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Edward O’Boyle: Reagan, Trump united on freedom, limited government

In his farewell address, President Ronald Reagan emphasized two interconnected themes. First, his “shining city on the hill” was built on the fundamental need of all humankind to be free to speak their mind, to assemble in the public square, to petition their government for relief or restraint, and to worship their Creator as they see fit. Second, for men and women to be free government must be limited.

Throughout his entire eight years in the White House Reagan was able to communicate those two themes because he was blessed with excellent speechwriters and gifted in his ability to deliver prepared remarks with conviction. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”  “These are the boys of Point du Hoc …” “We will never forget them nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God’” Moreover, he was well known and highly regarded as a man of honor and integrity.

President Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a bully, a street fighter who when he takes his adversary down is prepared instinctively to destroy that person. In his more restrained moments he demeans them with “Pocahontas,” “Crazy Maxine Waters,” Nervous Nancy,” “Sleepy Joe,” and most famously “Crooked Hillary … Lock her up.” Trump is not a man for carefully crafted speeches that inspire the American people to gaze upon the “shining city on the hill.” His speeches are intended to grab their attention so that they might set their eyes on the fetid swamp in Washington which for years has promoted big government and limited freedom, and what he has been doing to drain it.

Reagan was dignified. Trump is defiant. The two are like Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton, Gale Sayres and Dick Butkus. Everyone different, everyone beloved.  Trump has been confronted with a stream of hatred from the very day of his inauguration to the present.     

Hated for being pro-life. For being the only president to speak in person and in support of the right-to-life marchers on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade. 

Hated for being pro-business. For understanding that a market economy works best when business enterprises are free of confiscatory taxes and oppressive regulation. 

Hated for being pro-family. For carving out larger child support allowances in the income tax code, thereby affirming the traditional husband-wife family. 

Hated for being America-first. For putting the well-being of Americans ahead of everyone else. 

Hated for denying illegal immigrants entry into the United States. For knowing that an uncontrolled stream of immigrants crossing our borders, while it assures American employers a large pool of cheap labor, has a depressing effect on the wages of American workers.   

Hated for disentangling America from never-ending foreign wars. For reducing and eventually bringing home American troops from faraway places where tribal war loads value territorial rights over human lives.  

Esteemed for revealing that China is a grave threat to U.S. interests. For attacking China’s policy of being the lowest cost producer in the world and pushing back with tariffs that take away some of China’s absolute advantage in international trade.  

Esteemed for supporting the Israeli people. For energizing Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan to normalize their relationship with Israel.  

Esteemed for improving conditions for black persons, families, and institutions. For helping achieve the lowest rate of unemployment for blacks on record, and providing financial support to historically black colleges and universities.  

Esteemed for destroying ISIS. For soundly defeating and preventing that radical Islamic movement from becoming permanently…

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