Governor Reagan orders the first tear gas attack by helicopter on U.S. soil over the campus of U.C. Berkeley, during the People’s Park protests in May 1969.
The first couple of years when Ronald Reagan was governor of California, I covered him as a young reporter in San Francisco. Our newspaper’s political reporter passed the assignment to me saying, “I don’t like anything he stands for, but every time I cover him I end up liking him.”
Reagan allowed tear gas to be used on the students at University of California at Berkeley when they were storming through the campus in pursuit of peace in Vietnam.
I remember one Sunday afternoon when Reagan was about to give a short speech to a church filled mostly with African-Americans. As he began speaking, a boisterous few began calling him a racist. Reagan’s eyes narrowed and he shouted back, “I don’t need to take that.” He picked up his 3-by-5 cards and stormed out the church.
Today Reagan is considered to be one of our better U.S. presidents.
In the two years before our country declared its independence, the elite establishment in the colonies rallied around the London-educated jurist John Dickinson of Philadelphia, who sought liberty but not independence from England, as author David Lefer documents in “The Founding Conservatives.” It generally was the poor and grammar-school educated who pushed the country into independence. The poor and grammar-school educated also largely fought and died for that independence against the British.
I voted for Donald Trump, and I generally favor where he is taking the country today. I especially support his nomination and the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
I don’t like Trump’s tweets. I don’t like his steam-of-consciousness ramblings. But I can understand his fury when he is accused of consorting with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton. I am pretty certain Reagan would have been just as furious.
Peggy Noonan, who wrote speeches for Reagan, recently wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal stating, “The president needs to be told: Democracy is not your plaything.”
In her book “What I Saw at the Revolution,” Noonan generally describes Reagan as an amenable dunce who had a knack for reciting her speeches appropriately.
Clinton, if she were elected, would have taken this country further down the path to class-entrenched European socialism. Most Republican presidential candidates running against Trump would have taken us along that same path but slower.
This country is exceptional in a way that much of the establishment cannot comprehend, but the ordinary citizen can. As a journalist, I have traveled most places in the world and quickly discovered that class and cast are very much alive. Why do the poor flock here? Because they understand that this country is among vary few where the poor and their children have a chance to reach their full potential.
The establishment, those who have got theirs, shut the door on upward mobility. Keeping everyone equal, so long as the establishment is more equal than anyone else, suits them fine.
Ah, but the establishment will say we do favor letting the poor into our country. It is Trump who wants to keep them out. That’s a con. The establishment favors borderless boundaries because it helps create the economic crisis that speeds up our nation into socialism.
Ordinary citizens voted for Trump and, despite the clamor by those who usually attended the best schools, most still support Trump on the issues.
Under President Barack Obama, political correctness became a bully to keep those who disagreed with him in line.
Many students and faculty at our elite colleges condone only their speech, not free speech.
It takes a bully like Trump to remind us that political and economic freedom generally are eroded under European socialism. They cease to exist under communism and fascism.
* Stanford Erickson, a 40-year member of the National Press Club, resides in Vero Beach.