LET'S MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN REAGAN '80 STYLE
By Philip Drucker
Today I want to talk about Ronald Reagan. However, before we begin, I want to state clearly my opinion he was one of the worst presidents of the modern era and due to his ignorant, arrogant and regressive politics and policies is the singular 20th Century figure responsible for the 21st Century another fine presidential mess we find ourselves in today.
Firstly, Reagan was a liar. His legacy, mostly myths propagated by his followers who are often genuinely shocked to discover Ronnie was to be kind, a racist, fiscally irresponsible and in no way a believer in the US Constitution. In short, Reagan believed in an America that never was and even in a world of mounting evidence that we needed to change with it, he dug in his heels and told us if we all clicked our ruby reds three times everything would be as if we were still in the 1950s black and white version of Kansas depicted in the Wizard of Oz.
Ronnie was a moron and like most morons his presidency was based upon little more than smoke and mirrors, opium and rose colored glasses to be precise. He was the candyman of presidents. A dope dealing dope dealer dealing dope to more dopes.
The 1980s were a time where Americans were scared. Long lines at the gas station due to embargoes by foreign organizations with names like OPEC. Airline hijackings were commonplace. The Berlin wall was a scar across the face of humanity and the Soviet Union was still seen as the number one enemy to our way of life.
Did Regan do everything wrong? Of course not. To his credit, the Berlin Wall did fall during his time in office and along with it, the Commies just were not as scary as they used to be. The fear of nuclear annihilation subsided, a little. Here was our chance to change the world. But we didn't. We began a slow but steady descent into an unreality that has culminated with a social and political landscape more reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984 than any utopia where the USA is best represented by the image of a shining mansion on the hill.
It was a time of red pill, blue pill consequences before the Matrix. The terrible truth, the way things were? Or the beautiful lie? That gas service attendants all dressed in white would continue to fill our 12 miles per gallon Cadillac tanks with leaded gasoline. DDT worked great and to hear some tout it's advantages, tasted great. Nuclear Power? Just around the corner. We could build, out build and out build anyone and anything on this planet. All we needed to do was consume, discard, wash, rinse and repeat as often as necessary.
Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer from Georgia. He knew about weather. When the weather was good, the harvest was good. When the weather was bad, so went the crops. He knew the value of saving for a rainy day. When Carter saw the future, he put solar panels on the roof of the White House. Ronald Reagan, an actor, didn't like the "optics" of clean, green energy. He removed them.
How many of you have ever heard of, or at least remember the Carter Thermostat Control Program? It was a simple initiative that forbade all federal buildings from placing their thermometers above 65 in the winter, and below 78 in the summer. This simple program saved roughly 30,000 barrels of oil consumption a day. Reagan ridiculed the program as an excessive regulatory burden on the marketplace.
Reagan openly ridiculed the public building thermostat program, at one point saying it makes buildings "too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter." So much for early conservation efforts.
Reagan was also the idiot responsible for voodoo economics, another sleight of hand that led directly to faux "supply-sided" economics as a real thing. Excessive and overwrought spending and manufacturing as actual economic policy. Today, the Reagan economic virus has morphed into an even worse and unrealistic economic policy called "Trickle Down Economics."
I like to call 'em as I see 'em and "Trickle Down Poverty" is a far more accurate description of the effects of giving those who don't need any money, more money, in the hopes they may spend it (they won't) in some magical way that would help those who actually do need help. Just how crazy is this? But, everyone liked the Teflon president and we, for the most part, went right down the monetary rabbit-hole with him. Malice in Wonderland with plenty of mad hatters to contend with the President, crazy as a bed bug cowboy hatted Rustler Ronnie leading the lemming herd into the sunset. Ye haw! Ride' em Ronnie!
Before we continue, I would like to explode some of the other myths that have popped up regarding the Reagan Administration.
1. He never raised taxes. This is a myth. Even by conservative standards, Reagan either directly raised or implemented policies that resulted in additional tax revenue (removing deductions/exemptions) twelve times. When he cut corporate taxes, he made up for the shortfalls by you guessed it taxing the middle and lower classes.
