For a political candidate, there’s nothing quite like telling the American public the truth. At least that’s the conclusion from several experts at a panel asking the question for today’s generation: “What would Reagan do?”
The event, sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation, featured Mark Tapscott, a former member of the Reagan administration and now an editorial page editor of “The Washington Examiner.”
“Reagan believed there was no substitute for telling the American people the truth,” he said.
On the fourth anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s death, Tapscott was joined on the panel by Rebecca Cox, another former member of Reagan’s administration, and Congressman John Shadegg of Arizona.
They speculated what Reagan would do now.
Though presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama has great communication skills like Reagan had, said Tapscott, he “doesn’t have the genuine convictions that make him credible.”
Reagan was a political figure that “engender[ed] good feelings from both sides,” said Frank Donatelli, chairman of the Reagan Ranch Board of Directors.
Tapscott and Cox, onetime Reagan assistant for public liaison and now a vice president at Continental Airlines, said the next president must be honest with a trustworthy American people.
Cox said she hopes the American people “see through” the charismatic senator, adding that she thinks the American people are smart enough to know the how some Obama policies would spark dramatic tax increases.
Reagan challenged the American people to do great things and to take care of their own lives, Tapscott said. He quoted Reagan, who said, “Government is not the solution. Government is the problem.”
Cox and Tapscott agreed that Reagan’s convictions drove his actions, which marks a good president.
“My advice to the next president is: Trust the people,” said Cox.
Shadegg echoed the sentiments of the other panelists when he said that “[Americans] already have the freedom, we just have to fight for it.”
When asked how Reagan would face a long war, Donatelli said, “I have no doubt that he would see it through.”
Panelists said that if the next president acted like Reagan, who approached a struggling economy and international unrest at the time of his presidency, he might revive optimism and succeed, like Reagan did, at becoming one of America’s great leaders.
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