Doug Bandow tells CU what Ronald Reagan would say in 2012

Feb. 21, 2012
For Immediate Release

 Doug Bandow, who served with the late President Ronald Reagan, discussed "What Would Ronald Reagan say in 2012" in a Campbellsville University Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy (KHIPP) event. (Campbellsville University Photo by Sarah Ames)
 Doug Bandow, who served with the late President Ronald Reagan, discussed “What Would Ronald Reagan say in 2012” in a Campbellsville University Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy (KHIPP) event. (Campbellsville University Photo by Sarah Ames)

By Matthew Schmuck, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – In his early 20’s while working in the 1980 Presidential Campaign and later as a White House aid, Doug Bandow got to know the late President Ronald Reagan.

A special assistant to Reagan, Bandow said an extended amount of time has passed since the day Reagan left office on Jan. 20, 1989. However, Bandow said some of Reagan’s ideals are still evident within the walls of the Oval Office.
Bandow was a guest speaker at the Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy (KHIPP) event on Feb. 9, which dealt with how Reagan would react to today’s world issues.

A senior fellow at the Cato Institute, Bandow specializes in foreign policy and civil liberties and is the editor of “Inquiry,” a political magazine.

The Washington Post describes the Cato Institute as, “…the hot policy shop, respected for not compromising its core beliefs even when they get in the way of practical politics.”

With his speech titled, “What would Ronald Reagan say in 2012?” Bandow said to Campbellsville University faculty, students and community guests that Reagan would say exactly what he wanted to say, due to the fact that he was very much his own man.

Bandow went into depth on certain topics on which he believed Reagan would be inclined to comment.

Bandow said Reagan did not believe in leading a one-man band. He said Reagan believed America is a country of the people working together. In the words of Reagan, “It’s America. This is our country.”

Although he was a strong Conservative, Reagan worked with his political opponents to get things done.

In speculating on Reagan’s beliefs, Bandow said Reagan would declare Americans to be active, and to be active together.

“History shows American citizens are especially capable of overcoming great challenges,” Bandow said.

Reagan himself was no stranger to the concept of great challenges upon his entering into presidency. Reagan overcame skeptics and media portrayals in his ascendancy to the White House.

Bandow said Reagan would strive to have Americans work alongside their political adversaries, regardless of one’s political attitude. Reagan believed, according to Bandow, at the end of the day, we are all Americans needing to be exposed beyond the realms of our respected political hives.

“We need not just to help the poor, but to build communities that work to help all people including the poor,” Bandow said Reagan would believe.

Reagan’s Republican core values focused on the idea that government started at the local and state levels. Bandow said Reagan insisted that he wouldn’t lead or others would lead, but all of America would lead together. Reagan believed firmly that just one person does not hold the job of creating a future, but instead it is the job of an entire country.

Visualizing what Reagan would have to say about key public and world issues in 2012, Bandow discussed topics such as: taxes, regulation, education, healthcare, income inequalities, human rights, foreign policy, war and the current Republican presidential candidates.

Bandow said Reagan was bright, thoughtful and well read, and noted he was often underestimated by the media and adversaries. Reagan was always handing the younger Bandow newspaper articles to read on airplane flights to stay updated. Bandow said Reagan would spend money on education in today’s world but would prefer education be handled at the state and local level.

Bandow said Reagan was a man who never hated, while he supported a very strong military deterrent. He was horrified by nuclear weapons and believed the issue should be handled with extreme caution. A man who was very concerned about poverty, Reagan wanted peace and was referred to as the “appeaser” by critics when he worked with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to reduce nuclear weapons.

“Reagan was a president of consequence,” Bandow said.

Bandow, who is a regular commentator on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, believes not much has changed in Washington since Reagan was in office.

“All that matters in Washington is predicting the future,” Bandow said.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is

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