Saturday, February 05, 2011

Recordatio Fallibilis

Reagan was an idiot. He betrayed his own stated principles. His administrations created greater deficits than all other presidents that came before him, combined. He raised payroll taxes after ranting against tax hikes.

His grip on reality was ever loose. His verbal gaffs were embarrassing to the extreme. He held no love for the American people; at least not those who were unfortunate, and he regularly mischaracterized and demonized the poor.

Even his own economic advisors now admit that their "trickle-down" theories were utter nonsense. He talked a good game about downsizing government, all the while growing it. He lived in his own world of cartoonish fantasy, and he had the numbers to prove it. He based his economic policies on a hump drawn on the back of a napkin: the infamous Laffer Curve.

He was our Brezhnev. As if we really needed that. Soviet kitsch with Alzheimer's dementia.

Cal Thomas, in a column I have unfortunately read just this morning but refuse to link, continues to fluff Reagan. We can anticipate more due to Reagan's upcoming centennial on the 6th.


Ron junior's new book will likely have no surprises in it for me, having read Patti Davis's autobiography. I already have some idea how dysfunctional the Reagan family was, and much of that stems from Reagan the man. He was remote, uncurious, and inconsiderate of others. Michael, the (adopted) son who now habituates one of the outer rings of the rightwing hate-radio inferno, slept on the couch of the Reagan home. Patty distanced herself from the others by flirting with addiction. Her rebellion likely saved her. Ron himself was fortunate to be born homosexual, for that helped him to distance himself from his fucked-up father. Maureen died of skin cancer some years ago, after attaining some status as a conservative munchkin.

Ron will have his moment, but it will be drowned out by mythologizing, authoritarian canonization, and rank stupidity fostered in our corporate media. Just as Patti experienced when she came out with "The Way I See It" back in 1992.

We do not want to know the "real" Ronald Wilson Reagan. Collectively, we never will. Truth does not become us. We prefer ignorance. That's how Reagan got elected to begin with.

Behold, his legacy continues. Reagan, our Ozymandias, our Brezhnev, our naked emperor.


Addendum: There's a lot more rancor and vile, or what we on the left like to call "the truth," over at The Exiled: click here, and at Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread here.


One final thought from Neponset over in "The Crack Den:" From a completely selfish perspective I'd like to thank the Egyptian protesters for helping blow Reagan's birthday off the front page. If it weren't for Egypt blowing up it would have been Ronnie 24/7 all week on the cables. If you have a choice between pictures of Reagan clearing brush and guys on camels charging a crowd, the camels win.

Though, in the very literal sense, I will be disappointed if the camels do in fact win.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

The American fascination with celebrity vs. veracity. sigh.

I remember Patti Davis doing an interview not long after her father became president saying some thing was wrong becuase she tried to have a conversation with her father at the White House and he didn't make sense. She thought he was sorta dissing her because it was a liberal viewpoint she was trying to discuss. Guess the Alzheimers was already there. I am sure the gunshot wound didn't help matters much.

wunelle said...

I suppose lives led by wishful thinking have always been a part of politics, but Reagan made it a national mandate.

I get so discouraged by the apparently inexorable rising tide of irrationality and denihilism all around us. Where is this all leading us?

dbackdad said...

The sad thing is that Reagan truly does inspire modern conservatives. Trickle-down didn't (doesn't) work and they know that. But it doesn't matter because they really don't want it to. Money is free speech and if the corporations are the only ones with it, then they are the only ones talking ultimately.

Been There said...

Fantasy and denial seems to be the radical right's political ideal. Reagan was checked out, just the right hero for people who don't wish to check in with reality. I enjoy your writing.

dbackdad said...

SP, are you going to the VNSA Used Book Sale this weekend? We'll be going both days (17th straight year for us). Any recommendations on books or authors you've read recently? Can be anything but I tend towards non-fiction, politics, science, culture.