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Decide Something, Mr President

Making Sense by Michael Reagan

Time's up, Mr. President.

Your on-the-job-training as the leader of the Free World has been over for several years.

I know it still comes as a shock to you that you're the president of the United States. A lot of us feel the same way.

But you really are the Prez. So take off the training wheels and golf cap and please start acting like one.

You only have about two years left to prevent your entire Oval Office career from being a total failure.

It's probably impossible. But you can start down the path to executive respectability by making the right military decision about ISIS.

(Yes, it's true — and very scary. As the Prez, you are the commander in chief of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.)

I don't pretend to know what the right decision on ISIS and/or Syria should be. Probably no one does.

But you know more about what's really going on over there than Congress, the New York Times editorial page and even Bill O'Reilly.

So don't take any more polls. Don't survey Democrats in Congress. Don't ask Bill Clinton.

Don't worry about what the corrupt yahoos over at the United Nations will think.

And don't worry about your pals in Hollywood or on Wall Street falling out of love with you and cutting back on their campaign contributions.

You and your advisors still may not have that perfect ISIS strategy worked out yet. But it doesn't mean you should do nothing.

Just get all the facts you need from the CIA or the Free Syrian Army. Then do something that makes you look like a world leader, not a world ditherer.

You have to begin by acting presidential. Act like you know what the problem is and how to fix it.

Do what you — the commander in chief -- think is right. Your advisors might tell you it's stupid, but take a lesson from the Ronald Reagan Leadership Guide.

My father had some great advisors. He trusted them. But he listened to their counsel and then made his own decision. It's called being an executive.

Remember Grenada? He called a meeting and he and his advisors voted 7 to 3 not to invade. My dad was one of the three.

After the invasion was underway, one of the seven no-voters called and asked him why we went to Grenada when the vote was 7 to 3 not to go.

My father said, "My vote counts more."

Ronald Reagan overruled his advisors and made his own decision other times and he proved to be right.

They didn't want him to call the Soviet Union "The Evil Empire."

They didn't want him to tell Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.

They didn't want him to walk away from Gorbachev at the second nuclear arms summit in Iceland.

Mr. President, I know you'll never be as wise or as confident in your ability to do the right thing as my father was.

But you're our Prez. We're stuck with you until 2016.

Consider the intel on ISIS.Weigh the options. Measure the risks. Then do what you think is smart and right and in our country's interests.

Bomb the ISIS command and control centers in Syria. Exterminate the butchers of ISIS with drones. Send in more troops. Bring more troops home.

Form a coalition to fight ISIS -- or don't. Announce we're so bloody sick and tired of trying to civilize religious madmen in pickup trucks that we're leaving that area for good.

Really, Mr. President. At this point I don't care what you do about ISIS or Syria or what's left of Iraq.

Just act like a president. Once. And earn our respect.


Copyright© 2014 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). He is the founder of the email service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at and Send comments to Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.

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This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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