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    Tom Hoefling: Why do we still love Ronald Reagan? Because he was a Freedom Man.
       Other Endorsed Independent Projects -> Tom Hoefling's Life and Liberty Report

    Feb. 6, 2011

    Tom Hoefling

    On this one hundredth birthday of America's fortieth President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan, mountains of copy will be written and published about him. In fact, I hear they're going to honor him at the Super Bowl tonight. I have no illusions that very many will read my perspective, but what the heck, it's snowing outside and the kids are sleeping in this morning, so here goes:

    I believe Americans still love Ronald Reagan because they know in their hearts that he was a Freedom Man.

    And he wasn't a proponent of the cheap definition of freedom so many are pushing today, which is really license. While he was imperfect, as all of us are, He deeply understood that there is no true freedom, individually or as a people, without a moral basis for our actions. He knew that there never has been, and never will be, any legitimate right to do wrong. He understood that American liberty is entirely premised on our faith in the One Who made us, and our commitment to doing right by Him, and each other.

    As he famously said:

    "America needs God more than God needs America. If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under."


    "We must do what is right, and we must do it with all our might."

    So, Ronald Reagan, gifted by God and by the American people with the opportunity to serve in the Presidency, spent his final effective years fighting tyranny, wherever he saw it. He consciously set out to bring down the evil Soviet communist empire, and he did it. He saw the economic tyranny imposed on the American people by an ever-encroaching government behemoth, and he fought it back the best that he could, producing decades of good economic fruit for our country and the world. He saw the scourge of abortion for what it was, a gross injustice committed against the weakest among us, and he courageously spoke out against it, although sadly, he failed to stop it in his generation.

    As a man who spent the better part of his life as an actor, he of course carried that perspective with him. He once said:

    "Politics is just like show business. You have a hell of an opening, coast for a while, and then have a hell of a close."

    So, what did Ronald Reagan save for his valedictory, for his "hell of a close"? In his farewell to the nation he made specific reference to something that happened aboard an American warship, something passed along to him by a regular American, that really captured his American imagination, and to his way of thinking, summarized what America is all about. It was something he had thought so important that he had already brought it forward to the American people in 1982, in his weekly radio address.

    Ronald Reagan:

    I want to thank Mr. Gary Kemp, of Neenah, Wisconsin, for bringing it to my attention. It's a letter from Ordinanceman First Class John Mooney, written to his parents from aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Midway on October 15th. "Dear Mom and Dad," he wrote, "today we spotted a boat in the water, and we rendered assistance. We picked up 65 Vietnamese refugees. It was about a two hour job getting everyone aboard.

    "And then they had to get screened by Intelligence, and get checked out by Medical, and get fed and clothed and all that. Their boat was sinking as we came alongside. They'd been at sea for five days and had run out of water. All in all, a couple of more days and the kids would have been in pretty bad shape.

    "I guess once in awhile," he writes, "we need a jolt like that to realize why we do what we do, and how important, really, it can be. I mean, it took a lot of guts for those parents to make a choice like that, to go to sea in a leaky boat in hope of finding someone to take them from the sea. So much risk. But, apparently they thought it was worth it, rather than live in a communist country.

    "For all of our problems, with the price of gas, and not being able to afford a new car or other creature comforts this year, I really don't really see a lot of leaky boats heading out of San Diego, looking for the Russian ships out there.

    "After the refugees were brought aboard, I took some pictures, but, as you know, as usual, I didn't have my camera with me for the real picture, the one blazed in my mind. As they approached the ship, they were all waving, and trying as best they could to say, 'Hello America sailor. Hello Freedom Man.' It's hard to see a boat full of people like that and not get a lump somewhere between chin and belly button. And it really makes one glad and proud to be an American.

    "People were waving and shouting and choking down down lumps and trying not to let other brave men see their wet eyes. A lieutenant next to me said, 'Yeah, I guess it's payday in more ways than one.' We got paid today, and I guess no one could say it better than that.

    "It reminds us all of what America has always been, a place a man or woman could come to for freedom. I know we're crowded. We have unemployment. We have a real burden with refugees. But I honestly hope and pray we can always find room. We have a unique society made up of castoffs of all the world's wars and oppressions, and yet we're strong and free. We have one thing in common, no matter where our forefathers came from. We believe in that freedom."

    Do you want to honor the memory of Ronald Reagan, and of all who came before who were Freedom Men and Women, or, in other words, true Americans? Do you want to feel that rightful pride in who and what we are? Then do what is right, with all your might, and fight for freedom. Yes, that means fighting where we can in support of all peace-loving, freedom-loving people around the world, but more importantly, fighting for it right here in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. So much rides on it, for so many.

