USA-UK flagsBy John Ruberry

“This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”
Ronald Reagan, A Time for Choosing, 1964.

If you substitute “Great Britain” for “American revolution,” this could have been something UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said during his victory speech early Wednesday morning after United Kingdom voters voted to leave the European Union.

Great Britain is having a Reagan moment–and to be fair to the UK you can argue it had a Reagan moment before we did nationally. After all, Margaret Thatcher became prime minister a year before the Gipper’s election.

Is Britain having a Trump moment before America does?

In his victory speech, Farage called his Brexit win, “A victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people.”

That sounds like Trump.

“We have fought against multinationals,” Farage added, “we have fought against the big merchant banks, we have fought against big politics, we fought against the big merchant banks, we fought against lies, corruption, and deceit.”

That sounds like Trump too.

The driving force in Brexit referendum of course was unfettered immigration of Syrian migrants, refugees some say are fleeing war. Yes, some are. But curiously, many of these refugees are males of military age.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Few of these migrants show any desire in assimilating into Western Civilization. But no one dares call the migrants “nativists.” That would be racist.

Other EU nations, such as France, Italy, the Netherlands, are considering their own vote to bail out. Mrs. Marathon Pundit, who grew up in tiny Latvia, tells me that there was even talk of a “LatExit” last year when Brussels bureaucrats, yes that “little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital,” told them they had to accept some of these unskilled migrants, even though Latvia, one of the poorer EU nations, has benefited greatly since joining.

When the bureaucrats don’t listen, “the decent people” do the expected thing and throw the bums out.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Tampico IL Reagan Mural
Reagan mural in Tampico, Illinois

By John Ruberry

Nancy Reagan died this morning at her home in Los Angeles. The former First Lady, who had been ailing in recent years, was 94.

Ronald Reagan in the last year of his presidency said this about his wife:

What do you say about someone who gives your life meaning? What do you say about someone who’s always there with support and understanding, someone who makes sacrifices so that your life will be easier and more successful? Well, what you say is that you love that person and treasure her.

Ronald’s movie career was on its downslide when he met aspiring actress Nancy Davis– who like “Dutch” was a native of northern Illinois–in his role as president of the Screen Actor’s Guild.

What if they had met earlier? “If Nancy Davis had met Ronald Reagan earlier in his movie career, he would have gotten an Oscar — she would have insisted on it,” says Myra Gutin, a First Lady historian.

While First Lady Nancy spearheaded the “Just Say No” campaign against drug abuse, brought much-needed attention to the AIDS epidemic, and brought style and grace back to the White House.

President Reagan, despite his long career and a politician, was an intensely private man. But the Gipper opened up to Nancy.

After his narrow defeat in the 1976 battle for the Republican nomination with President Gerald Ford, Reagan wanted to quit politics. But it was Nancy who spurred him on. And it was Mrs. Reagan who insisted to her beloved “Ronnie” that he fire John Sears, the manager of his 1980 presidential campaign, and White House chief-of-staff Don Regan, both of whom were operating beyond the boundaries of their jobs.

Without a doubt were it not for Nancy there would not have been a President Ronald Reagan.

Rest in peace.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Reagan statue, Dixon, IL
Reagan statue, Dixon, IL

By John Ruberry

The poet called Miss Liberty’s torch “the lamp beside the golden door.” Well, that was the entrance to America, and it still is. And now you really know why we’re here tonight. The glistening hope of that lamp is still ours. Every promise, every opportunity, is still golden in this land. And through that golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America. Her heart is full; her torch is still golden, her future bright. She has arms big enough to comfort and strong enough to support, for the strength in her arms is the strength of her people. She will carry on in the ’80s unafraid, unashamed, and unsurpassed. In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America’s is.

Ronald Reagan uttered those majestic words near the end of his acceptance speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention. Can you imagine Barack Obama saying something like that? I cannot.

Last week former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani unleashed a debate about Barack Obama’s patriotism when he said at a private dinner held for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.” The next morning Giuliani added, “I do hear him criticize America much more often than other American presidents…it sounds like he’s more of a critic than he is a supporter.”

Ayers and Dohrn home
Ayers and Dohrn home, Chicago

While Reagan’s ascent to the presidency was circuitous–from broadcaster to actor to union leader before finally turning to politics, his love for America was always evident. As for Obama, he entered politics in his mid-30s–and infamously began his public career in the living room of two America-hating terrorists, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. For twenty years Obama sat in the pews of Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s South Side and listened to the anti-American bile of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

When President Obama was asked in 2009 if he believed in American exceptionalism, he responded, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” Ronald Reagan would have replied this way: “Of course I do!”

Shortly before winning the presidency Obama boasted, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” America is of course open to improvements, but if Obama truly loved America there would be no need for fundamentally transforming it.

