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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
I was able to watch the majority of the coverage tonight, though very little of earlier today. I will try to catch up to today's events in replay tonight.
A few images that stuck out to me:
:the crowds, the crowds, the crowds. I am absolutely astounded at the size, respectfulness, and passion of the crowds lining the streets of the procession. I think it would have been normal and expected to see some people--but not like this. Several hundred thousand wait through very long lines and difficult weather to walk past the casket, and tens of thousands more stand through the same to see the hearse go past. Can there be any question that this man was loved, admired, and respected?
:Nancy is a class act through and through. What a picture of strength and nobility and dignity. I have just finished a tome on the ancient Romans, and the idea that leaps to mind is the Roman idea of dignitas, and the degree to which she always added to his. Tears welled up when, for the first time that I'd seen, she broke down over the casket with folded flag in hand. While there is no way to ease the loneliness she will no doubt experience, one must be jealous of her: how many people in the world can say that they were the center of the Universe to a man who is loved the world over?
:Has the world ever produced a woman--and few men, for that matter--the likes of Margaret Thatcher? The monumental act of flying across this continent to be there at the final service for her friend, and the simple grace of the bow to the casket, tell me everything I need to know about both of these people: of her, a magnificent spirit; of him, he was great enough to earn her respect.
I've been thinking over the last few days about the 80's. It seems to me that when I went away to college in 1987 I was significantly more liberal than I am now--which still left me way out to the right of the CU student body. I remember being in a PoliSci class during the '88 election cycle, and being amazed at the vitriol of the Socialists in the room, but essentially being in much the same ideological place as them. You know the 18-year old mantra: the government should be paying for college and for arts productions and 'Wouldn't it be great if the government had to have a bake sale to build bombs while education had all the money it needs?' Of course, I never quite went that far, but my leanings were that way.
I understand now that, though the Wall wasn't down yet, I had the luxury of being a liberal because Ronald Reagan was strong enough to change the world. I had the luxury of being a liberal because Ronald Reagan made the country great enough to be worthy of criticism. And it has only been since the birth of my children that I realize that I can no longer afford that luxury. 9/11 notwithstanding, the only way to guarantee that my children will someday have the luxury of being liberal is for me to espouse the strength and freedoms that allowed me that luxury.
Perhaps that is the lesson of Ronald Reagan's life: strength of character and conviction, backed up by the courage to act, have a remarkably LIBERATING effect. And sometimes not just on ones' self, but on the entire world.
For more--and actually insightful--commentary, see Powerline.
God Have Mercy On the soul of Ronald Reagan--a great and a good man. And God Bless Nancy, Ron, Patti, and Michael.