By Jeffery Anderson, The Weekly Standard
On the day that the Supreme Court released its Obamacare ruling, my daughter and I had the opportunity to visit the Reagan Ranch. Located in the mountains in the Central Coast region of California, the ranch is where President Reagan spent nearly one out of every eight days of his presidency. As you might imagine, it’s a wonderful place.
But part of why it’s wonderful is that it’s not remotely ostentatious or extravagant. The modest 1,800-square-foot house is not a home fit for a king but for a citizen in a republic. It’s republican through and through. Moreover, the land’s open expanses and the house’s American Western décor beautifully capture the spirit of liberty. To think of Mikhail Gorbachev and Queen Elizabeth visiting (as they did) and seeing the president of the United States living in such a humble yet alluring place, is a satisfying thought. The Founders would have been proud.
Reagan reportedly liked to sit on the patio in front of his home and take in the panoramic view of the trees, the pastures, and the hillsides. From there, he said, he could “see freedom.” It’s nearly impossible to imagine President Obama saying such a thing. He’d presumably instead be looking to “see equality” — although it wouldn’t be easy to spot from Martha’s Vineyard.
Despite its clear historical significance, the Reagan Ranch almost wasn’t preserved for posterity. Once Reagan’s Alzheimer’s had deteriorated to the point where he could no longer enjoy the ranch, Nancy Reagan put it up for sale on the open market, and it was nearly purchased — and carved up — by a commercial developer. At that point, the Young America’s Foundation stepped up and raised the money to buy it and preserve it, and Nancy left behind almost all of the Reagan furnishings so that the ranch could appear as it was when they were there.
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