Ronald Reagan, so they say, made us feel good about ourselves. His boundless optimism, often based on stories in movies that he mistakenly remembered as real, was nice. After successfully invading that rising threat, the weevil empire and huge nation known as Grenada, he proudly announced we were once again, after the kerfuffle in Vietnam, "walking tall." So there's that. And his nice smile, his very good hair. I don't discount them, either.
Well, there's an argument to be made -- and make it they do, like breathing (while simultaneously ignoring his lily-livered America-hating born-again nuclear disarmament position) -- that Ronnie ended the Cold War, single-handedly defeated the Soviet Union. Well, that and the emergence of Mikhael Gorbachev, decades of rusting of an unsustainable system (heck, even as a clueless college kid traveling the USSR during the height of the Cold War I saw the crumblings), and a Polish Pope who inspired hope on that side of the curtain. Crappy cars, shoddy shoes, busted buildings making for tiring tovarishchs. But to whatever extent it's deserved, let's give the man credit. I just wish he hadn't sewn the seeds of our own economic calamities in the process.