George Will on the R…
George Will on the Reagan Legacy:

Ronald Reagan, unlike all but 10 or so Presidents, was a world figure whose career will interest historians for centuries, and centuries hence his greatness will be, and should be, measured primarily by what happened in Europe, as a glorious echo of his presidency, in the three years after he left the White House. What happened was the largest peaceful revolution in history, resulting in history’s largest emancipation of people from tyranny—a tyranny that had deadened life for hundreds of millions of people from the middle of Germany to the easternmost of Russia’s 11 time zones.

However, Reagan will also be remembered for his restoration of American confidence that resulted in a quickening tempo of domestic life. During his first term, the most remarkable run of wealth creation in the history of this or any other nation began.

Continue reading to find out how Will believes that Reagan paved the way for the economic boom that continued through the 90s, and how firing the striking air traffic controllers set the stage for his showdown with the Soviet Union. He ends with this:

So as memories of the Cold War fade, Reagan is remembered more for the tax cutting and deregulating that helped, with the information technologies, to shift the economy into a hitherto unknown overdrive. But the truth is that Reagan always thought that winning the Cold War and revving up the American model of wealth creation were parts of the same project. That project was to convince the watching world that the American social and political model—pluralism, the rule of law, allocation of wealth and opportunity mostly by markets and maximum diffusion of decision making—is unrivaled. To the extent that anything in history can ever be said to be completed, that project has been.

Reagan always believed that the world was watching America. Indeed, he thought the point of America was to be watched—to be exemplary. Hence the complete sincerity of his reiterated references to the City on the Hill. And when the democratic revolution against communism came, Tiananmen Square in Beijing and Wenceslas Square in Prague and points in between rang with the rhetoric of America’s third and 16th presidents. The 40th president was not surprised.

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