Yesterday was Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday celebration. Yes, he wasn’t here to participate in the remembrance, but I believe he was watching.
I couldn’t be at either of those events, but I did attend a fine Reagan Symposium at Regent University in Virginia Beach. This is an annual event that attracts the best Reagan/conservative scholars in America.
The most well-known speakers, due to television exposure, were Michael Barone and Bill Kristol. Stephen Hayward, who has authored two massive volumes on the age of Reagan, was there, as was George Nash, arguably “the” historian of modern American conservatism. His seminal book, The Conserative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945, is one of the texts in my Ronald Reagan and Modern American Conservatism course. I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak with him.
The theme of the symposium was a discussion of the concept of American exceptionalism. In what ways might America be considered exceptional? How does one define that term? What was Reagan’s understanding of the uniqueness of America and what it has offered the world? It was an excellent sharing of viewpoints—glad I could be part of it.
Ronald Reagan’s reputation has only grown over time, as even those who didn’t like him have to admit, however grudgingly, that he had a well-informed worldview and a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve as president.
Happy birthday, President Reagan.