He and they loved America and what it stands for –
“Freedom And Opportunity For Ordinary People.”
Maggy: As prime minister, I worked closely with Ronald Reagan for eight of the most important years of all our lives. We talked regularly both
before and after his presidency. And I have had time and cause to reflect on what made him a great President.
Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles – and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly, he acted upon them decisively.
When the world threw problems at the White House, he was not baffled, or disorientated, or overwhelmed. He knew almost instinctively what to do.
When his aides were preparing option papers for his decision, they were able to cut out entire rafts of proposals that they knew “the Old Man” would never wear.
When his allies came under Soviet or domestic pressure, they could look confidently to Washington for firm leadership. And when his enemies tested American resolve, they soon discovered that his resolve was firm and unyielding.
Yet his ideas, though clear, were never simplistic. He saw the many sides of truth. Yes, he warned that the Soviet Union had an insatiable drive for military power and territorial expansion; but he also sensed it was being eaten away by systemic failures impossible to reform.
Yes, he did not shrink from denouncing Moscow’s “Evil Empire”. But he realized that a man of goodwill might nonetheless emerge from within its dark corridors.
So the president resisted Soviet expansion and pressed down on Soviet weakness at every point until the day came when communism began to collapse beneath the combined weight of these pressures and its own failures. And when a man of goodwill did emerge from the ruins, President Reagan stepped forward to shake his hand and to offer sincere cooperation.
Nothing was more typical of Ronald Reagan than that large-hearted magnanimity – and nothing was more American. Therein lies perhaps the final explanation of his achievements. Ronald Reagan carried the American people with him in his great endeavors because there was perfect sympathy between them.
He and they loved America and what it stands for – “freedom and opportunity for ordinary people.”