you're going to insult and condemn me, at least let me give you a reason first.

At 1/20/2006 11:22:00 PM, Blogger James E. Martin said...

A lot of history is just dirty politics cleaned up for the consumption of children and other innocents."

Mr.Young and others, you have to deep dig deep to get the real history, try it sometime.

At 1/20/2006 11:34:00 PM, Blogger James Young said...

The people freed by Reagan, who revere him, are a much better judge of his accomplishments than those who opposed his domestic and foreign policies. Nice straw man, though.

One doesn't have to believe that "reagan hung the moon" to recognize that he was one of the critical figures in the Twentieth Century's war on totalitarianism, up there with Churchill and (God help me) Roosevelt. He's the man who won the War, and without firing a shot.

As for the "the slavery/negative aspects of capitalism," I'd remind you that it's "the slavery/negative aspects of capitalism" that have created the technology and disposable income which allow you to disseminate your silly ideas. That your "mom who’s been slaughtering chickens for over 20 years now and still doesn’t make $10 an hr." is sad. It's sad that she's not had the talent or ambition to make better use of the economic opportunities available to her.

Perhaps you think that's a harsh judgment, but then again, I'd rather think than feel my way to a rational view of the world.

At 1/21/2006 12:03:00 AM, Blogger Not Not Jay Hughes said...

I watched Ronald Reagan take the oath of office when I was in 4th grade. Nothing captures the essence of his Presidency than your quote of him at the 1992 Republican National Convention….these are words of positive inspiration that all Republicans can live by regardless of their individual stance on particular issues:

“And whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty's lamp guiding your steps and opportunity's arm steadying your way.”

I leave to your reason and analysis a proper interpretation of these words.

At 1/21/2006 12:42:00 AM, Blogger Willis said...

Dopn't bother with James Young, elle. He believes in legislative discrimination, I have the quotes.

Reagan did some good things, but most of what he did is because of the perception he created. Again, perception is reality these days. Because he made our country believe, and made the russians believe, he helped to topple communism.

But what did he actually DO?? He gave some nice speeches, sure, and he wasn't nearly as bad as our current president. But his administration had it's fair share of problems, and left Bush 1 in quite a hole economically.

At 1/21/2006 04:35:00 AM, Blogger AWCheney said...

Well, since everyone is reminiscing about where they were on Inauguration Day in 1981, I had a reviewing stand pass but chose to watch the ceremony from the warmth of the Capitol Hill Club over a warm breakfast (we still had bitter cold winter days in Washington back then). It had quite a special meaning to me because the speech that Ronald Reagan made that stood out the most for me was his extemporaneous "Shining City On The Hill" concession speech at the 1976 Kansas City Republican National Convention and the spontaneous demonstration which would not end...I was there, personally witnessing both. Now THAT choked up even the most cynical politician and newsman who witnessed it.

At 1/21/2006 12:48:00 PM, Blogger Elle said...

sorry willis, can't help myself. but i will keep it clean out of respect for the decent people who run this board.

as i said, james young, you can't tell me what dooms me. and since you can't, please don't dare to disparage my mom.

actually, that is all i will say in mixed company. i have to go calm my irrational self down.


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