Every February, Republicans across America honor our party’s first – and many would argue the greatest ever – president, Abraham Lincoln. Homage is paid in the form of a feast known as the Lincoln Day Dinner.
The nation’s 16th president, who erased the pockmark of slavery while ultimately keeping the Union whole, is surely worthy of this obeisance. But so, too, is another great Republican president, arguably the greatest of the 20th century, if not one of the greatest of all time – Ronald Wilson Reagan. Consider:
Reagan was chiefly responsible for the West winning the Cold War, thus bringing the end to an evil empire which had killed, tortured, impoverished and subjugated hundreds of millions of people. Reagan also stood forcefully athwart the trend to dissolve the principles upon which our nation was founded. Rather than letting America succumb to the malaise he inherited, he restored our national faith and pride. He presided over what was then the longest peacetime economic expansion we’d ever seen. In so doing, he attained a record since unbroken – 525 electorate votes in 1984, the most ever in any presidential election. The Gipper came within a whisker of being the first presidential candidate since the founders to sweep every state.
Like Lincoln, Reagan was born in February. Both men had humble mid-western roots. Lincoln was born in a log cabin and later lived with his family in a dugout in the side of a hill. Reagan was born in Illinois – the Land of Lincoln – in an apartment above a bakery, to an alcoholic father who was sporadically unemployed. Both men had a deep, abiding faith in God that was the foundation of their philosophical underpinnings.
Our Democrat counterparts annually celebrate Jefferson-Jackson Day, in deference to two of their greatest presidents.
It is high time the Grand Old Party pay homage to both the Great Communicator and the Great Emancipator with an annual Lincoln-Reagan Day feast.