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Shining City on the Hill or Great Exploiter?

After more than five years of evidence I feel it's time to discuss what I believe is the crucial difference between my favorite President, Ronald Reagan (different from my choice for best President) and the current occupant of the White House, Barak Obama.

Immediately after ascending to the Presidency in 2009, President Obama embarked on (... if I call it an "apology tour" fact-checkers on the left will go crazy but I can come up with something I know I can...) a series of speaking engagements where he appeared to express regret that the US had failed to do some things he thought they should have done.

But it wasn't an apology tour. Honest.

As the President offered regrets regarding certain actions the United States had taken in the past, he stood in stark contrast to another President who was noted for his sunny disposition and constant celebration of the good he saw when he viewed America- yes President Reagan. Instead of traveling the world expressing regret for American actions the 40th President is remembered for speeches touting the greatness of America, the "shining city upon a hill" as he loved to call it. My favorites include the speech at Normandy marking the 40th anniversary of D-Day, the speech at the Berlin Wall in 1987 ("tear down this wall"), and his "Farewell Address".

President Reagan always concentrated on the greatness of America while President Obama seems to concentrate on America's mistakes, and perceived mistakes. And the difference in perspective is reflected in the direction the country takes under each's leadership. Reagan's goal was first and foremost turning the country's economy and self-image around but he also wanted to help other countries succeed by embracing the freedom of democracy and capitalism. President Obama seems to feel this nation has succeeded by exploiting other countries and peoples.

There are consequences to the differences in these two approaches. Reagan's approach first resulted in the remarkable turnaround in the US economy which was described by some as the "American miracle". Reagan's absolute disdain for communism was well known and indirectly resulted in the one scandal of his presidency, Iran-Contra. His hatred of communism stemmed from two things: his love of the United States and his love of freedom- both of which he felt communism threatened. Two quotes- calling the Soviet Union the "Evil Empire" and "tear down this wall" were a result of this. Reagan loved to extoll the virtues of America, President Obama seems to have trouble with this.

Different approaches, different outcomes: Reagan's approach was emphasize the positive without ignoring the mistakes. During his presidency the economy exploded and pride returned to the USA. President Obama's approach seems to be allowing America to sink down to the level of the rest of the world by allowing our economy to stagnate. Never extolling our virtues, increasing dependency on government programs rather than independence through employment (Reagan's famous quote, "I believe the best social program is a job.") President Obama dwells on our mistakes and acts as though we are responsible for all the evil in the world.

Unfortunately the folks likely to control the next few elections are getting information from the likes of Jon Stewart. They have learned that everyone gets an "A" for effort with no idea what the Constitution says, why the American Revolution was different from the French Revolution nor what a Bicameral structure means (look it up). As long as we have a corrupt media and uninformed voters, President Obama's vision for the future of America looks more and more likely.

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