The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Thursday, June 10:

Ronald Reagan probably would have tilted his head, smiled and told conservatives who are racing to memorialize him on the nation’s currency, “Well, there you go again.”

There’s Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, who wants Reagan’s image to replace Andrew Jackson’s on the $20 bill.

Then there’s Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who hopes Reagan’s image will depose Alexander Hamilton’s portrait on the $10 bill. As Grover Norquist, a self-styled keeper of the Reagan legacy, explains, “Alexander Hamilton was a nice guy and everything, but he wasn’t president.”

And if Norquist can’t get the 40th president on the $10 bill, he promises to press to have Reagan’s image placed on half of all newly minted dimes.

Count us among those who believe that the self-effacing Reagan probably wouldn’t have wanted it this way. He likely would tell his legions of admirers to slow down a bit and think about all this some more.

Reagan’s accomplishments deserve tributes, which will come as communities rename schools, government buildings and parks for the 40th president. But the nation doesn’t lose anything by letting a little time pass and allowing history to carve his legacy.

So let’s all catch our breath. And then let’s think about the most appropriate way to honor Reagan. Let’s not rush to erect a memorial on the National Mall or rename the Pentagon or jettison the historic faces on currency.

The best tribute to Reagan is one that time and all of America should decide. You might say it’s the true conservative approach.


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