One comment I hear from readers over and over is: “Floyd, you always tell us the problems. Tell us the solutions.”
So I want to take a day off from describing the problems that we face and talk about answers instead.
Now, regular readers of this column are never surprised when I talk about Ronald Reagan. I’ll admit it… I grow nostalgic at just the mention of his name. I met him for the first time in 1976. I was 15 years old at the time and couldn’t even drive to the rally where he appeared.
Reagan captured my imagination. He spoke both about my aspirations and my frustrations, and he gave words to my feelings about America and the world. Most importantly, he offered solutions..
(The specter of such a solution-oriented president… a president that we were alive to witness… must haunt Mr. Obama every day in the Oval Office.)
After graduating from college, I loaded all of my belongings into the back of my Mustang and headed to Washington, D.C. in hopes of being a part of the Reagan Revolution. I was honored to find a job as part of the Reagan team.
As time passed, I stayed connected with the Reagan team. I’m even a member of the Reagan Alumni Association. Today, I received an email from the head of the association, Lou Cordia, reminding me to buy a copy of the just-released book, 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative, by Grove City College Professor Paul Kengor.
My book is ordered and on the way, and now I’m encouraging you to consider buying it. Paul Kengor is an excellent writer, and this is the latest in a series of books that he’s written about President Reagan and the men who surrounded him.
The 11 Principles That Still Hold True Today
The Reagan philosophy was successful because it was simple. Rather than relying on the elites to guide every decision, Reagan instead looked to tradition and what Adam Smith called the invisible hand. It’s this simplicity that captures Reagan’s brilliance.
In his book, Kengor distills Reagan’s philosophy down to 11 principles. It’s a simple list: freedom, faith, family, sanctity and dignity of human life, American exceptionalism, the Founders’ wisdom and vision, lower taxes, limited government, peace through strength, anti-Communism, and belief in the individual.
I won’t argue with Kengor’s list… even though, from my personal experience with President Reagan, I would contend that the list could be boiled down to five simpler principles.
Regardless of whether the list is 11, 10, or even five, the amazing aspect about President Reagan – which those who knew him would attest to – was how comfortable he was with ideas, especially the ideas of freedom. These principles came naturally to him. He didn’t have to call a pollster… He didn’t have to hire a high-paid spokesman to put words in his mouth. Ronald Reagan had an inner compass, and he was never a degree off true north.
I have worked for many politicians in the years since I worked for Reagan, and none has been as completely comfortable with ideas as President Reagan was.
And as I review this list of principles today, I’m as convinced as ever that if we would only, to quote Reagan, “get the government out of the way of the American people,” then our problems (which seem impenetrable) could be solved.
The solutions don’t require additional studies, surveys, and academic reports. The solutions are right before our eyes. They’re in the lives, the minds, and the possibilities of our fellow citizens. We need to just let America work its magic with freedom.
Thank you, Ronald Wilson Reagan. It’s been over 30 years since you were first elected president, and you’re still pointing the way. All we have to do is listen and have the faith that you had in our fellow man.
This article originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom