Skip to comments.Reagan: My childhood memory
Posted on 06/06/2004 12:24:33 AM PDT by UlsterDavy
As I write this I am still having trouble grasping the fact that my great protector Ronald Reagan is gone. I was born in 1975 so President Reagan is the first President that I can remember as a young girl.
If you asked me to cite you specific Reagan policies from that time, there is no way I could do it. My memory did not capture details of tax cuts and supply-side economics. I can tell you though how clearly I remember the talk about Russia and the bomb and nuclear fallout that seemed to haunt my dreams when I was a young girl in the early 80s.
I remember the times when I sat with my father and watched the nightly news, which frequently showed President Reagan expounding on freedom and peace and protection of our blessed America. I trusted him and loved him. I would tell myself President Reagan will not let the Russians get us.
It amazes me now to think that a young girl could grasp something like that with such lion- hearted conviction. We were safe because President Reagan was on the job and you could not tell me otherwise without a fight! That is why I will always remember him as my Great Protector.
I came to terms with the fate of President Reagan years ago when I was a college student in 1994. After his Alzheimers announcement I knew I would never again see the man of the 1980s who crushed our enemies. For some reason though I was still at peace just knowing he was alive and breathing far away in California. I still felt that security just like I did as a little girl.
Today, while with my beloved conservative friends, I was shattered to hear of Ronald Reagans death. The child in me had lost her great protector and that was a feeling for which I never could have prepared.
The adult in me knows President Ronald Reagan is in a better place. He is free from pain and his loved ones are free from the daily constant heartache of seeing their husband and father deteriorate day after day. As an adult, I will take comfort in the thought that President Ronald Reagan is now sitting among the angels and watching his beloved America from above. But unfortunately, the 5 year old in my heart cannot accept that her noble hero is gone.
If I had one minute with that great man I would have told him that his presence (along with my fathers) in my childhood made me into the die-hard conservative that I am today. He made me believe in the free-enterprise system and the great strength of America and her people. I will be forever grateful for his leadership and vision. I told myself tonight to never give up on the Conservative cause, never fail it, and never let it down. Stand proud, fight hard for American principles, and take nothing for granted. That is what President Reagan would want from all of us.
God Bless you on your journey home Mr. President.
Reagan was one of the top 5 greatest US presidents of all time,
But when he was in office I was a (more) self centered party animal working in the US Forest Service on wildlandfire fighting crews. I just listened to the mainstream news and hated Reagan. I'm not sure why but at the time I was extremely libertarian in my thinking. Maybe it was because I thought the tax cuts would take my job away.
Then as time marched on and I started to pay attention I became progressively more conservative in my worldview. I came to appreciate the contributions of president Reagan who was perhaps the most "libertarian" yet "compassionate conservative" of all time up to that point.
Another fine essay that encapsulates the Reagan we twenty-somethings experienced.
Number three in my appraisal. After George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Right there, tied for third with Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt.
Washington: Father of our Constitutional Nation, the man that set the temper for all that followed him to the Presidency, of which few were able equal.
Lincoln: For his bravery to uphold and maintain the Union. And his un-shakeable belief in the equality of all men.
Reagan, Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt: For their courage in the face of opposition to make America a better place when they left office than it was the day they took the oath of office.
They should chisel Mr. Reagan's likeness onto Mount Rushmore, with his equals.
Possible Gen-X ping? I could relate, although I'm a little older (1972 vintage) and a little further away... ;-)
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details.
I remember writing a letter to him when I was 15, addressing a few key issues and asking questions so I wouldn't get a "Thank you for writing" letter. The autograph was rubber stamped, but everything I wrote was addressed in the letter. I still have the letter and picture in an old scrapbook.
I was ten years old when Reagan was running for president against Carter. I did not want Reagan to become our president because of all the terrible things I saw about him on the liberal television stations. I was young and impressionable to say the least. When he took the presidency by landslide, I decided that maybe the rest of the country knew something I didn't... So, I gave him the benefit of doubt, and accepted the fact that he won.
During his tenure in the Oval Office, I grew up. Mr. Reagan became someone that I held with deep respect. His speeches were so powerful. Each time he spoke, I felt great pride in America. I too was worried about the nuclear threat, however the president's courage drove me forward. I became a believer in conservative principles because of this great man. He will be sincerely missed.
I guess I grew up quickly, Winston Churchill said it best: "Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains."
"Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains."
Amazing-I just posted my childhood story and it looks very similar to yours... I even used the same Churchill quote!
Now, I remember...he was kind of sparring with some loudmouthed reporter and he finally got fed up and told the guy to shut up. I loved it.
I also love "We have outlawed the Soviet Union forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." The impish laugh in his voice as he did that was priceless.
I was in the third grade when Carter was running for his first term. The school held a mock election trying to get the kids knowledgable and interested in elections. I of course had no idea how or why to select a President and when asked who to vote for, I said Ford. I guess I was born conservative.
As a youngster I didn't pay much attention to politics, but I do remember hearing all the bad things said about President Reagan on tv, but everyone seemed in better shape than in the Carter years. People were happier, Independence Days were much more celebratory, and the folks didn't mutter anymore about gasoline.
My parents were Democrats, but their raising of us was conservative. The values of my parents were those that President Reagan espoused. One of my best friends' father was an official in the local Republican party. By the time President Reagan's first term ended I was fully, if not yet officially, a Republican. I didn't turn old enough to vote until the '88 election though. : (
I mentioned the festive Independence Day celebrations because, looking back, this was an indicator of how much Ronald Reagan returned the pride in being American.
