The Corner

America’s Gandalf

From a reader:


This will perhaps sound cheesy, but I’ve always thought of Reagan as America’s Gandalf. If you read the Silmarillion–and pay careful attention to passages about Gandalf in LOTR–you learn that Gandalf is a figure sent to bring hope, encouragement, and wisdom to Middle Earth as it faced it’s Great Enemy:

“Other evils may come; for Sauron is himself but a servant or emissary. Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” –Tolkien, LOTR (Bk. V, Ch. 9, p. 190).

“They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that “the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits — not animals.” And he said, “There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.” — Ronald Reagan

I was about 11 years old when Ronald Reagan took office and I will never forget the enthusiasm, the courage, the childlike joy that he conveyed to, and surely instilled in, my heart.

Best wishes to you & your family,

[Name withheld]


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