Two noteworthy pieces on Ronald Reagan.
First from William Rees-Mogg in today's Times (£):
"He is one of the four major Presidents in the history of the Republican Party: Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagan. He brought the Cold War to an end — the last great global victory for the United States. He left his country the only superpower in the world, at least until the rise of China. He restarted the US economy, which was in miserable condition when he took power in 1982. But, above all, he made the world a safer place, in terms of the rivalry of the great powers, but also in terms of nuclear weapons."
And this from David Davis in last Thursday's Wall Street Journal Europe (£):
"In the first year of his presidency, U.S. air traffic controllers broke federal law by going on strike. Reagan responded by giving the strikers 48 hours to return to work or face the consequences, sacking the 11,000 who refused to comply. He also tackled the U.S. economic malaise, reversing years of rising inflation and unemployment. While many favoured a financial stimulus to increase the money supply, Reagan cut taxes, reduced regulation, and abandoned Nixon's wage and price controls. The result was a sustained period of economic expansion during which the U.S. economy grew by more than a third. Every income group became wealthier, and consumer confidence soared."
Davis concludes his piece with an assessment of how Reagan would handle today's choppy economic times:
"In response to the financial crisis, Reagan would have emphasized that the roots of economic recovery lie not in financial stimulus packages, but in a return to the principles of free enterprise, lower taxation and deregulation. Above all, Reagan would have used his communication skills to convince people that these values and principles are strengths, not weaknesses to be given away."
For me he'll also always be the Great Communicator. His positivity shines through in this YouTube clip: