Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

President Reagan

reagan1President Ronald Reagan passed away today at the age of 93. Reagan easily had a greater impact on my political beliefs and view of politics than anyone else. I was 10 years old when he was first elected president and 18 when he left office. I've read a number of books about him and his presidency. I greatly miss his sense of decency, his respect for the American people, his civility with his opponents, and his complete optimism and faith in America.

reagan2There is such a wonderful tradition in this country of honoring political figures who have passed, regardless of party. I cherish these moments when opponents and friends alike share warm memories and focus on the overriding qualities of a person. I especially appreciated the kind words John Kerry had to say, and his decision to cancel campaign activities for the week. I have no respect for those who insist on making political points in these moments of sadness, without respect for a person's legacy or his family.

From politics to sports to business, we are such better people when we can respect our opponents, speak highly of their qualities and good intentions, and compete in fairness, honoring those on the other side.

So much of the appeal of John McCain for me personally lies in his kind words and respect for his opponents. He is able to defend and oppose while largely avoiding character attacks.

God bless the former President and his family.