Reagan: Killer, Coward, Con-man
President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan Peer out of a World War II Bunker
... Reagan was a con-man. Reagan was a coward. Reagan was a killer.
In 1987, I found myself stuck in a crappy little town in Nicaragua named Chaguitillo. The people were kind enough, though hungry, except for one surly young man. His wife had just died of tuberculosis.
People don’t die of TB if they get some antibiotics. But Ronald Reagan, big-hearted guy that he was, had put a lock-down embargo on medicine to Nicaragua because he didn’t like the government that the people there had elected.
Ronnie grinned and cracked jokes while the young woman’s lungs filled up and she stopped breathing. Reagan flashed that B-movie grin while they buried the mother of three.
And when Hezbollah terrorists struck and murdered hundreds of American marines in their sleep in Lebanon, the TV warrior ran away like a whipped dog — then turned around and invaded Grenada. That little Club Med war was a murderous PR stunt so Ronnie could hold parades for gunning down Cubans building an airport. ...
A column Feb. 6 in the Times by Dr. Paul Kengor, Ph.D., necessitates a response. For a person of Dr. Kengor's esteemed education and knowledge of political history, I found his fawning glorification of everything Reagan to be lacking in reasonableness ... It is not simply enough for Dr. Kengor to ignore real history in lavishly praising Reagan, a man who gave the American people plenty of reasons to "demonize" him, but then he makes a silly and disengenous remark — "but that's what the Left does: indecent, ugly rage." I'm sure that the freshmen at Grove City College might buy into that characterization of the left, but Dr. Kengor's own words demonize not just a single person, that being a president. His slur of the left demonizes tens of millions of citizens. ...
And speaking of the "indecent, ugly rage" that Dr. Kengor projects onto the left, the so-called tea partiers (organized by the Koch brothers, Dick Armey, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann) seem to have called out the worst aspects in human nature — bigotry, racism, xenophobism and a thorough rewriting of recent history where it seems that events of the disastrous eight years under G.W. Bush are now all Obama's fault and doing. ...
A man who sat at the helm during a disastrous period marked by ludicrous economic policy, skyrocketing debt, a dramatic increase in poverty, a ridiculous turkey shoot in Grenada, U.S. support of Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, the Savings and Loan crisis and the Iran-Contra scandal has successfully duped the American people into thinking that he was actually a competent leader.
Reagan swept into the White House in 1980 with a campaign in which he promised to never negotiate with terrorists and to restore Christian values to our nation. Once in office though, he proceeded to seek the counsel of an astrologer while overseeing the executive branch’s conducting of illegal arms sales to Iran (and funneling profits to glorified drug cartels) in exchange for the release of American hostages. Sadly, shameless hypocrisies such as these were not the exception, but rather, the norm for the Reagan presidency. ... CONTINUED
... Then there were liberals in journalism and the academy who never had much use for him and enjoyed repeating Clark Clifford’s sarcastic description of him as an "amiable dunce." ... By the late 1990s, after Reagan announced he had Alzheimer’s disease, what was left of the 40th president’s reputation seemed to be slowly riding into the sunset along with him. Hundreds of books on the man and his administration appeared in the 1990s and after 2000. That small mountain of books, some more valuable than others, many simply adorations, did little to change historians’ view of President Reagan as an amiable ideologue who was a "great communicator." That is a description with a negative underside: Reagan was sometimes characterized as a man speaking the words of others and dumbing down America by transforming the complexities of governance into simple one-liners. ...
What the GOP now likes to remember is the "Morning in America" glaze Reagan put over eight years of White House playacting, crediting his "Tear down that wall!" line for the fall of the Soviet Union, which had been bankrupting itself for decades.
Harmless enough, but the former actor's truth-stretching is still bedeviling us with an iffy Star Wars missile defense and memories of the Iran-Contra scandal that led to talk of impeachment.
Yet Ronald Reagan's star power was a good fit for the 1980s, sandwiched between the clueless tenure of Jimmy Carter and that of George H. W. Bush, said to remind every woman of her first husband and, by his own admission, not good with "the vision thing."
Reagan had that in abundance for an era when Americans wanted a showman in the White House and could afford to have one there. ...