“From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?” — Ronald Reagan, first inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1981
Writing in the New York Post, Nicole Gelinas takes the above as the text in showing what most of the media misses in their assessments of Ronald Reagan:
“Fifteen years after President Reagan left the Oval Office, and 12 hours after his death, The New York Times reminds us that the 40th president fostered ‘Cold-War might and curbs on government,” she writes. “Softer tributes to Reagan focus on his infectious optimism and his vision of an eternal morning in America.
“What both pictures miss is that it was all forever, and necessarily, entwined. Ronald Reagan wasn’t just optimistic about America; he was optimistic about Americans. And that optimism was intimately linked to his philosophy — America’s original philosophy, espoused most often in Reagan’s time by economist Milton Friedman: That government’s purpose is to defend against external threats, and to uphold domestic laws to protect life and property. Government must perform those tasks so that the people can strive and thrive.”