Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back to the White House

July 4th is a very meaningful holiday to me. I like to reflect on the history of a country I sincerely believe to be unparalleled in history. I think the Constitution is one of the most elegant pieces of writing ever created, and am inspired by Ayn Rand's words: "America was created by men who broke with all political traditions and who originated a system unprecedented in history, relying on nothing but the unaided power of their own intellect. . . American's abundance was not created by public sacrifices to the 'common good' but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes."

We all have our favorites, but today I celebrate three legacies. Alexander Hamilton - he will always be a president in my eyes - for the bank, for federalism, and for the foundation of this nation. Richard Nixon - how boring people only remember a silly trial - I went to his home in Saddle River, which was filled with Chinese artifacts - and while I gazed upon stacked bookshelves I thought of a man whose legacy also includes the opening of China, the end of Vietnam and segregation, all while achieving a balanced national budget. And then my  favorite - Ronald Reagan - whose loss I mourned like the nation mourned Kennedy. The reason Kennedy stands apart as an exception to the Democrats in my mind?

Reagan's words on John F. Kennedy, delivered on July 24, 1985, move me.

There's no other way to describe it. He had a way of conveying sentiment that made people believe - with humor, with heart, and yes, even with acceptance of the. . .Democrats. Reagan began with his usual lightness - "Not to say I supported John Kennedy when he ran for president, because I didn't. I was for the other fellow" - but then went on to deliver a speech I can hear over and over. It defines how I try to live my life now, being Back to A. The whole speech can be read here but below are the lines that I have memorized and they exist in the core of my heart:

Everything we saw him do seemed to betray a huge enjoyment of life; he seemed to grasp from the beginning that life is one fast moving train, and you have to jump aboard and hold on to your hat and relish the sweep of the wind as it passes by. You have to enjoy the journey, it's unfaithful not to. . . and sometimes I want to say to those who are still in school, and who sometimes think history is a dry thing that lives in a book: Nothing is ever lost in that great house; some music plays on. 
-Ronald Reagan on John Kennedy, 1985

Yes. The original magazine. In a perfect plastic case with the subscriber's sticker still intact. On my coffee table. It's the same old thing, really - filling your home with what you love. What inspires you. What moves you to be better, try harder, hold out for the dream rather than settle for the half-way, or the in-between. This cover does that for me.

Some music does play on. . .


Storibook Designs said...

Anisha, I saw you linked from Paloma's page so I popped over. What fun. Your blog is fantastic and love Harold (I have a little dog too)! You've done an amazing job on your place; I have to come back and spend more time.

Post a Comment