Support for Reagan

AMERICANS give their prayerful support to President Reagan as he continues his recovery from weekend surgery. The thoughts of people of goodwill everywhere are with the President and his family, as for the second time in four years Mr. Reagan confronts personal physical challenge. In the aftermath of the 1981 assassination attempt the President displayed great personal courage and expectation of good that endeared him to many Americans, and that serves him in good stead in this instance as well.

Already there is much to be grateful for. Characteristic of him, the President has immediately begun a strong recovery, as confirmed by his physicians.

For only a few hours was the President deemed not able to make the decisions necessary to the functioning of government. Yet it was appropriate that even for this brief period he followed the procedures of the 25th amendment to the constitution and temporarily relinquished control of the government to Vice-President George Bush. The United States government at all times should be able to respond promptly and decisively to any eventuality.

There is every expectation that President Reagan will swiftly regain full vigor, and that he then can conduct his administration's affairs as assertively as ever.

Yet a change may be produced in the Reagan presidency nonetheless. Reelected presidents generally find the first two years of their second term the most productive. Controversial issues, such as the President's tax reform plan, stand the greatest likelihood of passage in the first of these years: During the second, election-year politics can intrude.

Prior to his illness the President was traveling frequently to different sections of the United States, making speeches in support of his proposals for tax reform and budget deficit reduction. In time-honored tradition of the presidency he was going over the heads of Congress, seeking to get the American people to exert pressure on it to vote for his approach on both issues.

It remains to be seen what the impact will be on the possibility of passage of such Reagan initiatives if the President is not able to tour the nation and drum up support first-hand over the next few weeks.

But the most important point is that every expectation remains that within the next very few weeks he will return to the Oval Office and to full-time stewardship of the nation. That is good news, for which every American should be deeply grateful. ----30--{et

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