June 3, 2009
President Obama took a lot of political heat from the Clintons last year for saying that Ronald Reagan was a "transformational president." He was saying to liberal activists: I will be your Reagan. In terms of his formidable communications skills, his self confidence, his dazzling smile, his buoyant optimism, there is certainly much in Obama's style compare with Reagan. As we today dedicate a statue of President Reagan in the Capitol Rotunda, however, Obama continues his apology tour. Nothing in his core message could be more Un-Reagan. Obama's in Saudi Arabia now. Tomorrow, he's slated to speak in Egypt. Having said America is not a Christian nation, he tells the world the U.S. is "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world." He should have checked with his own appointee, Leon Panetta, at the CIA. If you take the latest extensive survey of religious identification, Muslims may be as few as 0.6% of Americans*. This could put more than fifty nations ahead of the U.S. in terms of Muslim population.
Reagan never apologized for America. Reagan did embrace the Russian people, and millions of others living in captivity behind the Iron Curtain. But he had no hesitation in calling the Soviet regime "an evil empire." Reagan stood for human rights and religious liberty. First and foremost, Reagan sought to free Americans from a government that taxes too much and spends too much. Even his harshest liberal critics-and all liberals were his critics-admitted that Ronald Reagan was a Great Communicator. But there was more to him. Reagan communicated powerfully because he believed in timeless American principles. It's not clear that Obama understands his own country, much less captive peoples around the world.
UPDATE/CORRECTION (6/4): This post originally cited press reports of six million Muslims in the U.S. But the American Religious Identification Survey (March 2009) published by Trinity College found 1,349,000 Muslims in the U.S. (0.6%)