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Reagan should have a special day in Maryland

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on February 24, 2003:

Senator Dyson As years go by, former presidentsí popularity improves significantly since the day they left office. Harry S Truman was probably the most unpopular public servant in America when he left office. Now, he is regarded as one of our finest chief executives.

John F. Kennedy is still regarded as the martyred, vibrant young man who saved the world during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Lyndon Johnsonís landmark civil rights record has finally eclipsed his failure in Vietnam.

Richard M. Nixon, of all people, received a heroís valedictory upon his death and all the living presidentís attended his funeral to pay their respects. Bob Dole, war hero, U.S. Senator and presidential candidate broke down when he recalled Nixonís influence on him during the funeral. Gerald Ford, the man who gave Nixon a pardon to the great displeasure of many, is now regarded, rightfully so, as a man who helped right the course of this countryís direction after the Watergate mess.

Jimmy Carter, another much-maligned president, has since salvaged his reputation quite nicely as a Nobel Peace prize-winning statesman.

But none of the former presidents eclipse the enduring popularity of Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. At 92 and ailing with Alzheimerís disease, has survived longer than any other president. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with President Reagan during his entire presidency since I won a seat in the Congress during the same election President Reagan won the presidency. President Reagan came into office with many priorities, but shoring up our military was one of his chief concerns. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, it was one of mine as well.

I didnít always agree with Reagan, but I generally voted for many of his legislative priorities despite being a Democrat. My support of many of Reaganís initiatives didnít always hold me in good stead with my Democratic colleagues, but Reaganís brand of conservatism had its merits. I never let partisan politics stand in the way of good public policy. Because I like and respect President Reagan, I am one of just three Democratic members of the Maryland Senate to co-sponsor Senate Joint Resolution 2 -- Ronald Reagan Day.

This resolution would make President Reaganís birthday, February 6, Ronald Reagan Day in Maryland. Parts of the resolution adequately sum up President Reaganís legacy. Among its passages include:

ďWhereas President Ronald Wilson Reagan, a man of humble background worked throughout his life serving freedom and advancing the public good, having been employed as an entertainer, union leader, corporate spokesman, Governor of California and President of the United States...

ďWhereas President Reaganís presidency he worked in a bipartisan manner to enact his bold agenda of restoring accountability and common sense to Government which led to an unprecedented economic expansion and opportunity for missions of Americans....

ďWhereas President Reaganís commitment to our armed forces contributed to the restoration of pride in America, its values and those cherished by the free world...

If passed by the General Assembly, I expect Governor Ehrlich to support this resolution that honors a great American -- and a man I considered to be a friend.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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