Remembering Reagan as He Turns 100


In recognition of Ronald Reagan’s would-be 100th birthday, Ron Reagan, the former President’s son, writes a piece My Father, The President, in this morning Parade.  Among the interesting tidbits are that the President was doing schtick in the emergency room as doctors were operating on him after the assassination attempt and that the President was showing signs of Alzheimer’s during his second term.

On the schtick he writes

Much has been made of my father’s joking that day: “Honey, I forgot to duck”; “All in all, I’d rather be in Philadelphia”; and, to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re all Republicans.” Del Wilber, a journalist working on a book about the assassination attempt, told me that Dad first tried out that last line in the emergency room, where the personnel were understandably in no mood for humor. So he filed it away for a more opportune moment — like surgery. There he got the properly appreciative reaction, as lead trauma surgeon Dr. Joseph Giordano — a liberal Democrat — told him, “Today, Mr. President, we’re all Republicans.”

On Reagan’s tax cuts he writes

 His cherished tax cuts were passed. However, they were scaled back when it became apparent that trickle-down economics was, indeed, “voodoo.”

Perhaps this question is less settled than the son ascribes.

And on who we elect to this office

We are entitled to approve or disapprove of my father’s conduct in office irrespective of his medical condition. That likely condition, though, serves as a reminder that when we elect presidents, we elect human beings with all their foibles and weaknesses.

Indeed.  We do need to remember that the weaknesses inherent in our human condition apply to every office holder. . . and to the bureaucrats that hold the real power of government, of whom their aren’t human weakness protecting systemic checks and balances.

The article is worth the minimal effort required of any Parade article.

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