2. He balanced the budget. False. In fact he tripled the deficit leading to Dick Cheney claiming that Reagan proved deficits don't matter, before he blew up our national deficit and of course to our current spinning out of control national deficit under Trump who in all likelihood doesn't even know what the federal deficit is. Besides, as with Bush/Cheney, Trump need not worry because the next Democrat elected, like Obama, will clean it up. That's the Republican way. Always have someone clean up your own messes.
3. He shrank the size of the Federal Government. False. As a matter of funds allotted as a percentage of overall GDP Reagan grew the Federal government. His magical additional funds that went to the military budget all but assured that. Reagan did cut social programs every chance he had. You know, the POC welfare queen. Blame someone else, preferably a minority, or at least a female, for all your fiscal/social/political problems?
There was none better than the barely able to hide his disdain for the poor Roland Reagan, former union leader and now all around fat cat, rat fink, I got mine now you get yours poster boy of uncaring and inequality. Remember, this is a guy who tried to balance California's budget by ending all social services for the psychologically impaired and kicking them onto the street while cutting school budgets as much as possible in order to create a new breed of cannon fodder/soldiers for whatever future military glories, like Grenada, Ronnie had in mind (and I do say "mind" with a grain of salt peter).
Of course no realistic look into the legacy of Ronnie Raygun and his effect on the illusions of what passes today for competence and compassion at the federal level would be complete without a mention or two about the Iran-Contra scandal for it completely debunks the myth, that and Saint Ronnie's gambit at amending the Constitution to include school prayer (separation of church and state anyone?) that Ronnie had any respect for the Constitution and the separation of powers at all.
The Contras were a rag tag group of faux revolutionaries fighting in Nicaraga. In the name of justice, light and the American way, Ronbo wanted to arm them. Congress said no. No funds for arms. Did that stop Ronald, King of Conservatives, Racists, Religious Fanatics and the Rich? You know, the moral majority? Of course not. He got a mook named Ollie North to do some international hankypanky with the Iranians, and Voila! The Rebels were armed. Mission Accomplished. Except, the Nicaraguans themselves voted out their socialist leaders and opted for a far more western, corrupt, but western leaning president.
With his hand caught in the rose water and baklava jar, Ronnie, who co-incidently is the one responsible for changing the fairness in broadcasting laws that made Fox News possible, somehow managed to talk Ollie into falling on his sword for his monarch in return for, a guaranteed spot as a future commentator on Faux Noose? Or maybe sky box tickets to the Super Bowl? The world may never know.
So, why am I writing this today? Because of a current conservative never Trumper commentator I rather admire. Rick Wilson. Rick is part of the movement called the Lincoln Project and they put out bomb videos mocking Trump and his clan of criminals, tricksters and cockwombles in ways most effective. At least Trump tweets incessantly about them.
But one thing bothers me. The insistence by Rick and company including notables such as Bill Kristol, Steve Schmidt and George T. Conway III (Kellyanne's husband) that all they/we have to do to reclaim the greatness of the Republican party is to go back to the days of Saint Ronnie the Patron Saint of Conservative Commentators and Publications the world over.
Respectfully, I think not. For I submit, Ronnie is the one who got us into this cesspool of a seemingly never ending rabbit hole in the first place. Only a fool repeats the same actions while hoping for a different outcome. You know that bottle labeled Drink Me? Yeah, maybe this time not so much.
My advice? How about going back to Abraham Lincoln for some sagely advice, guidance and wisdom? Oh, and while you are at it, make a pit stop at Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower? All great Republican presidents who knew a thing or two about good governance, humanity and the general welfare, all of which are woefully missing in this day and age of graft, greed, deceit, deception and traitorous activity. If I may offer one of my favorite Lincoln quotes.
"Lets have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it." Relevant then, perhaps even more relevant now. Good luck. Love your videos.
Namaste. Be that inner spark of life you have always wanted to be.