In 1994, Reagan, in his last public statement, announced in a handwritten note that he had Alzheimer’s disease–and of course he mentioned the United States.

In closing let me thank you, the American people for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Reagan statue, Dixon, IL
Reagan statue, Dixon, IL

By John Ruberry

Ten years after his passing, the legacy of Ronald Reagan still resonates.

The Gipper has had a phenomenal autumn.

Eight days before Election Day, the 50th anniversary of Reagan’s A Time for Choosing address arrived and it reacquainted Americans with the 40th president’s core values–and for younger voters it exposed the fallacies of liberalism.

“We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one,” Reagan said in his televised speech to support the candidacy of Barry Goldwater. “So they’re going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning. Well, now, if government planning and welfare had the answer—and they’ve had almost 30 years of it—shouldn’t we expect government to read the score to us once in a while? Shouldn’t they be telling us about the decline each year in the number of people needing help? The reduction in the need for public housing?”

Good points. Under President Obama, there are 14 million more food stamp recipients than there were during the George W. Bush presidency, despite what Democrats are calling an improved economy. Yet there is no call among liberals to lower the food stamp rolls. None of them are calling for the recipients of ObamaPhones to move on and sign up and pay for their own cell phone plans.

Last week was the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. While most of the credit for the collapse belongs to the German people, Reagan of course deserves a spot on the rostrum of victory. Two years prior, Reagan stood in front of the “wall of shame” and demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Reagan believed in confronting the enemies of freedom. Obama, to my knowledge, has never used the word ‘enemy’ to describe hostile nations such as Iran, North Korea, or Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Berlin Wall segment, Eureka College
Berlin Wall segment, Eureka College, Illinois

There’s another landmark Reagan speech that deserves another look, his first inaugural address. “We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around,” he said.

Two weeks ago on Election Day–a majority of American voters said that’s just the way they want it.

Just last week, ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber chuckled about the “stupidity” of the American voter aiding in the passage of the unpopular bill. Reagan had something to say about such elitists in that same 1981 speech.

“From time to time,” Reagan remarked, “we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people.”  He continued, “Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?”

Someone should ask Obama and Gruber that question.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Reagan statue, Dixon, IL
Reagan statue, Dixon, IL

By John Ruberry

“This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”
Ronald Reagan, A Time for Choosing, 1964.

While the Republicans lost the 1964 presidential election, resoundingly, sixteen years later Reagan turned the tables on big government Democrats.

Today President Obama is at best blurring the lines between the federal government and the fifty states.  Healthcare is being fundamentally transformed by ObamaCare. The curriculum at public schools–remember, local schools are usually the most local of government bodies–is being altered by Common Core initiatives. Even what students eat at those schools is being dictated by the Obama administration.

Government in the United States is becoming more and more top-down, being run, in Reagan’s words, by a “little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol.”

Just like Europe. And oh do the liberals yearn for a government more like a European country.

But increasingly, Europeans are turning away from top-down government. Last week Scottish voters nearly voted for secession from the United Kingdom. Promises of more local control for Scots by London politicians may have swayed the outcome.

This time.USA-UK flags

There are movements all over the European Union that are demanding independence or more local control, including those in the Basque region, Catalonia, Corsica, South Tyrol, Wales, Brittany, and the Faeroe Islands. Belgium could split in two.

Two days ago Anne Appelbaum in the Washington Post took a look at how people across Europe view of their top-down governments.

The ideals of European unity that inspired a previous generation don’t move younger people who have no memory of what came before. At the same time, it is increasingly and notably strange that the wealthiest group of nations on Earth cannot create a policy to cope with the chaos rising on its southern and eastern borders — chaos that is, of course, the source of massive new immigration as well as economic instability. Instead, distant European Union institutions appear to fill their time making petty regulations. No wonder voters want to bring the decision-making “home.”

True, some of these local European movements are hyper-nationalist and yes, even racist. But like Reagan decades ago, Europeans are disdaining the so-called wisdom of those  experts who live far away and claim only they know what’s best for them.

As for Obama, he’s on the wrong side of history.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.


Olimometer 2.52

We remain 5 grand away from making our expenses for the year and a sold $1000 away from making them this month.

If you think the coverage and commentary we provide here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below to meet our annual expenses.

Consider the lineup you get In addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

Beanie : $2.00USD – weekly
Cap : $10.00USD – monthly
Hat : $20.00USD – monthly

…because he says things lie this:

The Obama-Biden line this year might be rendered as follows: “We inherited a mess. We thought we could fix it in one term. But we need more time. Give us another term, please.” (I’m not sure they say “please.”)

