You will never read about it in the textbooks of the political scientists, but every politico who has his wits about him knows that luck is a major ingredient in every politician's legend. In America, the upwardly mobile pol will find luck more imperative than a smiling family, a noble dog by one's feet during photographic sessions or a disappearing conscience. Ron has the requisite luck.
Right now this discovery is causing as much sadness in our nation's capital as his budget cuts. Ronald Reagan, who in days of yore was disdained as a troglodyte but who now sashays through Washington with the scepter firmly in his hands, is a very lucky fellow. It is true that his is also an able fellow. He has brought into his government men and women of exceptional qualities who in scarcely two months have analyzed huge areas of government policy and without major blunders introduced detailed corrective policies.
It is also true that, as pols go, Reagan is a learned fellow. Before entering the White House he spent most of his time in recent years reading, writing and lecturing about politics. No other recent president can make this claim, with the possible exception of Richard Nixon. The extent of Reagan's intellectual activity was brought to mind just the other day when, while reading reviews of my last book and drawing up my 1981 enemies' list, I was knocked to the floor by the discovery that among my reviewers was none other than the 40th president of the United States.
Still, it is also worth noting that Ronald Reagan is a lucky pol. True, he has come into the White House just as the ship of state is struggling against high seas. But he has also come at a time when the American people seem to have decided that it is time to change course. Even many pols agree. The course to a populist paradise is making everyone uneasy.
Four years ago, had an American president suggested the kinds of budget cuts that Reagan now insists on, there would be cries for impeachment in Congress, and there would be marching in the streets. It is true that every suffering situation in the land is now being dragged forward to horrify the citizenry. Professional messiahs like the Hon. Edward Kennedy are performing miracles to make America sound like a land populated by improvident wolves who would all perish horribly if the armies of social workers now succoring them were demobilized. But their work seems to have been for naught, and not even many of Sen. Kennedy's colleagues appear very eager to continue these luxurious demonstrations. Reagan has impressed them that he has a better way to assist those waifs who actually do exist. Furthermore, the pols sense a stirring amongst the electorate, and when the electorate stirs the pols grow cautious.
A large number of voters now realize that in recent years we gave the witch doctors of the left their way. They brought down on our economy all the regulations imaginable. They raised taxes and extended government programs to every household -- those of the poor and those of the rich alike. Now at the end of this gaudy spree, the economy is in a very feeble state. The government has been taking money out of our wallets and putting it into our outstretched hands. During the journey from our wallets to our hands, the government has cheapened its value and devised regulations on how we are to spend it. More and more Americans are beginning to understand this economic miracle. What good are hot lunches and food stamps when they mean higher taxes and more inflation?
The majority of American voters want security for their country, an end to inflation and an end to the feebleness of our economy. Now along comes smiling Ron just as this feeling builds as the liberal Democrats begin to run out of hot air.
Will Ron's luck hold? Will he be able to get the American government out of our wallets and on to its feet again? Last week, Dr. George Gallup sounded the alarm. He informed us that the president's popularity rating of 59 percent was low as compared with his predecessors at similar stages in their administrations. This news brought little joy to the anti-Reagan forces. They know that at this point in previous administrations the word was going out to all the sacred cows and to all those who drink of their milk that the new administration respected sacred cows, too. Reagan's administration is lining up these cows for the slaughter-house. Moreover, even Gallup had to note that Reagan's popularity has climbed since Reagan entered the Oval Office. Ron remains a lucky man.