Neil Fitzgerald | Why America Needs a New Ronald Reagan

Neil Fitzgerald

Next week we celebrate Presidents Day and recognize both Washington and Lincoln, but for many of us, February is also when we reflect on the life of President Ronal Reagan, whose birthday it was last week. 

When we think of Reagan, many of us will remember how he stood up to the Soviet Union, how he grew the U.S. economy and how, after the disasters of the Carter era, he rebuilt America both at home and how we are seen abroad. 

I mention President Reagan as we can see a direct comparison between those times and now. I believe that our current president is little more than President Carter 2.0 and that the decisions President Joe Biden has made and continues to make are as misguided as those that President Jimmy Carter made, the consequences of which will impact Americans for generations to come. 

On Tuesday, President Biden spoke to the nation with his State of the Union address, coming thick on the heels of the Chinese Spy Balloon drama. In his rambling and often incoherent speech, President Biden offered no big idea, no vision to unite all Americans and offered little if any common purpose.  

Take, for example, his plan for travel companies to be banned from charging extra fees such as hotel resort fees or fees for baggage or seats. This is his big idea to reduce inflation. 

Having worked in travel for two decades, I can confidently predict that all that will happen is the ticket price will go up so families will be no better off whatsoever. 

What would reduce inflation far more is if the administration had a long-term energy security plan and restored American energy independence. 

When, during his speech the president says the USA will need gas for the next decade, President Biden is woefully misguided as there is no way we can stop using gas in 10 years’ time. 

When President Biden talks about job creation, he forgets to mention the millions of Americans either underemployed or economically inactive.  

Apart from President Biden’s inability to understand how to truly reduce inflation, it is his inability to stand up for America abroad that is deeply concerning and why we need a president just like Reagan. 

China’s blatant spying on the USA is a direct consequence of the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, a withdrawal that had all the hallmarks of President Carter and the Iran revolution fiasco. 

When our geopolitical foes can see that America has no plan and is stumbling and fumbling to handle an insurgency, it gives them the confidence to push against America and to force us onto the defensive. 

Our response to the Chinese Spy Balloon was abject. We knew it was coming, we could see the path from the Pacific to Alaska, over Canada and into the lower 48, and we did nothing. 

We sat and watched the balloon transmit data back to China and we did nothing. The excuse was that the balloon could have had falling debris. This does not stand up, as anyone can tell you that neither Montana nor Idaho, Nebraska, nor Missouri, where the balloon was spotted, are densely populated in every part of that state. 

Is the administration really telling us that at no time while the balloon was spying on us that they could not have shot it down and if that truly is the case why wasn’t the balloon shot down as soon as it came into U.S. waters? 

Today as I write this column, the administration now admits that the Chinese Spy Balloon had multiple antennas capable of “intelligence collection operations.” This further calls into question the administration’s response and shows once more a president out of his depth and our foes sensing a weakness. 

We cannot continue down this path and to repeat all the mistakes of the Carter Administration. The Republicans must find the next Ronald Reagan who can rescue America, restore our economy, and stand up against foes who threaten our national security interests and those of our allies. 

Whoever they may be, we need a president who can communicate effectively and clearly, who can give a clear strategic direction, who can take people on a journey and who can not just talk about a “Shining City on a Hill” but turn speeches into a reality. 

As we celebrate Presidents Day, let us remember and be thankful for Presidents Washington and Lincoln, and for President Reagan, and let us as voters demand a president fit for this nation. 

Neil Fitzgerald is an international nonprofit leader having served in the U.S., U.K. and globally for various nonprofit and charity boards. Neil served as a conservative council member in the U.K. and as a campaign manager. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans. 

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