Much-honored Reagan’s ideas marginalized

Freedom New Mexico

A bipartisan crowd celebrated last week’s unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue of President Ronald Reagan in the Capitol Rotunda.

We admit we felt a little choked up, just like former first lady Nancy Reagan, who shed a few tears at remembrances of the heady days of the Reagan presidency.

More than 1,000 people came to honor the Gipper.

As McClatchy News Service put it, “it was a morning-in-America kind of affair, sunny and bright and without a hint of the conflicts that marked Reagan’s two terms as president.”

We find it ironic, however, that Reagan — a controversial figure in his day who advocated market solutions and limited government at a time when liberalism seemed ascendant — has become much honored even as his ideas have again become maligned and marginalized.

He was right about most things, but these days one would never know it.

The current president captures Reagan’s sense of optimism and decency, but his government-heavy ideas are jarring to those of us who agree with Reagan that government is the problem, not the solution.

Of course, even the Republican Party has strayed far from its limited-government roots in the post-Reagan years.

Both parties these days advocate the sort of expansive federal government that Reagan would have rejected.

In fact, politicians invoke Reagan’s name regularly these days. But we would prefer fewer Reagan airports, statues, streets and other monuments — and more politicians who try to advance the ideas he believed in.