Everybody Loves Reagan.
The arrival of Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday will be accompanied by a chorus of fond reminiscences and misty-eyed appreciations.
In fact, the tributes are already underway. And, they are not just coming from Dutch’s ideological descendants. President Barack Obama, writing in USA Today, gushed about the 40th president’s fondness for change and compromise.
There was a time when a love letter from a liberal leader to Reagan would be surprising. No longer. Death, the hindsight of history, a sympathetic public, and a handful of dedicated historians and opportunistic politicians have turned this once divisive and controversial leader into a bipartisan reminder of our better angels.
This may cause Reaganites to rejoice, but as Gipper-appreciation goes mainstream there is a real risk that his accomplishments, beliefs, and importance will be obscured. And, perhaps worse, appropriated.