Getting back to the subject, personally, I think Reagan was a fantastic President and a fantastic man. Hearing the recordings of his speeches recently has brought back fond childhood memories of a President who could speak. Not only did he say great and uplifting things, he said them in a great and uplifting way. He was always able to rise above the mudslinging and address the issues while still retaining a humble demeanor. I have the utmost respect for him and consider his leadership of our nation to have been instrumental in ending the cold war. I also appreciate his revitalizing of our national defense, and his economic policy that brought about the unparalleled prosperity of the '90s. The Iran-Contra affair may have been a blot, but it certainly was no cause to resign. Once he found out about it, he put the kibosh on it, which was probably quite appropriate (Although, frankly, it just wasn't that big of a deal. Arming Iran was the only drawback as far as I'm concerned, and that just served to prune the Iraqi army, so wasn't really a net loss.) It wouldn't have been different if Reagan had been complicit in the matter, but I've seen no evidence that he was, and therefore, I think he did exactly the right thing, as usual. The burgeoning deficit was undesirable to say the least, but if you will refer to the Constitution of the United States, you will find that Congress holds the purse strings, so the Congresses of that era are responsible for the deficit, not Reagan. Furthermore, the economic power generated by Reagan's economic policy was able to nearly erase that deficit during the '90s. Since 9/11, of course, it has begun to grow phenomenally, but this to be expected in a time of war. (Furthermore, Congress continues to be irresponsible with pork, AKA vote buying.)
Ronald Reagan restored dignity to America. He gave the American people hope. I think the thing that distinguished him most was his faith in Americans. I remember the '80s as a time when the possibilities seemed limitless, and Reagan was largely responsible for that. The dark cloud of impending totalitarianism had been lifted from our shoulders and we were able to flex our muscles and breathe deeply of freedom. True, Reagan was not solely responsible for this; the hard work and dedication of many Americans was instrumental in it. However, Reagan was the galvanizing force, the hub of the mighty American wheel, the charismatic leader in the endless battle against the law of increasing entropy. I think that his very presence, to say nothing of his words, boosted the morale of every American, and instilled deep fear in the heart of every enemy of America. He has moved on now to a better place, and it remains to us to carry on. I hope that within my lifetime God will raise up another leader of Reagan's caliber to pilot the grand American ship of state through the foreboding waters that lie ahead, guiding us past the threatening shoals of terrorism in the narrow neck betwixt anarchy and totalitarianism, and bringing us safely at last into the celebrated port of freedom. I would not be the least surprised if Ronald Reagan is just now making the case for such providence in the heavenly court.
Reality: An important truth test