June 13, 2004

How we will remember Reagan

Now that Ronald Reagan is interred, it is important that we remember him for what he did, not for what we wish he could have accomplished. Since most of the press these days is anything but free and will continue to sing false dreamy eulogies of praise to the dearly departed ex-pres, it’s incumbent on the rest of us to set the record straight. If you’ve read “Speaker for the Dead” by Orson Scott Card, you can imagine what the Speaker would have to say about Mr. Reagan. I would like our readers to take a moment to post their favorite fact about RR, so that we can remember him with truth and honesty. I’ll start by mentioning that through his cuts in funding for pre-natal care of the poor, Reagan was responsible for the first rise in infant mortality rates since the United States became a nation. What do you remember about RR?

Posted by Norman at June 13, 2004 08:24 AM | US Politics | Technorati links |

Ted Rall Has a pretty good ranting run down of the Reagan legacy.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at June 13, 2004 04:15 PM

reagan made unemployment checks fully taxable, instead of just partially taxable for people who made over US $20,000 a year. he didn't have the honesty to just cut benefits, which is what he was actually doing.

of course, jimmy carter was the person who made unemployment taxable at all, so there's blame to be passed around.

Posted by: Magpie at June 13, 2004 06:56 PM

In California, Ronald Reagan closed the mental hospitals (which was a good thing - those places were pretty awful a lot of the times) but then never provided enough money to help the people who had mental problems with halfway houses, etc which resulted in lots of homeless mentally ill people without any options. This legacy lives on.

Posted by: Mary at June 14, 2004 12:16 AM

I was in college when Reagan was elected, and I and my friends, the last of the liberal Republicans that the Midwest still occasionally bred at that time, were convinced that Ronnie was determined to have us die in some godforsaken part of Bluefileds or Managua before we would hit 21. I was a registered Democrat by the 1982 congressional elections.

I still have my anti-draft registration armband, and only registered after a double full-court press by my mother and my then-fiancee.

(My dad, Mr. Republican, then and now, surprised me when I confronted him about the likelihood of war in Central America. He simply didn't think we'd send "our boys" there, and when I made it clear that I would go to Canada alone or with my family if worse came to worst, he implied taht the family would move north before he would lose his only son.)

Central America got ravaged once again, as it often is, just in a more creative way - once it was William Walker and the "filibusters", later it was Ronnie and the Contras (when he couldn't have the legitimate military of a given country to do the job - Honduras and Guatemala are the saddest examples of the latter.)

As in Iraq, the official line doesn't recognize either what we really did then or what goes on there now. And as in the past, I fear I may have to wear my armband again, this time for my daughter's sake.

Posted by: palamedes at June 14, 2004 04:36 AM

"We're going to have the best educated American people in the world."

George W. Bush
September 21, 1997

Posted by: painting at July 18, 2004 04:48 PM