LOS ANGELES, February 6, 2011 — 100 years ago, true greatness was born.
Dear President Reagan: First let me wish you a happy 100th birthday. You are still alive in our hearts throughout the globe. I had the thrill of speaking at the Reagan Library in 2009. It was the honor of a lifetime. I felt your presence, and appreciate your allowing the appropriate words to flow from my lips. You would have been proud sir, although not as proud as I am every day to be one of your legions of political disciples.
It seems only fitting that your 100th birthday would fall on the same day as the Super Bowl. In one day America got to celebrate its greatest 20th century sporting event with our greatest 20th century political leader.
Yet things are different here sir since I last wrote to you back in 2007.
Four years ago I was brimming with optimism. I want to maintain the sunny disposition you brought to the nation you referred to as that shining city on a hill. It is just not as easy as it was.
For one thing, the people who made America great are leaving us. Two months before your death, I lost my third grandparent. In April of 2008 my grandmother died, and I no longer had grandparents. I know they are in heaven with you. They were not Republicans, but I know you are treating them as kindly as you did everybody you encountered.
Since 2007, we replaced a president who expanded upon your vision of the world with another man determined to reverse everything you did. He is not a bad person, but he sees the world totally differently than you did. I am very concerned about this.
The economy in 2011 is much worse than in 2007. Unemployment is higher than at any time since you took over the White House. You brought unemployment down, but the current president has been unable to do so in two years.
Some people feel he needs more time. Others feel he is overmatched. Uncertainty is everywhere.
The world stage also offers some concern. The Middle East was dangerous when you were in charge, but things are much tougher now. Riots are breaking out in several nations, and only God knows who will end up taking over.
Mr. Reagan, as frustrating as things get, I know that neither you or my grandparents would allow pessimism to win the day. So in honor of your birthday and your achievements, let me give you some good news.
Advances in technology have been amazing. In the last four years alone, something new called “social networking” has been created. Facebook and Twitter have allowed us to communicate with people all over the globe at a pace that makes the original instant messenger seem like a relic of the dinosaur age.
Advances in medicine have allowed us to truly declare war on AIDS all over the globe, especially in Africa. President George W. Bush set aside 15 billion dollars, the largest amount ever. Bill Gates retired from Microsoft to lead the fight against this dreadful disease. A singer named Bono has been speaking all over the world about getting the right drugs in front of the people who need them.
Despite living through tough economic times, Americans are as generous as ever. When an Earthquake devastated Haiti, Americans donated hundreds of millions of dollars. There is a new feature on cellphones called text messaging. Some people abuse this technology to send meaningless messages, but it has its good points. With one click of a button on our mobile phones, we can send donations to Haiti and other people around the globe in need. So many people click on these buttons to send money that America continues to help feed and clothe innocent people we have never met. We do this solely because we are compassionate. You would be proud.
Mr. President, barriers are being shattered in ways that people only dreamed about years ago. In 2000 a Jewish Republican ran for the presidency and a Jewish Democrat became the vice presidential nominee. In 2008 the Republican Party had a woman as their vice presidential nominee and the Democrats had a woman come very close to winning their nomination. None of these people won, but a glass ceiling was smashed anyway. Our current president is partially black. He is a Democrat, but to make things even more amazing, the Chairman of the Republican Party was also black. Both political parties were led by a black man. Americans of all stripes are inspired by this.
Even more amazing is that the middle name of our current leader is Hussein. A small group of people think he is a Muslim, but he is actually a Christian. Americans looked at a black man with Hussein in his name, and they shrugged. The former chairman of the Republican Party was Jewish. He also recently announced that he is homosexual. Again, Americans just shrugged. The society where all people are equal in the eyes of God is taking shape before our eyes. Issues of race, gender, and sexuality are slowly becoming irrelevant.
We argue about healthcare, economics, and foreign policy.
President Reagan, just know that now that my grandmother is gone, the strongest woman on the planet might be Nancy Reagan. She is a tough lady, and she is hanging in there. She remains an inspiration to many.
Mr. Reagan, things are not hunky-dory. Our economic situation is perilous. We are being strangled by a debt much larger than anything you could have imagined. Hard choices need to be made, and only time will tell if our leaders do the right thing to save our status as an economic superpower.
Even worse, there was a tragedy recently in which a crazed madman shot several people, including a U.S. Congresswoman. A judge was killed, and so was a nine year old girl ironically born on 9/11. Yet even that awful black cloud saw a silver lining. Members of Congress vowed to be more civil to each other, and treat each other in the classy, dignified way you treated everybody. Some have violated this promise, but many of them have kept it.
What we miss most is your dogged optimism. When you entered the White House, people were afraid that America was declining. Some thought the Russians would surpass us. Others thought the Japanese would end our dominance. Neither of those scenarios panned out.
Today the fear is that the 21st century belongs to China. Americans have no ill will toward the people of China. They are good people with a beautiful cultural history and heritage. Yet it is dampening our spirits to constantly be told that America is finished.
This is not true sir. We are the people who defeated Nazism and Communism. We are in a long struggle to defeat Radical Islam, but we are making slow but steady progress. We invented the automobile and the internet. We are still the people who risk our lives to give other people the taste of freedom that our Founding Fathers and many others since then fought to preserve.
As a Commander in Chief, you would be elated to know that our military is as respected as it has ever been. Those excoriating our soldiers are diminishing in number and voice. Most people greet soldiers with a handshake, a salute, and a hearty “Thank you, and welcome home.”
So on your 100th birthday sir, just know that things will be all right. Americans will do what we always do. We will dig down deep, and lift ourselves up to the highest levels before going even higher than that.
I lamented in 2007 that we did not discover the cure for Alzheimers in time to save your life. In 2011, we still have not done so. Yet I know we will.
How do I know this? How do I know that we will overcome the tough times we face and build an even brighter, stronger, and better America than ever before?
I know this because I still believe the words you told us in your 1981 inaugural address. We will succeed. After all, as you pointed out, “We are Americans.”
Happy 100th Mr. Reagan. For free people everywhere, God bless you and thank you very much sir.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
Read more of Eric’s work at The Tygrrrr Express at the Communities Digital News.