    "Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God. ... I am told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I am deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inauguration Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer." -- January 20, 1981, First Inaugural Address

    "I also believe this blessed land was set apart in a very special way, a country created by men and women who came here not in search of gold, but in search of God. They would be free people, living under the law with faith in their Maker and their future. Sometimes it seems we've strayed from that noble beginning, from our conviction that standards of right and wrong do exist and must be lived up to." -- February 4, 1982, at the annual National Prayer Breakfast

    "It's said that prayer can move mountains. Well, it's certainly moved the hearts and minds of Americans in their times of trial and helped them to achieve a society that, for all its imperfections, is still the envy of the world and the last, best hope of mankind." -- September 18, 1982, in a radio address to the nation

    Let us fight to reestablish a government that acts according to the principles of true justice, the basis for all true freedom, right here in our own country. As Reagan said:

    "We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life — the unborn — without diminishing the value of all human life." 


    "The real question today is not when human life begins, but, What is the value of human life?"

    Let us re-secure the cornerstone of American liberty, according to the immortal words of the founders of this republic that President Reagan loved to quote:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men..."

    Don't fool yourself. America can never be the "shining city on a hill" that Reagan saw, or John Winthrop saw hundreds of years before Reagan's time, apart from its moral basis. If we continue to slaughter our posterity, and to give way to those who promote sexual licentiousness as a moral good rather than the moral evil that it is, this country will never fulfill its promise. And instead of blessing us, future generations, those who have survived the hell we created for them, will curse our names for having squandered the greatest gift God ever gave any people: Freedom.

    I'm pretty sure that Ronald Reagan would smile if we considered his epitaph to be: "He was a Freedom Man."

    But I'm also confident that even more, he would be pleased if we diligently strive to be Freedom Men and Freedom Women, too.

    And finally, the everlasting words of the One Who Reagan looked to as his Lord and Savior, the ultimate Freedom Man, as recorded in Matthew chapter 25:

    “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

    Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

    “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
    “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
    “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” 

    At its core, that is the stark choice for each of us as individuals, and as a nation, as it has always been for every generation that went before. To quote the great man, it's "a time for choosing."

    If President Reagan was here I would thank him, as I know so many of my fellow Americans would as well, for having made the right choice, for being the man God could use in his time, and for setting such a great example for us all.



    Posted 2011-02-06 10:09 AM (#49047) By: EternalVigilance

    Posted 2011-02-06 10:10 AM (#49048 - in reply to #49047) By: EternalVigilance

    On Saturday, Dick Cheney gave a stunning talk at Reagan’s ranch. He remarked about Reagan’s idealism. This touches the nerve about him. But that was the day when idealism was not such a bad thing. American exceptionalism has close ties to that idealism. (or had) Today that seems reversed: the anti-American sentiment is more idealistic, in its naïve way. It seems praise worthy and wildly popular, especially among leftists and some libertarians.

    At the same time the left wants to compare or associate itself with Reagan’s popular status, they stand his American exceptional idealism on its head. Then, people wanted to embrace Reagans idealism. But today many seem to want to embrace the latter unapologetically. Take a look at the administration now and the background of the WH occupant, they can’t run away from Reagan’s idealism fast enough. 

    We and America miss him. His thoughts, speeches and ideas were timeless.

    Posted 2011-02-06 10:26 AM (#49049 - in reply to #49047) By: FreeByrd

    Posted 2011-02-06 10:43 AM (#49050 - in reply to #49049) By: EternalVigilance

    Last year the left gave us a birds-eye view of their ideology. While the media was so inspired by the national pride exhibited by rescued miners in Chile, they despised the spirit of nationalism in the Tea Parties and made fun of them. The contrast could not have been more obvious. To top it off, Michael Moore told Larry King he wished we had matching jackets here like the Chileans had,  and he thought their national chants were cute. In the same interview he went on a tirade about our national energy policy. 

    Everybody was taken by the story but the hypocrisy was broadcasted in HD. They admire nationalism in other countries, just not here. We’re above that nonsense. (how they get through our national anthem is a wonder.)
    I bet Reagan would chuckle at their maneuvers. 

     "Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation."

    Posted 2011-02-06 12:02 PM (#49056 - in reply to #49049) By: FreeByrd

    Posted 2011-02-06 1:21 PM (#49058 - in reply to #49056) By: EternalVigilance

    Back to the top President Reagan!
    Posted 2011-02-06 2:35 PM (#49062 - in reply to #49058) By: Cousin_Ken

    Don't fool yourself. America can never be the "shining city on a hill" that Reagan saw, or John Winthrop saw hundreds of years before Reagan's time, apart from its moral basis.

    The Gospel at Catholic Mass for today is Matthew 5:13-16:

    Jesus said to His disciples: “You are salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot. You are light for the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a bushel basket; they put it on the lampstand where it gives light to all in the house. In the same way your light must shine before others, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven."

    Posted 2011-02-06 2:40 PM (#49063 - in reply to #49058) By: Philomena

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