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In Amongst the Enemy

The Tomb of President Ronald Reagan

The Tomb of President Ronald Reagan

Today I was surrounded by hundreds of Republicans as I visited the library of their sanctified hero, Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President of the United States.

While he was Governor of California and President of the United States, I hated him with a white-hot heat. With hundreds of fellow UCLA students, I jeered him at an illegal screening of Bedtime for Bonzo (1951), in which the widely disliked Governor of California was paired with a chimpanzee.

But times have changed. Although I disagreed with him on a number of counts, especially the Iran-Contra affair and the sending of U.S. troops to be blown up by one of the first suicide bombers in Lebanon. And yet, I would prefer him to any of the Klown Kar GOP candidates for 2016. There was a certain intelligence and sincerity to him that I would now find refreshing. He could also whip them all in a debate with his hand (and tongue) tied behind his back.

The words on his tomb (above) read: “I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.” That’s not a bad line to be remembered by.

Curiously, Martine and I showed up at the Reagan Library on June 5, 2004, the day Mr. Reagan died. We were interviewed by the Press (though I never saw my interview on TV). At that time, I said I thought that, although I did not agree with many of his policies, I thought he was a superb communicator. I still stand by that opinion.