Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 9, 2011 5 Adar I, 5771

Ronald Reagan, Forever Young

By Roger Simon




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | He is 69 years old, and he is running for president for the second time, having lost four years earlier to Gerald Ford. His age, his campaign knew, was going to be a problem.

Ronald Reagan had been born at a time when the Civil War was still America's defining moment — it was Civil War toy soldiers that young Dutch played with as a child — and if he won, he would be 70 within months of taking office.

Only William Henry Harrison had been inaugurated at that age, and Harrison had died of pneumonia six weeks later. There was only one thing Reagan could do about it: Be so young in spirit that nobody would care about his flesh.

He is standing in a shopping mall in central Illinois, one with walkways of fake brick and with cast-iron lampposts that convey a Main Street, good-old-days air. Reagan is concluding his speech. "I just hope," he says, pointing down to a row of crouching kids in front of him, "that these children will know the freedom we once knew."

The applause is warm. Let Jimmy Carter moan about conservation and dialing down and going without. Not Ronald Reagan. He is for letting the good times roll. "Carter says we've got to get used to austerity and sharing and scarcity and giving up luxury," Reagan says to the crowd. "Well, I don't believe that! I think we should cover our children's ears when they hear that kind of talk!"

Which was the essential Reagan. For him, the glass was always half full, never half empty. His optimism was simply uncrushable. His mother had got him into acting, and it was a world he had never left. The America he loved was the America of Hollywood, where our motives were always true, our hearts always pure and our ultimate victory never in doubt.

And even when he left moviemaking, he never left the stage.

Reagan competed in 25 primaries in 1976 and came to the Republican National Convention — conventions were more than TV shows in those days — with 1,070 delegates to Gerald Ford's 1,187. After his defeat, Reagan quoted from what he remembered of a Dryden ballad he had memorized in his youth: "Lay me down and bleed a while. Though I am wounded, I am not slain. I shall rise and fight again."

The next year, 1977, he gave 75 speeches. He wrote a newspaper column and did a syndicated radio show. He did not need to rise again because he never really had lain down. He had just kept campaigning. And he gathered around him people who understood two things: selling and television. He figured it might make the difference next time.

Absolute reality did not always matter in the Reagan campaign. Reagan was selling the fantasy of America — a fantasy in which he believed totally. He was asking people to do what they did in a movie theater: to lose themselves in the story. He used to do it on celluloid, and now he was doing it on the stump.

"For Ronald Reagan, the world of legend and myth is a real world," Patrick Buchanan, his former White House communications director, said in 1988. "He visits it regularly, and he's a happy man there."

Buchanan meant it as a compliment. The press would soon learn that much of what Reagan said could not be taken literally. In his 1980 campaign, he muffed statements on Vietnam, civil rights, Taiwan, creationism, the Ku Klux Klan and how trees cause "93 percent" of the air pollution in America.

"The only good news for us at this time," an aide told his biographer, Lou Cannon, "is that we were making so many blunders that reporters had to pick and choose which ones they would write about."

But Reagan knew how to charm. In 1976, he would climb onto the press bus, go to the last seat and have reporters rotate back one by one to ask him anything they wanted. And virtually each and every night, we would end the day at some small motel, but before we hit the hay — or the bar — Ronald Reagan would have a news conference. The press would sometimes groan, but not Reagan. He was unafraid of the give-and-take.

By 1980, however, Reagan was surrounded by handlers who could not keep up with the stories, often culled from Reader's Digest or half-remembered anecdotes passed along to him at parties, that tumbled from Reagan's lips, and so they insisted he keep farther away from the press. Instead, Nancy Reagan launched a charm offensive, coming to the back of the plane with chocolates and chat for the reporters.

Reagan never stopped acting and never saw anything wrong with that. Asked when he first ran for office in 1966 what kind of governor he would be, he replied, "I don't know; I've never played a governor."

On the eve of his election in 1980, a reporter asked Reagan what people saw in him. "Would you laugh if I told you that I think, maybe, they see themselves and that I'm one of them?" Reagan replied. "I've never been able to detach myself or think that I, somehow, am apart from them."

Yes, there are issues in campaigns. Sometimes important issues, foreign and domestic. But Americans rarely elect persons they do not like. Americans rarely elect persons who are detached and apart from them. Which is why every politician today, Republican and Democrat, wants to be in some way Reaganesque.

In 1992, when he wasn't president anymore, he gave a stirring speech to the Republican National Convention in Houston. "I hope you will let me talk about a country that is forever young," he said.

There are only two places where things never age: on the screen and in our memories. Now, 100 years since his birth, Ronald Reagan remains forever young in both.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on Roger Simon's column by clicking here.


Roger Simon Archives


© 2009, Creators Syndicate