Ronald Reagan changed the world more than any man in the 20th century. Of that there is no doubt in my mind.

He ended the Cold War by challenging the Soviet Union. He popularized supply-side economics. He restored hope in Americans. He renewed the world’s faith in our country as that “shining city on a hill.”

But others can address more eloquently what Ronald Reagan meant to the nation and the world.

Today, as we’re still dealing emotionally with the loss of the greatest president in my lifetime, I want to tell you what Ronald Reagan meant to me. What he meant to me personally. How he not only changed the world but changed my life.

And I never even met him.

I grew up in a second-generation American home where Franklin D. Roosevelt was an icon and voting Democratic was an article of faith.

Amid the cynicism of the Watergate scandal and the national demoralization that came in its wake, I was naturally inspired by the presidential candidacy of a man who seemed like a non-politician from Georgia in 1976 – a man named Jimmy Carter. But after four years of official ineptitude, even Jimmy Carter could see America was mired in a national “malaise.” He just didn’t know he was as responsible as anyone.

Along came Ronald Reagan.

He was upbeat. He smiled. He was confident. He had faith in the country. He recognized the enemy. He rallied Americans to a common goal of expanding freedom here and abroad. He had a clear vision of where he wanted to lead the country, and most Americans recognized it and embraced it.

I did not. I was a slow learner. As a young member of the media elite, I was still trapped in an old mindset. I feared that Ronald Reagan, as his adversaries and most of my colleagues warned, would “blow up the world.”

I’m somewhat ashamed to say today I voted again for Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory in 1980 helped awaken me. I wanted to know why I was so out of touch with the rest of the country. I began reading more about Reagan’s ideas, about his philosophy. I read Whittaker Chambers’ “Witness.” I read other books that had impacted the new president. And, lo and behold, they began to make sense to me.

At the same time, I took notice of the fact that our hostages in Iran, taken during Jimmy Carter’s presidency, were immediately released as Reagan was sworn into office. It seemed to me the Islamo-fascists in Tehran were afraid of this new cowboy in the White House – and that was a good thing for the hundreds of Americans trapped in our Embassy for more than a year.

Over the next year or two, I saw something happen in America. When President Reagan would seek re-election in 1984, he would characterize it as “morning in America.” It was a new dawn. It was a new day. The whole nation felt better about itself. We knew who we were as Americans again, thanks to the leadership of Ronald Reagan.

And I finally started to get it, too.

Ronald Reagan taught me about freedom – what it really means.

I do not exaggerate today when I say that much of what I have accomplished in my life since, with God’s help, would not have been achieved without Ronald Reagan’s influence and inspiration.

There would be no WorldNetDaily.

There would be no daily column.

There would be no nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column by me.

There would be no “Taking America Back.”

There would be no WND Books.

There would be no Whistleblower magazine.

There would be no WorldNetDaily Radioactive.

There would be no Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

And that’s just Ronald Reagan’s impact on one person. Think of all the ways he has affected the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans and others around the world.

It’s truly amazing how God can use one man to help transform the lives of so many others.

It was a wonderful life.

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