Wednesday, June 20, 2007
On this day:

Anniston Star publisher: Reagan diaries reveal a "man who brought with him no overarching philosophical principles"

Liberals have criticized Ronald Reagan for everything under the sun, but until I read this op-ed by Anniston Red Star chairman, publisher, and Grand Pooh-bah Brandt Ayers, I don't believe I had ever heard anyone - even a liberal - say that Mr. Reagan was unprincipled. In his June 3 column, Mr. Ayers wrote:

How fitting that Ronald Reagan's diaries should be published at a time when we can see the end of an era his spirit dominated: an era that extolled corporate wealth, conventional values and militant democracy.

The narrative of his presidency, told in simple, unadorned language, reveals a straightforward, uncomplicated man who brought with him no overarching philosophical principles, who wrestled with no internal demons such as the ones that plagued Nixon, nor anguished over decisions as Johnson did on Vietnam.

How anyone could live through the Reagan presidency, or listen to his speeches, or read his writings (including his recently-released diaries), and still conclude that he had "no overarching philosophical principles" is beyond me. Men of the Left like Mr. Ayers may not have liked President Reagan's political philosophy, but the fact that he had one is a matter that is beyond serious dispute.

Mr. Ayers is a serious man, though. It's just that in this case, it appears that he is serious only in his desire to disparage Ronald Reagan. I say that because just three years ago, Ayers was singing a different tune - accusing President Reagan of being too principled. In a column dated July 11, 2004, a little over a month after President Reagan passed away, Mr. Ayers wrote:
[Reagan's] intellectual curiosity ended when he quit reading Reader’s Digest as his political career began to absorb him. From that point on, every new thought or deed had to fit in the tight box of his conservative philosophy.

Gee whiz. And they say that President Reagan was a man of contradictions.