Demand Competence from Parties, Politicians, and the Press

Occasionally, one stumbles upon a video on YouTube that provides lessons and truths that we have all but forgotten as a country today. The Oval Office interview with President Reagan on December 3, 1987 is one such video. He is interviewed by Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, and Bernard Shaw, 13 months before he leaves office. Much of the interview is related to the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, visiting the United States to finalize a hoped-for nuclear arms reduction treaty.

The video begins with some banter between the President and the network anchors before the broadcast starts. Reagan is comfortable and the anchors are cordial and respectful. Reagan tells a story about his mother.

The first thing I noticed when the broadcast actually begins is that the only people with notes are the anchors. Reagan is sitting in a chair without anything in his hands and there is no teleprompter. At this point in his presidency, he is supposed to be suffering with dementia. Maybe he had lost a step, but he was lucid and compelling in his answers. The contrast with President Biden could not be starker.

An honest liberal or Democrat will be impressed with Reagan’s grasp of facts and numbers and how he gave straightforward answers to complex questions. The video highlights that the country is in a compromised position when the president is not able to handle the kind of interview Reagan did in December of 1987. This is not a partisan point, but does beg the question, how did we get here?

We forgot the world is a complex and dangerous place and our domestic politics was weighted too heavily when we chose the last two presidents. We are insular. Look at your news feeds. How much do you really know about what goes on overseas? Who are our political stars? Why do you even know what I mean when I say political stars? Get a grip America.



Career consultant turned substitute teacher and writer. I enjoy the outdoors and poker.

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