Why is Ronald Wilson Reagan our 2nd favourite President? Simple. It was - as Sarah Palin likes to note- his life long adherence to the conservative values that made our country great that endear him most to us.
What were those conservative values? Glad you asked! We will list them for you:
Item: As a new Governor of California, Regan signed into law the largest tax increase in the history of California and the largest (at that time) tax increase of any State in the Union.
Item: As a conservative right to life candidate, Governor Reagan signed into law in California the most liberal abortion laws in the nation at that time, securing for women the right to an abortion in a clean doctor's office by a competent doctor.
Item: As a fiscal conservative Ronald Reagan raised taxes as President 6 out of the 8 years he was in office.
Item: As a staunch defender of the United States, Ronald Reagan secretly negotiated with the terrorist sponsoring nation of Iran and the Muslim extremists who ruled Iran.
Item: President Reagan believed in balanced budgets (and frequently asked for a constitutional amendment requiring them) but he never submitted one (though President Clinton did.)
Item: As a conservative, President Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration reform act which granted millions of illegal aliens amnesty and citizenship.
Item: As an espouser of strong American "family values", Ronald Wilson Reagan became our first and only President who had been divorced and remarried before assuming office.
See where we're going with this?
Ronald Reagan did have conservative values. After enacting the steepest tax increases in the history of California when he took office (because he was surprisingly faced with an enormous budget deficit that the prior Governor had mostly hidden) Reagan organized a repeal of the tax hike two years later and provided the first Government rebate in the history of California when the economy recovered and the state ran a surplus. Reagan gave the money he taxed back to the people when the Government didn't need it for an emergency. Sort of like the Bank Bailouts that Obama supported that have mostly been repaid with interest. But Obama is no Reagan: Obama hasn't raised taxes consistently nor has he sought amnesty for illegal aliens.
It is popular these days for ultra-conservative right wing fundamentalists to bandy about Reagan as a role model for a conservative president. But what Reagan was, more than a conservative, was like his first political hero-FDR- a pragmatist. Reagan had a deep and abiding love for his country and what he wanted more than anything else- even when he knowingly broke the law with the Iran-Contra fiasco- was to see this country succeed. That was why he raised taxes when he needed to; that is why he was friends with his philosophical opposite- Speaker Tip O'Neill; that is why he negotiated with the Soviets and radical Muslim sponsors of terrorism- he did what he thought would benefit America first, and was faithful to his conservative philosophy second.
If you have any questions about the facts we've listed, Google them, individually or as a whole. These are known facts about our 40th President. Our purpose is to have Reagan's actions honestly viewed and understood. We cringe when Regan's record is conveniently changed into what neo-conservatives (who don't even know the basic facts of Reagan's life like where he was born or raised) want them to to be.
Longtime and careful readers will well remember our listing of the greatest presidents of the US and our identification of Theodore Roosevelt as our favourite President.