Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor
Volume IV, Special 'Super Tuesday' Issue
One Man's Journey, A Lesson
Time for a pop quiz: Who was the only U.S. President who was also a union president? If you guessed Ronald Reagan, President of the Screen Actors Guild, a labor union for movie actors and part of the AFL, you would be correct. Up until the 1950s Reagan was an avid liberal Democrat. He supported the New Deal and was even mentioned as a possible president for the AFL!
His Father, Jack Reagan, was a working class Irish Catholic and held a minor position in the WPA during the New Deal. Young Ronald attended Eureka College, where he became known as a "jack of all trades," excelling in athletics, campus politics and theatre. He was elected student body president and led a student revolt against the college president. Yes, you heard me right. The then liberal Reagan was a campus protester! He earned a degree in Economics in 1932.
After college, Reagan was a sports announcer, then an actor.He remained a Democrat well into the 1950's. As president of the Screen Actors Guild though, he fought against Communist infiltration and testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Peggy Noonan says of him: "Even in his zeal to purge the Communist influence from Hollywood, he fought those who engaged in witch hunts and defended those who had been falsely accused of involvement."
Actively supporting Richard Nixon's Presidential aspirations in 1960, Reagan parted ways with the party that he said had "left him." In 1962 he officially became a Republican, having rejected what he called the "tax-and-spend liberalism" of the modern Democrat Party. In 1964 Reagan might have created the first "Money Bomb" when he raised eight million dollars for Presidential Hopeful Barry Goldwater. Though Goldwater lost, Reagan's "Time for Choosing" speech won him a place in the rising Conservative movement. His thoughtful statement of policy won over many an old-time liberal and served him well as California's Governor and President of the United States.
Why Reagan Loves Romney
Although Romney once did not support Reagan, history supports the notion that Reagan would truely identify with Mitt's pilgrimage. In fact, one who has participated in the large-state model may be most uniquely qualified to speak to its weaknesses. Reagan Understood well the policies he criticized as well as the policies he crafted. Might the depth of his understanding be the quality that is at the heart of his being the "Great Communicator?"