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Ronald Reagan’s ‘Anniversary’

Today is the anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Despite being seriously injured, Reagan’s humorous remarks (which were first told to the public by Lyn Nofziger), went a long way toward reassuring the nation:

“When one of the doctors said they were going to operate on me, I said, ‘I hope you’re a Republican.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Today, Mr. President, we’re all Republicans.’ I also remember saying, after one of the nurses asked me how I felt, ‘[All in all, I’d rather be in Philadelphia’ – the old W. C. Fields line.”

This was a very dangerous time, and I believe America was on the precipice of disaster. You have to remember, this was at a time when we had a series of leaders, such as JFK, MLK, RFK, Malcolm X, and even John Lennon — had all been slain. America was still trying to recover from Vietnam, there were hostages, etc. Keeping in mind the depressing state of the country at the time, there is no telling what the ramifications of Reagan’s death might have been…

And I’m not talking about how the conservative movement would have been affected if Reagan had died before his Revolution — I’m talking about whether or not America would be America if Reagan had died.

If you haven’t read “When Character Was King,” you should. It is a great book. But perhaps the most important thing I got out of it was just how close Ronald Reagan was to dying. There are times in our history when it appears there was Divine intervention. And, to me, this was one of them.

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Written By

Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at MattLewis.org.

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