I long for days when people are truly proud to be Americans, with no disclaimer, reservations or caveats. I long for a President who, when massive struggle or scandal arises, is respected enough and wise enough to solicit even the advice of a member of the opposing party (like Reagan did following Iran Contra). I long for a time when we actually feel like tomorrow will be better than today, when we can spend Saturday on autopilot knowing that those in Washington are working overtime with our best interests in mind.
None are perfect, but Reagan came closer than most.
Peggy Noonan, one of the most beautiful speech writers and wordsmiths of the last 50 years, reflects on the last eight years in her newest book, “Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It.” In it she says, “By the end of the O’s, the end of the Bush era, I think this could be said: What began with love ended in dissention. The greatest political passions were funneled into opposition, not support. Democrats on the ground were left longing for change, and Republicans for Ronald Reagan.” I think she is too modest. I think the longing she speaks about reaches well beyond the Republican party.
Though I have only the vaguest of memories of the beloved era, I feel confident in my desire. I long for the next Ronald Reagan.
**Update: For that matter, I long for a John F. Kennedy.**