On a side note and I don't want to really expand on it too much as I absolutely do not want to take away from this thread and the fond memories posted here, but was something I've noticed. The worst invective I've read lately thrown at President Reagan is from baby boomers. I just noticed a common theme amongst the really disgusting hate filled people, and they seem to mostly be part of the 'worst generation'.
Eh? Say what? Since when would an "extreme libertarian" be worried about tax cuts or losing government jobs? The standard libertarian view is that you can never cut taxes too much, and would also be all for doing a slash and burn on all those government jobs. So your USFS job would have been a legitimate target from a libertarian perspective.
Perhaps you meant extremely liberal rather than extremely libertarian? Your position wasn't consistent with the standard ideals of libertarianism.
Thanks for the ping!
Being a kid in the Reagan era (born in 1972), I really didn't understand, or even care to understand, politics as a whole. I do remember feeling secure and protected under Reagan. I always saw him as a great leader and one that I was able to trust.
On a side note, one thing that did directly impact me was the "Just say No" campaign. Am I remembering correctly that it was Nancy's doing?
I was in college when Ronald Reagan was elected. I can't honestly remember if I voted for him, but since I really didn't like Carter, I probably did.
What I do remember was how much everyone around me hated Reagan, so, I did too. I mean, HATED!! It wasn't just the constant Bonzo jokes, but a real , over-powering fear that this man was going to get us all killed in a nuclear war.
Looking back now, I realized how young I was. How easily I was influenced by the mainstream media and my "learned" professors. And, surprisingly, the world didn't end!! In fact, it got much better. How could that be?? Maybe there was more to this b-rated actor, a possibly senile old man who EVERYONE just knew was reading from a script.
It was about 10 years ago, I saw a letter Ronald Reagan had written to Nancy, a love letter. I was amazed! The beauty of the prose, the emotion that it contained moved me to tears. And I realized that I may have been wrong!! The more I looked at him, now with an open mind, the more I came to understand that this man, though reviled in his own time, may have been one of our greatest presidents!!
When I heard yesterday that Ronald Reagan had died, I did something that, years ago, I would have never dreamed I would do. I broke down and cried, not just for the Nations loss, but for my, for all of our, personal loss.
I saw a thread yesterday about where were you when you heard that Reagan had died. I almost started another thread on what I felt was more important than where I was when Reagan died. For me, what is more important, is what I LEARNED from Ronald Reagan, a personal legacy that this man has left me.
After the news of his passing, I told my 7 year old son that a former president of the United States had died. And that the one thing that he should always remember about Ronald Reagan was that if you know in your heart that you are right, never listen to what others are saying, but stay true to your beliefs. That is the personal legacy that Ronald Reagan has left me.
President Reagan was the greatest president in my lifetime. I remember how he brought back American pride and spirit in a time when many even felt ashamed to celebrate Independence Day and soldiers were booed and spit upon in parades. Thank you sir for teaching me that a president must be the country's greatest patriot. Your courtesy, sense of humor, belief in hard work and responsibility helped us remember who we are. God bless you for what you did foe us and the entire world. And thank you Nancy for continuing to stay faithfully at his side.
I don't mean to be crude....but if any folks hear a lib run down Reagan...just remind them that Sick Willie used cigars on young girls in the Oval office...ask them if that is the kind of guy they want in the white house...compare Reagan's class to that scumbag.
Just wanted to get that off my chest...thank you.
May God Bless you Ronnie and continue to bless this great nation!
May God bless President Reagan. He is in a better place now.
Bump. I am old enough to remember his predecessor, and the despair that filled the country. Reagan came in and everything changed for the better. President Reagan, and his devoted wife Nancy, were the best. God bless him and his family.
Nice thread. Thanks to every1 for your thoughts.
I myself was just starting middle school when Reagan was elected. And yes, esp. in my area (ever the liberal bastion), there were jibes at me for ~defiantly~ having little "Reagan for President" sketches. (Not big words or stickers, mind you, just little doodles!)
I don't need to add much about what Reagan did for us, as it's been stated. For 1, I'll mention when I was entering college and Bush was the next candidate, even my Democrat best friend was lamenting having to let go of Reagan. "He made me feel proud being American." What better can you get?
I've been thinking how Reagan really fit w/"my era". How did the old man who dressed and coiffed so "conservatively" fit in w/our spiked purple hair and metal accoutrements and neon outfits?
I think it's the overall attitude: cheery, spunky, fun-loving.
Reagan, like my friend said, made alot of us feel good about ourselves again. Even those of us on the young side were aware there was apparently some shame in being American, for example. Now I had conservative parents who successfully instilled "extreme" pride in me from the get-go, but alot didn't. It just seemed alot of people were brighter, cheerier than earlier. We dressed happy and care-free and sharp and acted more energetic and that's how Reagan made alot of us feel. I think, anyway. Seemed ironically pretty sympatico w/the whole decade.
So if Reagan wasn't your president, I trust that you too are a foreign national like myself (although I now live in the US).
It is heart warming that there were others in other countries (at the time of him being president) that were touched by Ronald Reagan.
Growing up in British Northern Ireland, I remember growing up watching the conservative duo of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. He had the utmost respect for Thatcher and she for him.
The world thanks you Ronald Reagan.
I love Margaret Thatcher, too. What a duo!
Any word from her lately?
Margaret Thatcher is back! She recently moved her office closer to the political hotbed to be more involved in British government and she is speaking at the Conservative party convention. She is also doing a US tour this year - I don't have any info on it but it may be on FR. British Conservatives are itching for a strong true conservative leader and hopefully Maggie can groom someone that is close to her.
Obviously Maggie will speak at her dear friend Ronald Reagan's funeral this week.
This is the only thing I could find: