Discussing
Reagan and the ranking of leaders

Andy Rau

Paulvanderklay
February 22, 2011

People tend to evaluate presidents like they evaluate most things: how well did that person/movement advance the items they value. Evaluation usually says more about the evaluator than the evaluatee. :) pvk

Bmh
February 22, 2011

"So how should we judge national leaders?"

First, foremost and always by true humility...now if we could just find ONE who exhibits it.

Carla
February 22, 2011

As Christians, we should be striving to be like Christ. Therefore, any question regarding how we should approach something in secular society from a Christian view point should be molded around the question, how did Jesus do such things? How did Jesus rate political leaders? The answer is He didn't. If you look at His ministry and His sermons while He walked the earth, He didn't get involved in politics. He knew politics were divisive and had the potential to destroy His message. Am I saying that Christians should be uninvolved in politics? Not completely. But we need to be careful not to put our faith in politics or political leaders and to put our faith whole heartedly in Christ Jesus. A great book to read on this topic is Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne. Or check out www.3-foldcord.com
Thanks for your thought-provoking post!

Rickd
February 22, 2011

I wouldn't use the qualifications of a house church elder to evaluate the president of the US. What do we expect from our presidents? That they would advance the cause of freedom and democracy abroad. That we would avoid wars when possible and win them when necessary. That they would advance economic prosperity and liberty at home for the most people while evading the peril of future debt.

I can't think of any president that better fits those criteria than Reagan. I met the man and followed him for a day with my press credentials. What a genuinely decent and admirable guy.

solid4JC
February 23, 2011

Not being American I suppose my evaluation of Ronald Reagan would be coloured by the democracy I have lived in my home countries --Great Britain & New Zealand. I am afraid his 'cheerful & likeable' persona seemed more to do with acting abilities than sincerity -- maybe he had mastered acting sincerly ? Surely the fruits of what he did as leader of the most wealthy, warlike nation on earth would be how he would be judged? The America he left would have more to do with the phrases Ideologue-Shrewd-strident - Disenfranchised the poor.In other words extremly Right Wing. If Paulvanderklay is right I have just shown that this evaluator is a Left Wing christian who believes leaders should be real, open & with the poor & weak of his-her- Nation at heart.

SiarlysJenkins
February 25, 2011

I suspect that the reason Reagan appeared sometimes clueless, and took unplanned afternoon naps, is that he already had early-stage Alzheimer's Disease by the time he entered the White House. He wasn't there to make decisions, he had a cold-hearted, hard-headed team to do that, all of whom knew what they wanted to get done. He did a lot of damage to America. George Bush did, however, make me nostalgiac for Ronald Reagan, just as Reagan made me nostalgiac for George W. Bush.

Who was our greatest president? Abraham Lincoln would top my list, a man who could pursue his duties in a constitutional manner while always seeking God, speak freely of God without giving the slightest implication that he was establishing a religion, knew how to be true to his conscience while moving exactly as fast as public opinon would tolerate. Much as I am grateful for the New Deal, I can't add Roosevelt high up the list. He was in many ways a rather venal man who simply rode the wave that was there to ride.

It is too soon to elevate Barack Obama. I'm definitely going to vote for him again, but no president should be considered "great" until twenty or fifty years have passed.

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