Today’s Wall Street Journal notes that "more wealth has been created in the U.S. in the last quarter-century than in the previous 200 years." Part of the reason for that is the Reagan tax cuts and the economically liberal supply-side reforms that he and Mrs T pioneered.
He also helped accelerate the end of communism and helped to build the conservative infrastructure that has sustained the modern Republican Party.
His morning in America optimism was, perhaps, his most endearing quality, however. His enthusiasm, patriotism, warmth and humour characterised his whole political outlook. This is what Margaret Thatcher said
at his memorial service in 2004:
"In his lifetime, Ronald Reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to mend America’s wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism. These were causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk, yet they were pursued with almost a lightness of spirit, for Ronald Reagan also embodied another great cause, what Arnold Bennett once called "the great cause of cheering us all up". His policies had a freshness and optimism that won converts from every class and every nation, and ultimately, from the very heart of the "evil empire.""
Ronald Reagan – a good man and a great conservative.