Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Ronald Reagan, R.I.P.

Last night Tiny Princess asked me who "Reagan" was; she'd heard the name all day on the radio. I told her he was President when I was a girl. She wanted to know what he did while he was President. But I found myself unable to explain the evils of communism, or how Reagan stood up to fight them, to a six-year-old girl. I'd told her already that Saddam Hussein was a bad man who took all the freedom and money away from his people so that the kids could not have food or toys, and the soldiers went in and caught him and made Iraq free. But how could I explain how communism was a metastasizing cancer on the world? How Reagan ended the Cold War through arms buildups and deadly serious attitudes toward our defense? How the 1980 elections were the first that I was old enough to follow in school? How I'd tried to understand what was going on in the country and think about which candidate was best? How I spent my post-college years trying to figure out what exactly it was that Reagan really did, as opposed to what everyone said he did?

I really don't have anything to say about Reagan that hasn't already been said, except what I say to my children about him. And I find myself at a loss for words.