Reagan at 100: Still the lifeguard

In President Reagan’s farewell address, he said:

…And in all of that time I won a nickname, ‘The Great Communicator.’ But I never though it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation–from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I’ll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.

In 1926, Reagan took a job as lifeguard. In 1928, the “Dixon Daily Telegraph” front page headline reads: “Ronald Reagan saves drowning man.” By the time he leaves his job, after seven summers, the count of those he has pulled from the water is 77.

The metaphor sticks, despite Iran-Contra and SDI and all of the other decisions that infuriated both his critics and his backers. President Reagan, who would have been 100 years old on February 6, 2011, is still seen as the savior. He is being quoted by all wings of the government. His legend still grows, because he was a man of ideals that soared

Reagan: American Experience – Lifeguard (part 1 of 2)
Monday, February 7, 9:00 pm on WOSU TV

– Scott