The myriad Republican candidates running for president have invoked the name of Ronald Reagan, one of our most beloved presidents, more than any other time since he held office a quarter century ago.
It’s probably because Reagan’s name reminds us of a simpler time when things were good; the economy was up and the Soviets were on their way out, America was great.
Nowadays, the country is divided between red and blue, east and west, poor versus rich and we yearn for the simplicity of a time when the country could look to a charismatic actor from California and believe everything would be okay.
That doesn’t mean, however, that any of today’s Republican candidates could be that man and in an effort to answer that question Politico Magazine sat down with Ronald Reagan’s two sons before the second Republican presidential debate.
What they found were two people who were shocked that the country could compare any of the current Republican candidates to their father, let alone billionaire Donald Trump.
Calling many of the 16 Republicans running for president manufactured candidates, liberal commentator Ron Reagan said his father was their polar opposite; a serious politician with charisma who had a will to govern, not a charlatan out to get attention.
Ron told Politico that Trump was the Republican least like his father with his outrageous comments crafted to make headlines and his ostentatious display of wealth.
“It’s just so unchivalrous. My father would recoil at that sort of thing.”
Ron went on to question why the American public has such a fascination with the billionaire saying Trump is simply a class clown who has made a lot of noise in a field overrun with Republican candidates.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) September 15, 2015
Meanwhile, Michael Reagan, a conservative political strategist who hosted a talk radio show for 26 years, told Politico today’s field of Republican candidates are recreating former President Reagan in their image and likeness, not the other way around.
“Ronald Reagan would never take 11 million people or three million people or a million people and throw them out of the United States of America.”
He also questioned Trump’s attitude toward his fellow Republicans and his ability to reach a consensus even in his own party.
“Trump Republicans bash everyone in the building and blow it up on the way out. Ronald Reagan rebuilds the building as he goes through it. What about that 11th commandment? Thou shall not speak ill of another Republican.”
As Americans consider the aftermath of the second Republican debate maybe they should take a note from one of the most beloved leaders of our time and consider the dignity of the office these candidates are running for.