Reagan Tribute Exclusive:Clark: Reagan Respected Every Human Being

From William Clark:

Ronald Reagan’s record of public service reveals throughout that no moral issue was of greater importance to him than the dignity and sanctity of all human life. His beliefs were established early in life, in the spiritual environment inspired by his devoted and devout mother Nelle, with the backing of Jack Reagan, his fiercely humanitarian father.

While he often challenged the words and actions of his political adversaries, I cannot recall an unkind word that the President uttered against another person. I cannot think of any personal attack he ever made on anyone in the many years I worked with him, again, out of respect for each human being.

“The real question today,” he would say, “is not necessarily when human life begins, but what is the true value and meaning of human life.” And in his famous March 1983 “Evil Empire” speech, which most remember simply as an indictment of Communist Russia, he inveighed strongly against all government denigrating the value of innocent human life, again referring specifically to legalized abortion, over the objection of his political advisors. “The issue will not go away,” he stated, “until the American people–not the Courts–decide it.”

The assassination attempt in 1981 was considered by the President a wake-up call, driving him onward even more forcefully in his spiritual role. Thereafter, the world witnessed his increasing courage and action in the war of good against evil, the basis of his policy of peace through military and moral strength. Aggressively implemented, that policy led as he predicted to our shift from Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) to his Nuclear Zero Option, to the fall of the Berlin Wall and ultimately to the dissolution of the Soviet Empire itself.

The American public–which he frequently asserted is far wiser than the government–will remember Ronald Reagan for what he truly was–a champion of all that is right and true and just; a firm believer in and practitioner of all that makes America great; and a defender of the innocent, young and old alike.

–Mr. Clark was National Security
Advisor and Secretary of the
Interior in the Reagan Administration