The time element of “30 years” keeps slipping into American official reports and news stories about the origins of crises – the latest in “The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report” – but rarely is the relevance of the three-decade span explained, and there is a reason.
The failure to close the circle in saying who started the nation off on the path toward these disasters is because nearly everyone shies away from blaming Ronald Reagan for almost anything.
But the truth is that Reagan’s current historical reputation rests more on the effectiveness of the Republican propaganda machine – and the timidity of many Democrats and media personalities – than on his actual record of accomplishments.
Indeed, many of today’s worst national and international problems can be traced to misjudgments and malfeasance from the Reagan years – from the swelling national debt to out-of-control banks, from the decline of the U.S. middle class to the inaction on energy independence, from the rise of Islamic fundamentalism to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
All of these disasters are part of the Reagan Legacy. Yet, possibly the most insidious residue from the Reagan Years was the concept of manipulating information – what some Reagan officials liked to call “perception management” – as a means of societal control.
I always thought that Reagan was the worst POTUS in my lifetime if not “ever”. Then along came Bush. While Bush was in office I’d reject any argument that he wasn’t the worst. Now, with both in the rear-view mirror, I have to wonder a bit more. Reagan started the downhill slide, running up more debt than ALL Presidents before him. He aided the rise of the religious right. “Reagan’s rule” is “thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.” Perhaps most importantly, he began the acceptability of demonization of our own Federal Government.
Both are scum. I want no one like either of them to ever occupy the WH again. Sadly, I fear the “I want it NOW” crowd will ensure that our next POTUS will be worse than either of these high-functioning idiots. “Progress, not perfection” is lost on so many people “on the left”.