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Resolve, Optimism, and Success – Lessons of America

reagan

Whether we are turning back socialist tendencies, rebuffing bad ideas, lifting good ones, limiting government, advancing growth, solvency, integrity in government, standing down moral or physical enemies, or just renewing our nation’s spiritual strength, engaging in moral combat – resolve matters.

Success is often a function of resolve, resolve a function of inexplicable optimism, often against odds. Examples are many, but the notion that one can get through, over, beyond the difficult – with enough belief, effort, and stomach for grief – are everywhere. In hard times, recalling them is vital.

Ronald Reagan came to office in 1981. In that year, Soviet ground forces hit 180 divisions, with 50,000 tanks, 20,000 artillery pieces, 5,200 helicopters, 3,500 tactical bombers, thousands of nuclear missiles, intermediate and intercontinental. They were leaning forward. International optimists were few.

Reagan inherited an economy in a dark recession. By 1980, Jimmy Carter’s uncorrected mismanagement of energy, economy, debt, spending, and taxes delivered an inflation rate of 18 percent, unemployment of 7.5 percent, interest rates at 20 percent, arrested growth. Domestic optimism was nowhere.

Yet Reagan resolved and never lost a can-do, keep-your-compass, “thumbs-up,” “morning in America” attitude. Looking back, his leadership and resolve – depthless optimism about America, our government, history, and people – rattled the Soviets. 

Reagan seemed to have a window on destiny, know a secret they did not, understand the power of freedom-loving people to surmount obstacles, triumph. Washington had that same secret in the American Revolution, like Churchill, FDR, and the average American soldier in WWII.

Many in the media, doubters within and beyond the Republican Party, many seasoned Democrats, willing to indulge what Reagan was not – including fear, foreboding, end of time – thought he was nuts.

Reagan never wavered. He knew which side was up, where freedom – free people who believe in themselves, limited government, history, and future – leads. He knew tyranny, communism, government dictates, suppression of liberty, command-and-control economies ultimately failed.

In effect, his optimism was born of basic understandings, how human nature works, what lives quietly in Americans, and the timeless, profound instability inherent in government oppression or suppression. 

People who know liberty will not, in the end, give it up.  They will defend it, at home and abroad.  People who do not have liberty, but have the example before them, will seek it, and secure it over time.

Reagan was right.  Ten years after he took office, the Soviet Union – all its saber-rattling power, prestige, suppression, annexation, and centralization – was gone.  Encouraged by freedom, people across Russia and Eastern Europe threw off the yoke, and history swung round hard to Reagan’s view, his optimism.

Colin Powell, Reagan’s National Security Advisor, later Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State, put the principle succinctly. Not without grounding, but with resolve, “perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” In his time, he saw the Soviets fold, democracy rise, along with civil and human rights.

Winston Churchill, no stranger to hard realities, was of similar mind and cracker-jack wit. He intoned, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm,” which reduces to resolve premised on inexhaustible optimism.

None of these three leaders – nor Washington, our Founders, or anyone between their time and ours – who has succeeded, missed the stinging reality:  Hardship comes, courage is needed, a failure is an option. 

But the chances of failure start shrinking, the moment resolve, based on perpetual optimism, kicks in.  We know this from our own lives, in athletics, academics, project, and mission completion.  When at last we resolve to finish the job, win, not give in, the entire calculus changes.

Whether we are turning back socialist tendencies, rebuffing bad ideas, lifting good ones, limiting government, advancing growth, solvency, integrity in government, standing down moral or physical enemies, or just renewing our nation’s spiritual strength, engaging in moral combat – resolve matters.

Reagan said, without need for amplification: “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”  Said Powell, “A dream does not become reality through magic – it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

Nor was Churchill a stranger to the truth.  He knew the power of can-do, summoning 100 percent from those used to giving 50, but he knew too the battle for the future is never won. He wrote, opening one of his books: “Success is not final, failure is not final: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

So, as we churn toward the end of the year, prepare for another, count blessings, fortify spirits, remember another Reagan truism, one as powerful as any he spoke: “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted – it belongs to the brave.” The future is where our resolve and optimism meet whatever comes our way. 


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Karen
4 months ago

I will always admire Ronnie Reagan. He was the REAL President. We miss you Ronnie.
Come back Donald Trump. It is for the best that you win in 2024. Get us back to sanity!!!!!!

RICHARD MEADE
4 months ago

Ronald Reagan will always be my favorite president, and Trump is next.

Joanne 4 justice.
4 months ago

I really believe Biden and Harris are excellent well directed PUPPETS !
PSAKI is a ROBOT ! as evidenced by her controlled flat affect and pre recorded messages!!!! She rarely blinks, or smiles ????? And her appearance always looks the same – —- -never a hair put of Place ?????? Too perfect, is she a human ?????????

Morbious
4 months ago

Reagan was a great man, but the country in 1981 was still dominated by the ww2 generation and it had not been flooded with turd whirled invaders. Resolve is nice but victory would involve massive deportations and the incarceration of the marxists who are poisoning our youth. Are we there yet? Nope. We’re still thinking taking the house will turn the tide. It wont. Sorry, but folks still dont realize the situation we’re in. The reagan years were an archipelago in a sea of marxism. In order for our kids to have any chance the poison must be pulled out by the root. We tolerate incompatible politics and shrug. How about this: if you dont work you not only dont eat you dont vote. That would do nicely. (Vets on disability excepted of course). Btw, the scum im talking about smeared reagan in every possible way. Teddy Kennedy opened his own channel to the sovs to encourage them. Reagan was able to maneuver around them. Trump was hemmed in. I want to be optimistic but ive yet to hear a viable action plan. Positive thinking is not enough.