Contrast this with the Reagan example. He too inherited a mess. The first years were brutal. In January 1983, the New York Times published an editorial called “The Failing Presidency.” It began, “The stench of failure hangs over Ronald Reagan’s White House. The people know it, judging by the opinion polls.”

Certainly by the time 1984 rolled around, however, we were rolling. Reagan curbed government and unleashed the power of people in a free economy. He was opposed by the likes of Joe Biden — not to mention the New York Times — every step of the way. emphasis mine

This is an important history lesson, in his previous column he delivered another one.

Ken Livingstone is going back to his erstwhile employer, Press TV. This is an English-language arm of the Iranian dictatorship. Livingstone is an old Communist, known throughout his career as “Red Ken.” He was taught to hate all things conservative, religious, right-wing, fundamentalist. That was his commitment.

And now he’s working for the mullahs? How can this be? You know how: The radical Left goes wherever the anti-Western action is, always. The form matters little.

There is a reason the left needs history re-written, if it is not and people remember it, nobody would turn to them. Jay Nordlinger calls them on it constantly.

Read Him

Ezra looks at the trend lines on President Obama and thinks liberals are worrying needlessly:

But so far as the polls go, Obama is doing okay among the left. In fact, as the graph below shows (click on it for a larger version), his approval trends among Democrats, independents and the country mirror Ronald Reagan’s ratings among Republicans, independents and the country almost exactly.

Tell you what Ezra lets make a bet. I’m a little hard up but I’m confident enough to make this wager:

You say Obama’s poll lines mirror Reagan’s? Fine. I’ll pay you $500 for every state Regain lost (including DC) in 1984 that Obama wins in 2012. You pay me $500 for every state that Obama loses in 2012 that Reagan won in 1984.

Or if those odds are too long for your trend lines, How about I pay you $10 per electoral vote that Obama gets in 2012 over Reagan’s total in 1984 and you pay me $5 for every electoral vote under Reagan’s 1984 total Obama wins in 2012. I’m broke and unemployed but I don’t mind giving you odds.

How about it Ezra, wanna put your money where your graph is?

Update: If any of you other liberals want to put your money where your confidence is come pony up

The MSM has been very careful to talk respectfully about Reagan lately but Eugene Robinson just gave up the game. He agreed with Charles Krauthammer statement of the following:

The net effect of 18 months of Obamaism will be to undo much of Reaganism.

On Morning Joe he agrees saying saying on Morning Joe that the president is “Reversing Reaganism” but unlike Charles he things this is a good things and the rest of the MSM is with him 100%. He thinks they just need to sell it.

Of course the media would also love to reverse the country’s love of Reagan but they’ll settle for this as the next best thing.

…and the 80’s a tad differently that his son might:

Not this time. Ron Reagan, now a talk show host in Seattle, got the ball rolling when he told Joy Behar of CNN Headline News that his dad wouldn’t have approved of either Sarah Palin or the “Tea Party” movement now roiling American politics. “Oh, I think he would be unamused by the tea partiers with their Hitler signs and all the rest of it,” Mr. Reagan told Ms. Behar. “No, I don’t think he’d be cottoning to that much at all.”

As for the Republican Party today, Mr. Reagan called it a “true train wreck” and said both Ms. Palin and new Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown were symbols of the decline of the GOP.

Mind you he is saying that the person who was only surpassed by Clinton and was SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for the period that John McCain had a shot (until he threw it away with the stimulus vote) and the person who was able to break the democratic hold on the Massachusetts delegation in congress as “symbols of the decline of the GOP? What planet is he living on? The same one as the commentator who claimed I never read her book.

But Michael Reagan, a talk show host on the other side of the political spectrum, took sharp issue with that analysis. “I believe he would embrace the Tea Party movement, if he were alive today, and support the work of Sarah Palin, Scott Brown and others who espouse conservative principles, who are opening up the eyes of the public to what is happening to our nation,” Mr. Reagan said in a statement. “There’s no doubt that President Reagan would respect the power and political potency of this movement.”

If Ron Reagan wants to know about the tea parties and the people therein he could do no better than to read Glenn Reynolds today.

…well maybe groupie is the wrong word but ya gotta love it when he says something like this:

I remember wanting to ask Rep. Charles Rangel a question, years ago: Whom do you consider the better man: Ronald Reagan or Fidel Castro? (At the time, Rangel was pounding Reagan as a racist villain, basically, and, of course, Rangel has long been one of Castro’s best friends and biggest defenders in the American political establishment.) In fact, I might like to ask him still . . .

Of course, you could ask José Serrano, Maxine Waters, Chris Dodd — a million of them.

I propose a test: substitute Chavez for Castro and ask this of every prominent liberal celebrity who visits him. (or throw in the Castro question too) This question should be a Sine qua non for any press coverage.