I was in College when Ronald Reagan was first elected.
The one thing that struck me during his campaign was how REAL his answers were in debates. He wasn't telling you what you wanted to hear, he told you what he believed. Critics said that he was only acting.. No, everyone ELSE was acting, but they called it campaigning.
During the campaign, I was taking a Political Science Class. I realized that the professor and I appeared to be watching two campaigns; I saw what was happening and, in listening to his assessment of it, I learned what "spin" is.
I remember sitting in the student center, when the President was inaugurated, and how, soon after, the hostages were released by Iran. The impact of his being inaugurated was being felt throughout the world immediately.
This was an interesting concept: say what you mean and stick with it. AND make sure friends and foes know you mean it. I liked that.
For eight years, he never deviated from the path he set forth. Pick an issue and you could say with certainty where President Reagan stood on it.
I REALLY liked that.
By the time he left office, I was really wishing that it was possible to elect him to a third term.
The insidious nature of Alzheimer's horrified me when I realized how this disease could take such a great man and turn him into a shell of his former self.
I will treat his memory with respect and always be grateful for his part in making me what I am and what I believe today.
Thank you Ronald Reagan. You helped to turn a left leaning college student in a negative post Watergate world into a clear thinking, principled conservative. And you probably did that to more people than you would ever know.
To Mrs. Reagan, I can only imagine what the last few years were like for you. God Bless You and your family in this time of grief. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.