Ronald has Left the Building

I spent a number of hours watching coverage of Ronald Regan’s burial service on CSPAN. I couldn’t watch it on any of the broadcast networks or CNN because of all the snide remarks from the reporters and anchors seeking to minimize Regan’s accomplishments and, when it came down to it, even Fox (while supportive) was too chatty for my tastes.

The burial service, like Regan’s life, seemed to run true to script. Small town boy makes good all the way down to the nationally televised burial at sunset on the beautiful plot overlooking the amazingly senic
Simi Valley.

I once read that George Herbert Walker Bush was everything Regan played in the movies and that somehow there was more substance in GHWB. I’m not sure that’s true. GHWB is a true American hero, boy bomber pilot in WWII, business tycoon etc. But there was something about him that was deflected for me by the years he spent in Government in unelected office.

Regan was unspoiled and unsullied by his service in government just as he seemed to be unspoiled by his association with Hollywood. If there are two worse sources of corruption in the world than the U.S. Govenrnment and Hollywood, I don’t know what they are. But the strength of Ronald Regan was that he remained himself despite those influences.

So he’s gone, and America is the worse for his departure. But it is better for the possibilities he left behind. The possibilities that America could be simultaneously strong, free, and compassionate. That what matters really is not what our government can do for us, but what individuals do in response to their character.