President Ronald Reagan would have turned 100 today. 

It’s been wonderful reading all of the tributes to him in today’s papers.  Peggy Noonan’s piece is inspiring as is George Weigel’s discussion of the relationship between the President and Pope John Paul II.  Others have warned of the subtle revisionist history currently being crafted by the left.  Lou Cannon reminds us of his strong vision for the world and his unwavering support for those fighting for freedom and democracy: 

“…Reagan took some mush that had been written for him about Soviet actions in Europe, crossed it out, and wrote in his distinctive, looping hand: “What I am describing now is a policy and a hope for the long term — the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other totalitarian ideologies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the expression of citizens.” 

I can’t help but feel a little sad thinking how Reagan would feel if he’d lived to see what our country has become–its citizens increasingly dependent on an ever growing government; record levels of unemployment; the manufacturing base near non-existent; corporate taxes through the roof; a new entitlement program about to get off the ground; record-breaking deficits and a foreign policy driven not by strength, but on a strange combination of charm and crossed fingers predicated on the notion that if we’re nice to them, the world’s thugs will begin to behave.

It was reported this summer that President Obama read a biography of The Gipper on one of his many Hawaiian vacations.  Some have even speculated that he’s approaching the second part of his term with a Reaganesque perspective; others think it was a stunt.

I suspect President Obama reads voraciously, like many presidents before him, and is interested in the lives of the other men who have held that high office.  Whatever the reason, I hope President Obama learned a thing or two about connecting with the American public; about the need to relate to the American everyman and the simple requirement to appear less haughty and condescending to the opposition.

If President Obama learns only a few things from our beloved 40th president, we might all hope for a more prosperous America in the next 100 years.

Happy Birthday, President Reagan, from the Women of the Independent Women’s Forum.