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Morbious

I didn’t bother posting a comment to this article until I read your post. The idea that we supposedly have to constantly harken back 40 years to the Reagan era to find someone who pushed back against the system to accomplish great things is frankly getting quite tiresome. I realize most of the contributing authors to AMAC don’t particularly like President Trump, because of either his tweets or defeating Jeb Bush in the 2016 primaries, but the man accomplished more positive things for this country in four years than any other President in the last 60 years.

Your comment was correct on many levels Morbious. Yes, Reagan was a great man for his time and a desperately need reprieve after the dismal and frankly embarrassing Carter years. Yet to be completely honest, the United States of 1981 is worlds away from what the United States has devolved into in the present time. The opposition that Reagan faced domestically was nothing compared to the Marxists coming out of the woodwork from multiple directions over the last 20 years. In 1981, the Marxists were still mostly hiding in the shadows and trying to just incrementally sabatoge our system of government. Today they are openly doing it and giving the middle finger to the portion of the American public that isn’t brain dead. The idea of dozens of members of Congress and the entirety of the current Presidential administration openly advocating for socialism or communism would have been greeted in 1981 with a swift response from the overwhelming majority of Americans. Today at least 40 percent of Americans think socialism is great and can’t wait to fully implement it here. I could go on, but you get the idea. We both agree that positive thinking alone isn’t enough to materially change the situation. It takes a solid plan and coordinated action to effect change in anything. Again, very good comment by you.

Max
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

How right you are.

Joanne 4 justice.
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

I agree Today’s Presidential performance involves –many more challenges ( nationally and globally ) as
NEVER before in history . IT REQUIRES STRONG ACTION(S) TO DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY AGAINST SOCIALIST AND COMMUNIST ENEMIES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phillip Ridenour
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

I wonder if the author’s intent was not so much to encourage optimism in taking back to the House in ’22 as it was to encourage resolve in fighting the Marxists. You’re right in saying winning the political fight won’t make a difference, but winning the cultural fight will.

Joanne 4 justice.
4 months ago
Reply to  Morbious

I find it quite amazing how much Reagan is “eulogized ” and respected as a great POLITICIAN even if his “roots ” and major occupation was in entertainment industry in the professional acting field !..
IN CONTRAST , Donald Trump was insulted and given a lot of bad press .and continuous grief Ie 2 ludicrous impeachment attempts etc etc and was not even given credit ( for the
huge achievements ) in making America great and our life better! Even some in his own party were not supportive of him?
however THIS “CEO” did a fantastic job as our nation’s leader.!! His PERFORMANCE outshines that of the MISFITS NOW IN the WH. And many professional idiots who are taking up space in Congress as well!
TRUMP DELIVERED LEADERSHIIP , INTEGRITY AND MADE INTELLIGENT , INFORMED DECISIONS ! His actions promoted US to be energy efficient , increased job opportunities ( for those who actually wanted to work for a living )
He did not advocate -HUMAN TRAFFICKING across open borders, nor did he tolerate MURDER OF FETUS AND INFANTS VIA ANYTIME ABORTION ! he did not DESERT AFGHANISTAN AND RISK LIVES OF AMERICANS THAT WERE LEFT STRANDED!!!!!!!! He advocated for our -DEMOCRACY —— DEFENDED USA FROM GLOBAL PERP NATIONS WHO THREATEN TAIWAN AND UKRAINE !!!! HANDLED COVID CRISIS WELL and imposed appropriate travel restrictions! HOWEVER, blundering Mr Biden called him XENOPHOBIC ?????? ????
Trump delivered POSITIVE RESULTS ! Biden delivers PROBLEMS AND DISASTERS ! !!!!!!
LETS GO BRANDON ! GET OUT , AND TAKE YOUR SOCIALIST DEM COMRADES WITH YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!

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Marian Barchilon
4 months ago

Enjoyed this article very much. Great wisdom stands the test of time.

anna hubert
4 months ago

Resolve success optimism and self reliance are not in the new dictinoary to use them would brand you reactionary

Rik
4 months ago

Jackass Jimmy can now die knowing that Jackass Joe has already surpassed him as “Worst President in American History”!
. . . I never would have thought that was even possible but Jackass Joe has proven me wrong!

Hal
4 months ago
Reply to  Rik

Jackass Jimmy was an out of touch POTUS, China Buck Fiden is an unAmerican POTUS! Moreso, Biden is a lot out of touch with the majority of USA citizens. Biden is a perfect example of the need for term limits on Congressmen.

Joanne 4 justice.
4 months ago
Reply to  Hal

Biden and Harris serve their purpose well ……. they are good obedient puppets ! I think Psaki is a ROBOT ; if you look at her demeanor of dead pan facial expression , concrete thinking , flat affect etc , etc she rarely blinks, and appears to NEVER EVER emote any emotion, or fervor in her programmed speeches . SOUNDS LIKE PRE RECORDED MESSAGES !!!!!! What do you folks think ??????

Phillip Ridenour
4 months ago

I think she’s butt ugly. As well as a liar.

Phillip Ridenour
4 months ago
Reply to  Hal

I like Bongino’s term for Biden: not POTUS, but PINO. President in name only

Bill T
4 months ago

Ronald Reagan was a true lover of his country and ALL ITS GREAT GREAT PEOPLE,he gave our country hope and a purpose to become the greatest country to ever exist, especially after the arguably WORST PRESIDENT EVER! ( but our fearless leader and present president has surpassed all others ! One year in and more damage has been inflicted on our people already than all other leftist liberal leaders combined, and believe me that’s a difficult task! We desperately need another REAGAN and must reverse the sabotage already put in place during this disaster. I knew Biden was a terrible politician and totally compromised but what he already accomplished in less than a year is simply unbelievable. God bless and help us all. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL. And our gift is a lame duck president after 2022!

Hal
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill T

Well said!

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