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Reagan Legacy

Ronald Reagan Lecture Series presents George Landrith of the Freedom Foundation


Bill O’Reilly slanders Ronald Reagan

by George F. Will      •     Washington Post

Donald Trump is just one symptom of today’s cultural pathology of self-validating vehemence with blustery certitudes substituting for evidence. Another is the fact that the book atop the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list is a tissue of unsubstantiated assertions. Because of its vast readership, “Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency” by Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and his collaborator, Martin Dugard, will distort public understanding of Ronald Reagan’s presidency more than hostile but conscientious scholars could.

Styling himself an “investigative historian,” O’Reilly purports to have discovered amazing facts that have escaped the notice of real historians. The book’s intimated hypothesis is that the trauma of the March 1981 assassination attempt somehow triggered in Reagan a mental decline, perhaps accelerating the Alzheimer’s disease that would not be diagnosed until 13 years later. The book says Reagan was often addled to the point of incompetence, causing senior advisers to contemplate using the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove him from office. Well. Continue reading


Ronald Reagan’s Thanksgiving Day Messages

thanksgiving-day-Washington

“We have seen the splendor of our natural resource spread across the tables of the world, and we have seen the splendor of freedom coursing with new vigor through the channels of history.” 

by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan believed in America. He believed in America’s promise. He saw the best in his fellow Americans. We, too, believe in America, its promise, and see the best in our fellows.

At the beginning of our republic, President George Washington declared a Day of Thanksgiving his first year in office. In the midst of the sore trials of a massive Civil War, President Lincoln established a regular Day of Thanksgiving.

In the spirit of his predecessors, and while he tackled serious economic and foreign policy challenges, President Reagan delivered a series of eight Thanksgiving Day messages from 1981 through 1988. He repeated previous presidential calls to “set aside” this special day as one of thanksgiving and prayer to God. Further, he challenged the nation to recall and fulfill their responsibility to “give” to those who are less fortunate. There are those who lacked of the “abundance” which America enjoyed — they do not enjoy the abundance which comes as a result of our industry. Many around the world do not enjoy an “abundance of freedom.” America’s example of freedom is one of the lasting legacies we leave for a world — we are the last best hope of mankind. Reagan reminded us to live up to that legacy. Continue reading


O’Reilly’s “Killing Reagan”: Fiction, Posing as Biography

by Ed Meese & John Heubusch     •     RealClearPolitics

There are over a thousand books on the subject of Ronald Reagan and his presidency. This is not surprising given that our 40th president is routinely cited in Gallup polls alongside George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt as one of America’s most admired presidents.

Some books such as Lou Cannon’s “President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime,” or Martin and Annelise Anderson and Kiron Skinner’s “Reagan in His Own Hand,” and most recently, “Last Act” by Craig Shirley offer keen insight into the man and benefit those seeking an accurate picture of the Reagan years. Unfortunately, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s latest offering, “Killing Reagan,” is not among them.

We have watched numerous television interviews of Mr. O’Reilly since the release of “Killing Reagan” to assess the reasons he wrote the book. O’Reilly calls himself an “investigative historian” and claims such an approach “offers something new.” But there is “new” and there is “accurate”—and it’s unwise to confuse the two. O’Reilly says what he’s discovered is that for some of the time Reagan was in office, he was incapacitated to the point that it was questionable whether he could capably serve in the role of president of the United States. Continue reading


A Man Without Peer

Martin Anderson, a key adviser to Ronald Reagan, leaves behind a lasting legacy.

By Peter Roff     •     U.S. News

reaganfarewellAs an economist and political scientist, Martin Anderson was a man without peer. A senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution since 1971, he did much to advance the cause of freedom as expressed in his love of big ideas.

Many credit the case he made against mandatory conscription inside the White House as a special assistant to former President Richard Nixon as an invaluable, perhaps even decisive contribution to the campaign to end the draft, which Nixon did in 1973 as the war in Vietnam was winding down.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Anderson was a key adviser to Ronald Reagan, helping him formulate a successful economic policy that permitted the liberation of American capital through tax cuts that, when combined with declining interest rates and a stable monetary policy, triggered an economic boom that led the world out of a long recession and laid the groundwork for the West’s ultimate victory in the Cold War. Continue reading


Reagan’s Christmas Messages

“In this day, when our freedom to worship is most precious, let us redouble our efforts to bring this and other greatest freedoms to all the peoples of the Earth.” (1988)

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by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan believed in Americans. He believed in the promise of America, that Americans possessed the inherent and acquired power to rise to the occasion. This, because of the overt and unique design of the Founders to foster freedom and responsibility. Reagan was optimistic about America’s future. He believed that when freedom flourishes, responsibility and accomplishment would naturally follow. (Sometimes to the astonishment and even delight of our greatest skeptics.) Others assume the opposite; they believe that force or coercion is necessary to accomplish their ends.

Reagan also believed in the spirit of Christmas. This unique season — filled with wonder, lights, music and children’s faces and hearts — lifts our hearts and fosters the better angels of our nature. He believed in its symbolic power to help us see and reach into the core of what it means to be an American. Both for believers and non-believers in the Babe born in Bethlehem. Continue reading


JFK, Reagan leadership helped bring down Berlin Wall

reagan jfk kennedy

reagan jfk kennedyby Rick Hampson    •    USAToday

Ich bin ein Berliner,” John F. Kennedy proclaimed in 1963. Of communism’s defenders, he roared, “Let them come to Berlin!”

Standing at the communist barrier dividing the same city 24 years later, Ronald Reagan cried, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9 raises a nostalgic question: Whatever happened to the kind of inspirational presidential oratory that helped bring down that wall — and Soviet communism?

