What Ronald Reagan told PBS in 1979 reveals about the American Dream then, and now

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Every year on February 6th, America gets to celebrate anew the birth of its 40th President, Ronald Reagan, who was born on February 6, 1911. We remember and revere him not just because of his service to our nation, but for how he made us feel when he was President. We were patriotic, proud, and powerful under the Reagan presidency – all traits we seem to currently be lacking – and longing for.

Americans love to remember Reagan because they love to recall the feeling they had when he was president – bold and unapologetic on the world stage, he advocated for freedom in places which could never imagine having it. Domestically he encouraged innovation, investing, advancing, and increasing. Under Reagan, success was attainable, and was facilitated, not punished, by government. 

When we revisit Reagan’s words and his legacy, we find he is an endless treasure trove of wisdom and surprise. I recently discovered an audio interview recorded eighteen months before Ronald Reagan became President of the United States, which reflects a sentiment prevalent today. 

On April 30, 1979, Ronald Reagan sat down with Bill Moyers of PBS who asked him, “Somebody described Reagan country

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