Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Lindsay Perigo: Why Ronny Rocks!

Originally broadcast by Lindsay Perigo on Radio Pacific's Politically Incorrect Show.

Lindsay Perigo: Why Ronny Rocks!

Yesterday Larry King interviewed Nancy Reagan - it was her husband's 90th birthday. She was not an easy interview, seldom venturing beyond a single sentence & often confining herself to "Oh yes" or "Oh no" in her answers. I can tell you from experience that interviewers dread interviews like that, where they end up having to do more talking than their subject. Yet - at least for someone like me who has always had a soft spot for "Ronnie" - it was riveting. Larry coaxed Nancy into talking a little about the time her husband wrote THAT letter, the one in which he announced his Alzheimers disease. There had been little forewarning, notwithstanding the jibes of those who now gleefully insinuated that Reagan had been senile for the entirety of his presidency. The disease in fact was still in its early stages, & Ronnie was certainly still compos mentis enough to tell his countrymen with eloquent clarity what was going on, as the handwritten note in which he did so showed.

Why would I, as a libertarian, have a soft spot for a conservative like Reagan? For one thing, I relished the fact that crimped so-called liberals of my acquaintance - sneering, snide state-worshippers of one kind or another - hated the thought that he was in the White House. He had buried their own man, Jimmy Carter, in a landslide, & they loathed him for it. That made me feel terrific. The words "President Reagan" were music to my ears.

I loved much of Reagan's rhetoric. Run a mile, he advised, from anyone who says, "Hi, I'm from the government & I'm here to help you." Though his concept of freedom was flawed, he spoke often & soaringly of his "shining city on the hill." His description of freedom's #1 enemy at the time, the Soviet Union, as an "evil empire" provoked a firestorm of indignation among the empire's fellow-travellers - a storm that Reagan weathered with his characteristic, twinkling equanimity. He stood in a divided Berlin & threw down a historic challenge - "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Not long after, Mr Gorbachev did - aided by thousands of ordinary Berliners attacking the despised edifice with anything they could find.

What I thought was best about Reagan was his spirit. The man could lift you to the stars. "The future belongs to the brave," he said as he reassured Americans that space exploration would continue even after the Challenger disaster. The dead astronauts, he said, had "touched the face of God." He saw the big picture, & was content to let others dot the 'i's & cross the 't's. When these others were gathered with him around the cabinet table, he would fall asleep - displaying, to my mind, an impeccable sense of priorities. Yesterday, Larry King read a love letter Reagan had written to Nancy from the Oval Office. It wouldn't melt the hearts of the crimped "liberals" I referred to earlier, since they have no hearts to melt - but to any normal human being it would bespeak a man of singular sincerity & decency.

Let the last words be his, said to an audience of students in the heart of the "evil empire" at Moscow State University in 1988. Ponder these words, & wonder if we will ever again hear them from an American president:

"The explorers of the modern era are the entrepreneurs, men with vision, with the courage to take risks & faith enough to brave the unknown. These entrepreneurs & their small enterprises are responsible for almost all of the economic growth in the United States. They are the prime movers of the technological revolution. In fact, one of the largest personal computer firms in the United States was started by two college students, no older than you, in the garage behind their home ...

"We Americans make no secret of our belief in freedom. In fact, it's something of a national pastime. Freedom is the right to question & change the established way of doing things. It is the continuing revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows us to recognise shortcomings & seek solutions. It is the right to put forth an idea, scoffed at by the experts, & watch it catch fire among the people. It is the right to dream - to follow your dream & stick to your conscience, even if you're the only one in a sea of doubters."

- For Lindsay Perigo's daily "Politically Incorrect Show" editorials, visit: or listen to Radio Pacific from noon to 2pm weekdays.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Ian Powell: Health Minister Behaves Badly Towards Nurses

Arguably Minister of Health Andrew Little is the MP in the New Zealand Parliament with the greatest experience and knowledge of collective bargaining between employers and unions... More>>

Richard S. Ehrlich: U.S. Sees "Threat" In The Golden Triangle

In Southeast Asia's crime-infested Golden
Triangle, Chinese entrepreneur Zhao Wei is constructing a sprawling
casino resort and airstrip despite being sanctioned by the U.S.
Treasury Department as a "threat to the United States" because of his
"horrendous illicit activities"... More>>

Peter Dunne: The Steadily Eroding Sands Of Credibility

The ever-shifting sands of the Covid19 vaccination programme are increasingly eroding the credibility of this government.
In January the Prime Minister proclaimed that 2021 would be the “Year of the vaccine” – much the same way as she had promised 2019 would be the “Year of Delivery... More>>

Podcast: Buchanan + Manning On Cyber-Attacks And The Evolution Of Hybrid Warfare

Paul G. Buchanan and Selwyn Manning present this week’s podcast, A View from Afar with a deep-dive into cyber-attacks and hybrid warfare – Especially how 2021 has witnessed a Cold War II styled stand-off between global powers... More>>

Climate Explained: Is New Zealand Losing Or Gaining Native Forests?

Apart from wetlands, land above the treeline, coastal dunes and a few other exceptions, New Zealand was once covered in forests from Cape Reinga to Bluff. So was Europe, which basically consisted of a single forest from Sicily in southern Italy to the North Cape in Norway, before human intervention... More>>

Sydney Mockdown: The Delta Variant Strikes

It is proving to be an unfolding nightmare. For a government that had been beaming with pride at their COVID contract tracing for months, insisting that people could live, consume and move about with freedom as health professionals wrapped themselves round the virus, the tune has changed... More>>