I consider myself a Reagan Republican. I was in the fourth grade when President Reagan was elected and I developed a love and admiration for Reagan when he survived the assassination attempt on his life.
I was a kid who lived in Michigan and as luck would have it, my parents’ business would take us to Los Angeles to sell University of Iowa Rose Bowl merchandise in 1981. We were staying at the Century Plaza hotel and President and Mrs. Reagan were staying under the same roof. We gave the Secret Service a Rose Bowl t-shirt to give to the President. His picture was in the Los Angeles Times, holding up the shirt. In return, some presidential swag was sent back down to us.
It was a different time in history — when a 12-year-old boy could make friends with the Secret Service and they let me know when and where to watch the President’s motorcade leave the Century Plaza garage. Equipped with my trusty Polaroid camera, I snapped a photo of President Reagan in his limousine as his motorcade sped out of the parking garage.
The days of the Regan administration were filled with ups and downs. I became an avid watcher of the news. I delighted when the Iran hostages were released from Iran on Regan’s first day in office, the launch of space shuttle Columbia later that year made me proud to be an American, and I saw bold leadership when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers.
Over his eight years in office, Reagan developed relationships with foreign leaders, brought down interest rates, and more importantly, he set in motion the events that would bring down the Berlin Wall.
In his eight years of office that ended when I was a freshman in college, I never felt that President Reagan talked down to anyone, let alone American citizens that were a member of the opposite political party. I saw him as a tough fighter and a bridge builder.
Which brings me to the point of this letter, the spectacle of President Biden’s speech last Thursday in front of Independence Hall. Biden’s behavior was the polar opposite of the leadership that Reagan would have shown at this time in our country’s history. Independence Hall is one of the one of the most important sites in our Nation’s history. On the same site where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted by the founding fathers of our country, stood the current President of the United States delivering one of the most hateful speeches I have ever heard in my life. Biden’s hate was focused on his fellow Americans.
The visuals were bizarre; the President’s lighting was straight out of an old monster movie. The red lights against that beautiful historic building looked evil and the visual of two members of the United States Marine Corps, being used as pawns, as they stood at attention as Biden delivered his speech.
No, this wasn’t President Regan delivering a firm, unified, or hopefully speech. Rather, it was a President looking down his nose at half of the citizens of his country.
I cringe when I hear the term “flyover state.” It is a derogatory term used by out-of-touch politicians and the news media to describe the middle of the country — the area of the country where I was born and raised. They look down on hardworking Americans that raise our crops, raise our livestock, build and produce so many things that makes America’s economy run. If you drive the highways in the Midwest, you will see the lanes full of semi-trailer trucks, delivering goods produced there to the entire country.
In essence, Biden reduced Republicans to “flyover Citizens.”
It was billed as a unity speech on Thursday, but it was the most divisive speech I have ever seen made by an American president. Straight out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, Biden employed Rule number 13 “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Biden said “and here, in my view, is what is true: MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.” He wasn’t speaking of the people who were involved with the events of January 6th, he was speaking of all Republicans.
Don’t forget that it was members of the Democratic party that encouraged the rioters in the summer of 2020, the people that burned American cities and caused billions of dollars in damage to cities across this country. Don’t forget that members of the Democratic party raised funds for the rioters and helped bail them out of jail after the rioters burned their cities.
The speech was the best example of gaslighting that I have ever seen. It was as if the President was a hypnotist, telling the country that the Republicans are to blame for what his party and his administration has done to the country. Biden left the country thinking the Republican party is full of criminals and is illegitimate. What’s left when you do that to a political party? You have a one-party state.
Biden said “too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal.” I agree with him. It isn’t normal. It isn’t normal for a President to stand at one of our Nation’s most historical spots and demonize half out his country’s citizens.
Biden’s speech should be a clarion call to all of us. It should motivate all of us to work hard to get good Republicans elected. It should be a call to all of us to communicate with voters what our party believes.
We believe in:
The rule of law
Freedom of speech
Prosperity for all people
Providing a level playing field that does not guarantee outcomes, but guarantees fairness
Let’s not forget the words of the Preamble to the Constitution:
"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Building “a more perfect union” does not include demonizing one political party. Be more like Reagan, President Biden.