6.06.2004

I have mixed feelings about Reagan

I've been thinking about it a little more and I wasn't fair before when I spoke of Reagan. The past few years have been filled with a idealogical PR barrage that can in many ways be traced back to the Reagan campaigns and presidency, but speaking about that only judges his style and not his substance.

I'm really too young to remember much about the man. I vaugely remember seeing the Iran-contra hearings on television but I didn't know or care what they were about.

Probably my best memory was when he left office. I remember thinking how strange it was going to be to change presidents. It seemed like such a huge step for the country to make and I remember telling myself not to worry, we've done this 40 times, it's a regular thing. But I grew up with the guy, life suddenly felt so uncertain.

Phil Carter hits the nail on the head when he says Reagan "formed my expectations of what a President should look like."

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tomorrow's Newsweek (Time is running the same cover photo)


I can't help but look at this photo and wish he were president again. He looks like a real man, not like the politicians we have today whos every move and every photo is calculated to produce the best PR image possible. Reagan's years actually were marked with intense PR practices, but it seems that if you can peek through that facade you find a fairly decent guy.

He looks nothing like the confused dubya sweating through his make-up as he tries to formulate a coherent sentence.

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"Can I go back inside and play Xbox now?"


His presidency was augumented by PR, today's are based upon it.

But Reagan had as many faults as strengths. This was a man who helped win the cold war but he did it by creating huge deficits. He was a fairly beloved president, but his administration broke all the records for federal indictments. He had a tough military mind, but appeased terrorists every single time. He won his victories by landslides, but his tenure was a full frontal PR assault which is only magnified today.

However, on C-SPAN radio today, I listened to one of his speeches from 1992 or '94, I can't remember, and it was great. He talked about America's role in the world and different policies and he even, gasp, mentioned details.

It was not empty rhetoric about "defending freedom from evil" or any of that hollow crap, it was very specific, very intelligent and all true. And that was 4 to 6 years after he was out of office and it wasn't a policy speech or a stump speech for the party, it was just a speech to a university.

I'm sure someone wrote it for him, but it was still nice to hear and after listening to it, I knew that Reagan would make a better president dead than that blathering idiot we have now.



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