Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Ronald Wilson Reagan, R.I.P.

At DucKon we got the news that former president Ronald Reagan had passed away at age 93, which made him our longest surviving US President, as well as the oldest to take office. The privacy his family has maintained due to his Alzheimer’s disease meant that no one was aware he was seriously ill, but it had been known that his physical health had begun to decline, and his mental state had been severely deteriorated for some time.

My feelings about Reagan are distinctly ambivalent, colored by pity for his long, slow demise, which fate I would not wish on anyone. Nevertheless, the efforts to “canonize” Reagan as “the greatest President of our time” which will undoubtedly gain momentum now, make me want to vomit. Reagan had the great good fortune that his bold move to spend the Soviet Union into oblivion succeeded, which is the basis for his reputation. Other than that, his policies on the “trickle-down” economy, and deregulation (which gave us the savings and loan meltdown, among other failures) continue to do great harm, especially as carried on by the present administration. George W. Bush also carries on the Reagan examples of secrecy, tolerance of corruption, disregard for budgetary deficits, and reckless foreign policy. Few people, other than us Reagan critics, recall that more members of his administration were indicted than any other President’s, including Nixon, and FAR exceeding Clinton. His grandfatherly manner disguised a ruthless politician, as those who worked with him in the California governor’s office or the actor’s union well knew. My bet is that history in the long term will evaluate him as the author of many evils which are haunting us still.
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