Reader Rant: ‘This is the Ronald Reagan I remember …’

by on January 25, 2011 · 6 comments

in American Empire, Civil Rights, History, Reader Rant

by JEC

On Monday, January 24th USAToday ran a major feature on Ronald Reagan.

The Ronald Reagan I remember is very different from the idealized version offered in that paper.

As Governor, Reagan helped California’s public schools slip from #2 ranking to a #26 in just 8 years; in the aftermath of the killings at Kent State in May, 1970, to calm the exploding emotions Governor Reagan declared that:

“If blood is to run in the streets so be it!”

… and unleashed the brutals to attack the state’s students. In response, the University of Southern California summarily ended the semester weeks early, and, in a direct challenge to Reagan’s orders, awarded students grades and degrees.

As President he introduced America to deficit spending even along side tax increases, -yes increases -, made necessary by his massive increase in military spending. He insisted on a 600 ship Navy against the advice of his admirals; spent billions to retrofit World War II era battleships – only to order dozens of his 600 ships and battleships decommission soon after he left office.

In fact why was Ronald Reagan a Republican?

Because as President of the Screen Actors Guild in the late forties, Reagan, then a Democrat stuck on the acting ‘B’ list, used his position as President of the Guild to give names to the McCarthy’s Anti-Communist hearings hoping to remove some competition. For his dirty deeds the Democrats and Screen Actors kicked him out, and he slid to the ‘C’ list hosting ‘Death Valley Days’ and started looking for a new career.

Does anyone remember Iran-Contra – when Reagan was secretly dealing drugs to supply weapons; working with a ‘terrorist’ country ( Iran ) the administration had publically condemned while arming the Contra’s in direct violation of a Congressional act.

The list could be longer. Dishonor and disrespect, those are things Ronald Reagan might be remembered for.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar JMW January 25, 2011 at 11:33 am

That’s the same guy I remember; still find it disturbing that he’s a star in American politics.

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avatar Frank Gormlie January 25, 2011 at 11:45 am

JMW – actually Reagan is only a star in certain political camps – not ours. Hey, good to hear from you – and you know the next question – when’s your next column coming in? You know you have a regular column now, don’t ya?

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avatar Ernie McCray January 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I try real hard not to remember that guy, whether it’s him in a movie, or in the state capitol, or the White House. And I was doing a good job of forgetting until today.

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avatar Diane5150 January 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Oh my God! I was married to an airline pilot at the time Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. My remembrance of Reagan is wrapped up in a bad marriage.

I remembering the first time I acknowledged how bad my marriage had become. I was at the Grand Canyon for the first time. I walked up to the edge and thought, “What a great place to lose a husband.”

Yep, good times.

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avatar Andy Cohen January 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm

The great conservative hero my ass!

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avatar geniezuc January 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Reading this also brings to mind the recent ‘controversy’ his son, Ron Reagan, has taken regarding his fathers alzheimers condition. The outrage he has endured at the mention that he wasn’t sure his father had begun his decline while in the White House. I was appauled watching Barbara Walters on ‘The View’ state that she had, in fact, interviewed Reagan (senior) and he did not have alzheimers when in command. Well, being the daughter of an Alzheimer victim at the present, I have done plenty of reflection as to when my Mom’s affiction began, and looking back, I realize the things she did ‘at home’ were signs I missed. She could have sat and ‘chatted’ fine, and not been singled out or evan noticed that a changed had taken place by the onlooker. But a family member, or companion ‘knows’ the little changes. The issue also addresses the ‘shame’ that the disease holds, the ‘denial’ that this would be such an incomprehensibe situation that a ‘leader’ just might not be on top of his ‘game’, evan though we know his ‘game’ was pretty damn destructive to this country and still the ramifactions are evident to this day!

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