Monday, June 19, 2006

What I Learned from President Reagan-Ronald Mortensen

What I Learned from President Reagan
Ronald Mortensen

"In 1986, I was a member of the advance team for the Reagan-Gorbachev meetings in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Once in Iceland, preparations were made. The schedule was approved. President Reagan and Gorbachev arrived. The meetings began.

And then something happened. The meetings continued late into the night. The schedule was thrown out.

Finally, after nearly two days, the meetings broke up. The leaders returned home.

The press reported that the meetings had failed.

However, we all know the end of the story. Because President Reagan held to his principles at Reykjavik, the cold war eventually ended and the Soviet Union dissolved.

President Reagan taught us to never compromise principles for temporary success.

I was there and I saw principle and integrity in action.

If I am elected, I will follow President Reagan’s example. I will work to achieve results based on principles and integrity– not on tolerance and expediency."

{Tyler says:} When relating this story to me, Ron told me what he thought was the single most important contribution that he made to this meeting in Iceland. It was late, and the delegation was hungry. Ron woke up a cook and had some sandwiches made. He delivered them to outside the door of where the negotiations were taking place. He knocked on the door and left the food.

Every cog is a piece of the larger gear and keeps the machine of progress moving smoothly. Ron has demonstrated to me that he isn't caught up in formalities. He has a doctorate, but I've not, once, been asked to call him 'Doctor'. Although, I've been in his company when others touted their own titles and degrees.