Today my son graduated high school. During the ceremony there was a moment of silence in honor of President Ronald Reagan. I remembered that when I graduated high school 24 years ago, Reagan was still in office. Oh, and how I hated him then. Well, I was young… As an aspiring journalist I was actively seeking the truth about what he was doing and of course reacting in typical teenage fashion.
What I didn’t fully realize then was the duality of Reagan’s presidency. There was the popularity of his administration and the ugly reality of his administration… Two very different things. The impatience and simplicity of my youth was focused on the ugly reality while dismissing the popularity as “trash”. Today, I look back and realize that while I was pretty much on target about the ugly realities, I was missing the value of his popularity. Reagan’s popularity represented what Americans dream about and hope for. Today I remember how Reagan touched the heart and soul of America and maybe that’s more important than disputable economic theories and questionable foreign policies, just knowing that Americans, however disconnected from reality we are, aspire to integrity, strength and justice. In the minds and hearts of so many Americans, that’s what President Reagan stood for.
…and you know what they say… it’s the thought that counts.