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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 2, 2011 / 28 Shevat, 5771

What Today's Leaders Can Learn From Reagan

By Mort Zuckerman

Mort Zuckerman



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Ronald Reagan brings to mind my first revealing encounter with him. It was the result of the 1986 seizure by the Soviet KGB of the Moscow bureau chief of U.S.News & World Report, Nick Daniloff.

I went to Moscow to try to secure his release, but it became obvious he had been arrested on a trumped-up charge and would be a hostage until America released a real spy. Only a week before, the United States had seized an employee at the Soviet mission to the United Nations who had been caught red-handed trying to buy secret weapons technology relating to heat-resistant metals for rockets and jet engines. Nick was in jail as trading bait.

On my return to the United States, I worked in the White House with the president and his senior staff. We met virtually on a daily basis for the better part of a month, as the White House struggled to work out an acceptable basis on which Daniloff could be repatriated.

This was how I came to have firsthand experience of President Reagan in private action. He attended many of the almost daily discussions organized by the White House team. He had an unfailing optimism, an unending, self-deprecating sense of humor, and a calmness and charm that were totally devoid of any conceit. He was totally engaging at all times and spoke in plain language, both privately and publicly. He was also a marvelous storyteller. We shared a love of jokes, and he and his wonderful wife, Nancy, were kind enough to invite me to Washington to share dinner with them a number of times, always with the admonition from the president to save, for him, my best jokes.

But what struck me most of all, and has remained in my mind all these many years, was just how effective Reagan was. He had an instantaneous grasp of the main issue or the true problems, and he was decisive in his responses. The team working to free Daniloff was glad to follow his lead. Thereafter, I was always amused (and maybe irritated, too) to contrast how effective he had been in real time, as compared to the way he was portrayed in some political talk and by some of the press.

Reagan provided what Americans wanted most: a strong leader who could and would lead in a principled way. To refresh a phrase once used about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, this man was "not for turning." He made that clear early on, to the gratified astonishment of the nation, when he fired the striking air traffic controllers-who quickly learned that this commander in chief was not to be taken casually.

Reagan had come into office when the United States was mired in an economic and even psychological downturn, reflecting the doldrums of the Carter years and the perception of his administration as feckless and naive. Reagan was determined that more of the same would not do. Shortly into his presidency, he set about convincing the American public that there had to be a decisive change in direction. His map was stereoscopic: He created a vision of where we'd been and where he intended to take us, unafraid to spell out what was to be feared, unabashed in the evocation of dreams for the future. He personified Harry Truman's definition of a leader-a man who had the ability to get other people to do what they don't want to do and to like it. It was never easy, even when he made it look so.

As if born with the instinct to be a transformational president, Reagan knew how to instill confidence in a nation that felt it had lost its way. Add to that his transparent likability, and you can understand why Americans felt so good about him and better about themselves when they listened to him. In the process, he earned an enormous presumption of credibility, affection, and support from the American public, even among those, like myself, who hadn't voted for him.

How much we miss that quality of leadership today, when it is the political system itself that raises disquiet. Much of our contemporary leadership passes off tough decisions to some other body (the perpetual commissions!) or, worse, to some future generation. The resulting political vacuum has created a sense of government in disarray, unable to make the wise and tough decisions required.

And it has created a demoralized public. We worry that our children will not enjoy the opportunities we have taken for granted. We worry that our runaway financial system is broken, that we are losing our technological and business leadership edge in the world, that nobody will have the shrewdness and guts to fix the system of entitlements. We worry that there may be truth in Mancur Olson's contention in his famous book, The Rise and Decline of Nations. One of the consequences of institutional aging, he argued, is the creation of a culture of entitlement, of special interest groups that inevitably take bite after tiny bite out of the total national wealth through tax breaks, special appropriations, earmarks, and other favors that are all easier to initiate than to end, and thus hobble the nation and its future.

Everyone seems to be talking not just about the recession but also about a decline of America's power and status, about an America that no longer leads the world and is faltering in the context of a rejuvenated Asia, especially China. No longer do we seem to have the air of what Mark Twain once described as the serene confidence of a poker player with four aces.

So today we remember fondly "the great communicator" who loved to frame his public policies in such pithy metaphors. "A recession," he explained, "is when your neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose yours." And he could be bitingly direct, too. He uttered the most memorable line of the Cold War in Berlin in 1987: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Yet he was ready to form a friendship with the same Mikhail Gorbachev, negotiating agreements, and again bringing forth another pointed slogan: "Trust but verify."

It could be said he was lucky to inherit a crisis near resolution. Minutes after his inauguration, Iran released the 52 American hostages. It remains a controversial subject, but there's little doubt Iran recognized that the man who won the presidency that November could be as tough-minded as conditions would demand: The Iranians were fearful that Reagan might bomb them. Less than three months later, he became a folk hero, the victim of an attempted assassination who could say to the surgeons treating him, "Please tell me you're all Republicans."

So the question remains: How can we evoke Reagan's spirit? Disappointment should not give way to despair. Americans are as well placed to exploit the global economy as we were in the new continental marketplace of a century ago. Yes, we may be challenged in technology, but remember, we spend twice as much per capita on info-tech as Western European firms and eight times the global average. We successfully replaced large, mass-produced consumer products with sophisticated goods derived from intellectual output and knowledge-based industry. We have a unique culture of enterprise and management that stemmed from a market stretching vast distances over mountains, deserts, and rivers in the effort to satisfy diverse populations.

We have a business culture that has nourished individualism, entrepreneurialism, pragmatism, and novelty, along with an abiding respect for the rule of law. American business is dominated by contract and law rather than by kinship and custom; not by primogeniture but by merit, common beliefs, technology, and scientific management.

No other country has a population so given to self-help, self-improvement, and even self-renovation. Maybe Reagan would have the deftness not to offend the Chinese while reminding us that, of the world's top 20 universities, none is in China. Young Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, and Europeans come here knowing they will have a level of opportunity beyond what they will have at home (which makes it so stupid, as President Obama remarked, to send them home with their U.S. degrees).

Yes, we are worried, but worry has always preceded reform in America, which has always bounced back after periods of decline and a loss of confidence. Just think, almost 20 million more Americans were employed at the end of the Reagan years than when he took office.

Reagan understood how to restore faith in the country and a people he so clearly loved. He would have crystallized the developing consensus on what we have to do. He would have made investment in the nation's decaying infrastructure as exciting an adventure as Lincoln made our great transcontinental railway (while also leading a war).

In the end, it takes vision, leadership, and imagination to regenerate the American dream. Ronald Reagan proved that it could be done.

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Mort Zuckerman is editor-in-chief and publisher of U.S. News and World Report.

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© 2009, Mortimer Zuckerman

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