As you know, in February we will celebrate Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. In honor of this, Sarah Palin has written a tribute to the Gipper for USA Today:
I had the privilege of coming of age during the era of Ronald Reagan. I like to think of him as America's lifeguard. As a teenager, Ronald Reagan saved 77 lives as a lifeguard on the Rock River, which ran through his hometown of Dixon, Ill. The day he was inaugurated in 1981, a local radio announcer famously declared, "The Rock River flows for you tonight, Mr. President."
The image of the lifeguard seems to represent what Reagan was to America and to the freedom-loving people of the world. He lifted our country up at a time when we were in the depths of economic, cultural and spiritual malaise. We were told that we must accept that the era of American greatness was over; but with his optimism and common sense, President Reagan held up a mirror to the American soul to remind us of our exceptionalism.
Reagan showed us that despite a deep recession, there could still be morning in America. He could speak to the economic troubles facing ordinary Americans because he understood what it was like to live through a Great Depression where families scraped to get by. And yet, he saw us recover from our Great Depression, and under his leadership we experienced the greatest peacetime economic boom in our history. He could speak to our fears that our years as a superpower were over, because he understood what it was like to see America at war and really fear that we might lose. And yet, he saw us win two world wars, and under his leadership we won the Cold War without firing a single shot. Reagan's belief in American greatness was rooted in historic fact, not blind optimism. He was a sunny optimist because he knew that our best days are yet to come.
Today, when we hear the worry in the voices of Americans wondering where the jobs will be for our children and grandchildren and wondering if the world will be safe and prosperous in the years to come, we should remember Reagan's faith in our inherent heroism and greatness. When we see people around the globe looking to the White House for leadership, we should remember Reagan's steel spine. He understood America's purpose in this world and what we need to do to secure liberty. As Margaret Thatcher said of him, "He sought to mend America's wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism." He sought those things and he succeeded.
This year, as we celebrate the centennial of Reagan's birth, let's remember the lifeguard from the Rock River who rescued us with his optimism and common sense. We need more lifeguards like him.
Indeed we do!
The vote I cast for Ronald Reagan in 1980 was my first. We had struggled through the Carter years. Reagan immediately made the nation feel strong again. It wasn't easy to turn things around, and it didn't happen over night. During the Carter years the media actually created something called a "misery index" to help Americans understand just how bad things were. America was in a malaise.
The thing Reagan did, with his optimism and belief in the American people, was inspiring. He had people believing in themselves again. As a strong leader he showed America the way, and America followed. It was Reagan's policies that created the longest period of economic growth in our nation's history. Americans were proud again. The American spirit had been lifted. Great successes followed.
It's a tribute to Reagan that he is still the standard that all great leaders are measured by.
As we look ahead for a new leader, for someone with the strength of character, as well as clarity of vision, I'm reminded of the horrible events of a few weeks back. The democrat party, aided by the corrupt media, worked hard to blood libel the 30 to 40 million Americans who are members of the Tea Party, trying desperately to tie the acts of a mad man to the group, as well as Sarah Palin.
Only one leader stood up and defended the honor of these millions of America. As she has been doing for the past several years, it was Sarah Palin who stood up to the left. Others hid out, still others, including many Republicans, told her to sit down and shut up. None had America's back.
Time and time again Sarah has shown that she is the only leader with the strength and conviction to stand up and be heard. The only leader who will fearlessly take on those who seek to tear America down.
I know this is a tribute to a great President, a great leader, and a great man, but as Sarah herself puts it, we need more lifeguards like Ronnie. I submit we have found one who is cut from the same cloth, someone who like Reagan, sees America as that Shining City on a Hill.
There is simply no one better to carry on the legacy of the great Ronald Reagan than Sarah Palin.