This has been on my mind for a few days, and after reading alexanderwolf
's excellent post on this subject, and a little back and forth commentary in socalkid825
's, I felt the need to get if off my chest as well (this combined with my somewhat bitchy mood at the moment).
I've read too many posts and heard too many ppl bitch and moan about how they can't believe why everyone is making such a fuss over Reagan's passing. I will be the first to admit, I'm as cynical and irreverent as the next guy (probably more so than most), but damn
. You have to be looking at the situation completely with blinders on to not be able to see why
people are making a fuss over the man. Perhaps it's just the difference in history professors, but mine looked very critically at the Reagan Presidency. We looked at the good AND the bad. In fact, I wasn't even sure where my American History prof in undergrad stood on the political spectrum, and I was grateful for that. I think that is indeed the hallmark of a good professor.
It seems every rant I've read about harps on what Reagan didn't do about AIDS, and I guess if had to contend with that issue more in my life, I might be a lot more pissed, but I didn't. I "came out" wondering why every single gay movie on Earth had the same plot, and I feel as if I was taught the importance of condoms from the moment I first got an erection. But anyway, I'm only saying this to point out that maybe my opinion would be more biased if I'd watched someone die of AIDS, but the closest I've ever gotten to that (thankfully) is TV.
That having been said, I think maybe I'm able to look at this a little more objectively. And let me start by being clear: I'm not a Reagan worshipper. I could go on for hours about "Just say no" and the idiocy of the drug war, but I'm also not so biased on the topic that I can't see the (very important) positives of his Presidency.
First of all, Reagan will likely never go into the history books for his stellar domestic policy, but during his tenure, domestic policy really wasn't the most important thing going on at the time. Reagan was not a "peace time" President. He was President during the Cold War, coming in after a President who was a terrible leader who had the morale of the country at an all time low. Reagan turned that around. People respected him because he was a great leader, and a great communicator, and it's what the country needed at the time.
Let's not forget that the first and foremost job of the President is as Commander-In-Chief. The Cold War had been going on a long time (Cuban Missile Crisis, anyone), and he led at a time when the Soviet Union was as strong (if not stronger) than we were, and the whole world was worried about Armageddon. A philosophy of mutually assured destruction (ironically) kept us safer, but we weren't going to win by building the biggest bomb. The best thing we could do would be to help fuel civil unrest, and help add to internal pressures inside the country to help make it fail from the inside. Knowing that the Soviet Union couldn't keep up in an arms race AND feed its people, the U.S. under Reagan greatly escalated the arms race. There were a lot of other pressures going on the USSR at the time, this added to it. But in the end, they couldn't feed their people and keep up with weapons both real and imaginary. Civil unrest increased, their economy faltered, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Cold War ended, and the spread of communism and the Soviet Union is no longer a threat to us.
I don't give a flying fuck about Republicans or Democrats or liberals or conservatives, I'm not a Reaganite, and anyone reading my blog knows what I think about that incompetent assclown in office right now. But, the bottom line is, a good man passed awayand I'm not the only one saying it. It may piss you off or offend your sensibilities that people are grieving the loss of a man they respected, but know this: even his most ardent foes admit it. For Christ's sake, yo, what can't you see when Gorbachev and Ted Kennedy have said how much they respected the man, and I'm pretty goddamn sure they didn't exactly see eye-to-eye on things.
The man was no saint, and I disagree with a lot of his policies (starting in the alphabet with "a" for abortion), but I think it's safe to say he was a hero to a lot of people, From what my dad's told me, and from what I've learned in classes, he brought pride to a country that had little left, and I have to say, despite how he may have bungled AIDS policies, and I'm sure people could go on ad nauseum on the pros and cons of "supply side economics," I'm damn glad that with all we have to worry about today, we don't have to worry about all the Cold War fears our parents had to. I don't know about you, but I never had air raid drills, and all I know about "duck and cover" I saw on MST3k. And I thank Reagan for that. I may disagree with a lot of his domestic policies, but I'm not above giving the man his due.
...and now for the torture, removing the post comment. BWAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHA. oh... you know you like it.