Who is Your Favorite President?
I mean in your lifetime, or one you know well by study or hearing about them. Mine is definitely Ronald Reagan, I loved the optimistic tone he inspired the whole country with. He loved America. After his Presidency, I learned the bible verse he adopted for his Presidency (all Presidents have had a key verse). His was 2 Chronicles 7:14, which you would only pick if you love your country and want the best for it. He believed in America, and capitalism as it’s engine. He knew that engine needed a cleaning and stoking, and he did that by lowering taxes, increasing much needed military spending with great success. His tax cuts increased federal revenues by about 1/3, because it grew the economic pie, there was more for everyone.
One day, the question struck me. Who was Ronald Reagan’s favorite President? Who did he look to for Presidential inspiration; did he ever name the man?
It turns out, Reagan definitely had a favorite President; one not as well known as him, but very inspirational to him! One thing I clearly remember about Ronald Reagan was when the Air Traffic Controllers Union went on strike. This incensed President Reagan, just as a similar strike incensed his favorite President, when he was Governor of Massachusetts. Neither man thought that public servants should be able to strike when public safety was put at risk. The thinking of the Air Traffic Controllers Union was “What is he going to do, fire us all?”. President Reagan gave them warning, then anyone who didn’t show back up to work by the deadline, was fired. It was actually a great blessing for many Arab countries who hired our experienced, professional Air Traffic Controllers.
That was the exact same thinking the Massachusetts State Troopers had when they went on strike under Reagan’s hero (if I might use that term). Well, Reagan’s inspiration, as Governor took over command of the Troopers, warned them that if they weren’t back at work Monday, they would all be fired. The Troopers thought he was bluffing, how could he do that? But, any Trooper not back at work, was fired and he hired all new replacements while personally overseeing the department.
This inspirational figure also cut Federal spending as President, he treated the Federal budget like his own, scrutinizing all expenditures and not wanting to needlessly tax his fellow Americans. He oversaw the depression you never heard of in the early 1920s. There as an economic dip, which could have spiraled downward. But because this President cut spending, then followed with a tax cut, that big American engine of capitalism was stoked and revved hard, accelerating out of what could have been a bad recession. Proper management enlightened by conservative principles prevented further economic contraction. Reagan remembered that too. In the early part of his life in Hollywood, Reagan identified as a Democrat, until Socialists started to recruit him. He did quite a bit of thinking on political philosophies, and then became a Republican.
So have you figured out Reagan’s hero? It was Republican President Calvin Coolidge, President from 1923-1929. When you understand how Coolidge thought and acted, you can see how President Reagan reflected that in his Presidency. He truly was inspired by Coolidge’s principled leadership and love of the unique American people, government and economy. I’m glad I learned about our somewhat forgotten conservative inspiration.
So who was your favorite President, and do you know who their inspiration was? I think it’s worth knowing.