In the history of the American presidency, such triumphs are few and fragile. Even those great Berlin lines might not have been delivered.

Kennedy’s famous words were not in the final draft of his prepared text. The signature line in Reagan’s speech was strenuously resisted by senior advisers., and it didn’t make a big impression at the time.

Today, when President Obama’s rhetoric seems unable to stop aggression in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the two Berlin speeches demonstrate the power of words to influence world affairs, as well as their limits. Continue reading


Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Actor Gary Sinise Honored at Frontiers of Freedom Annual Reagan Gala

Sinise Headshot Cropped

Sinise Headshot CroppedWashington, DC — Frontiers of Freedom, a public advocacy group founded by the late Sen. Malcolm Wallop, R-Wy., announced Thursday it had presented in 2014 Ronald Reagan Award to actor Gary Sinise in recognition of his efforts to keep Reaganite values alive in Hollywood and for his work in support of wounded warriors and active duty servicemen and women.

“Gary Sinise is a true American patriot. His unselfish devotion to the cause of liberty, which is best expressed by his ongoing commitment to the health, morale, and well-being of America’s fighting men and women, makes him exceptionally worthy of the Reagan Award. The example Gary sets is one that other members of the film and entertainment community should seriously consider following,” George Landrith, president of Frontiers of Freedom said. Continue reading


The Tale of Two Recoveries


by Michael Hausam

How often have you heard a Democrat prattle on and on about how well Barack Obama has done with the economy, given the mess he inherited? Usually, it’s some version of, “Things are getting better, but the economy the President started with was so awful, so he’s done as well as anyone could expect.”

When Ronald Reagan took over from Jimmy Carter in ’81, things were actually worse economically compared to when Obama took over from George W. Bush in ’08. Continue reading


The Emerging Law of the Gun

Reagan Korea

by Peter Huessy

Russian President Vladimir Putin annexes the Crimea in gross violation of international law. What should America do, if anything?

There are many different ideas. Some suggest doing nothing. Some assert we cannot do anything. Others feel the consequences of letting such aggression stand will be serious.

The country’s divisions are certainly reflective of how divided on this Americans are.

What then is the proper role for America in the world that both keeps us safe and enhances our prosperity? Continue reading


Ronald Reagan’s Christmas Messages

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“In this day, when our freedom to worship is most precious, let us redouble our efforts to bring this and other greatest freedoms to all the peoples of the Earth.” (1988)

C26233-24

by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan believed in Americans. He believed in the promise of America, that Americans possessed the inherent and acquired power to rise to the occasion. This, because of the overt and unique design of the Founders to foster freedom and responsibility. Reagan was optimistic about America’s future. He believed that when freedom flourishes, responsibility and accomplishment would naturally follow. (Sometimes to the astonishment and even delight of our greatest skeptics.) Others assume the opposite; they believe that force or coercion is necessary to accomplish their ends. Continue reading


The Poor: Reagan vs. Obama

reaganfarewellby Ralph R. Reiland

I think the poor need another Reagan in the White House.

The income of black heads-of-households dropped by 10.9 percent from June 2009 to June 2013. This decline in black income is more than double the overall 4.4 percent drop nationally in real, adjusted for inflation, median household income during the same four years of alleged “recovery.”

Similarly, real incomes of those under age 25 fell by 9.6 percent over the same period — again, more than double the average drop in household income. Continue reading


Ronald Reagan, “You’re out there on the frontier of freedom.”

Reagan Korea

Ronald Reagan said to conservatives, “You’re the troops. You’re out there on the frontier of freedom.” 

Reagan Korea

A young soldier stands guard in the cold, looking out over no-man’s-land through to the other side of the demilitarized zone and into North Korea. President Reagan is visiting the troops there that day. During the visit the young soldier turns to the president, salutes and says, “Mr. President, when you get home, tell them we’re on the frontier of freedom.”

Reagan concludes his final speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference with this brief story. He compares the gathered conservative movers and shakers to the “troops” who — like the soldier in the story — are on the forefront of defeating “totalitarianism.”

He tells the story to them, “because,” he said, “you’re the troops.” He illustrates the comparison, telling them, “You’re out there on the frontier of freedom.” He then repeats what the soldier said to him (“Mr. President, we’re on the frontier of freedom.”) And immediately afterwards adds the pithy coda to the very end of the speech, “Well, so are you.”

And so we are. Or should be. Continue reading


Ronald Reagan on the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, Omaha Beach

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“We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

In one of his last public speeches, Ronald Reagan returned on June 6, 1994 to Omaha Beach to speak a ceremony commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Invasion of Europe, D-Day. Later that year we learned of the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, and he retired from public view.

He repeated much of what he said ten years previous to this occasion. Again he spoke of the veterans of that Invasion who could share with us the “fear of being on the boat waiting to land.” How their loved ones could later “see the ocean and feel the sea sickness.” With them we “can see the looks on his fellow soldiers’ faces — the fear, the anguish, the uncertainty of what lay ahead.” Reagan then challenged us to “feel the strength and courage of the men who took those first steps through the tide to what must have surely looked like instant death.” Continue reading


Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day, Pointe du Hoc

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“These are the Boys of Pointe du Hoc”

by Scott L. Vanatter

Forty years after the Allied forces landed at Normandy, President Reagan spoke commemorating those who stormed the beaches.

On June 6, 1984 he spoke at the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc, France. He opened his remarks by recalling that “Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue.”

Poignantly he described, “the boys of Pointe du Hoc” who “took the cliffs” as “champions who helped free a continent.” He cited a poem by Stephen Spender, that the men “left the vivid air signed with your honor.’ Continue reading