Here is my interview with Mike Thompson, President of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.
Virginia Gentleman: I understand that the Jefferson Institute is organizing a special event on November 8th. Can you outline that for our readers?
Mike Thompson: Those of us involved in center-right issues know that Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday is coming up on February 6th. Many activities are being planned to recognize this event. However, no one is focused on what is an even more important anniversary – it has been 30 years this November since Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States and that is much more important than the fact he was born in 1911.
So the Thomas Jefferson Institute is organizing a “30th Anniversary Celebration” of Ronald Reagan’s Election as President. This will be held on November 8th – six days after this fall’s important elections – and we hope to have a large crowd joining us that evening.
Virginia Gentleman: Why is the Thomas Jefferson Institute holding this Reagan Celebration?
Mike Thompson: Ronald Reagan was the man who brought the idea of true government reform to the forefront of American politics and he did this with actual bi-partisan support in Congress. We need to remember that when he was elected President, he had a Republican controlled Senate and a Democratic controlled House of Representatives. So all he accomplished was with solid bi-partisan support and we tend to forget that.
The Thomas Jefferson Institute is a bi-partisan foundation. We are the premier center-right public policy foundation in Virginia and we thought is appropriate to celebrate the election of the greatest president we have had since World War II. He believed in limited government, free enterprise and individual responsibility and those are the same principles on which the Thomas Jefferson Institute is based.
When we called the Reagan Library and asked if anyone was planning a 30th Anniversary Celebration of Reagan’s election as President we were told no. So we thought we would try to bring a couple of hundred of folks together to mark that important milestone in our history.
Virginia Gentleman: What are the details – where and when and how does someone register?
Mike Thompson: This “30th Anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s Election as President” will be held in the evening of Monday, November 8th at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, down by the Potomac River. Tickets are only $50 and includes a catered buffet by the famous JR’s Stockyards. We start at 6:30 and will end at 8:30 allowing folks to get home at a reasonable hour.
Virginia Gentleman: Who’s speaking at this event?
Mike Thompson: We have a really neat lineup: Former US Senator George Allen is the Chairman of this event. George was an original Reagan Leaders going back to 1976 when he was the Virginia Youth for Reagan Chairman. Former Attorney General Ed Meese will be making serious comments about the future of the Conservative Movement. Former Democrat Congressman Kent Hance of Texas will be speaking. He carried the Reagan Tax Cut Bill of 1981 in the House of Representatives. And Fred Barnes of Fox News and Executive Editor of the Weekly Standard will be the Emcee.
Virginia Gentleman: How does someone interested in attending make a reservation for this Reagan Celebration?
Mike Thompson: Go to our website: www.thomasjeffersoninst.org and click on the link for registering found there in the article with Ronald Reagan’s picture. If someone gives at least $250 and helps recruit ten folks to join us that evening, they will be invited to a private reception with our speakers prior to the event there at the Torpedo Factory. They can call our offices if they have any questions: 703-440-9447.
This is an opportunity to come together less than a week after what is likely to be an election where dozens of new “Reagan-like” Congressmen and Senators will be elected and celebrate the “continuation of the Reagan Revolution.” We hope that a lot of folks show up.