I'm listening to C-SPAN and feeling a tad queasy. Reagan's latest set of hagiographers are busy babbling away about his statesmanship and visions for world peace. Right.
I used to think the apologists for Nixon were bad. I was wrong.
When I think of Reagan what comes to mind are things like the way he normalized greed, demonized the poor, exacerbated racism, and managed to convince ordinary people that slitting their own economic throats was a good idea. His insistence that it was possible to get something for nothing is still resonating today, as is his most pernicious idea: that when the government collects taxes it's somehow taking money from the public.
I've said it before. I'll say it again. Taxes are the price we pay for not living in a country like Somalia. We have highways, sewer systems, clean water, good (for the most part) public schools, a technologically advanced (if not always equitable in terms of access) health care system, and a whole slew of other benefits because we pay taxes.
St. Ronnie was an elitist prick who pretended to be one of the people, as well as being a total hypocrite to his core. He railed against government handouts while quietly collecting his Social Security check (in contrast with another wealthy president, John F. Kennedy, who donated his entire presidential salary to charity). He talked big, but as soon as the U.S. was challenged ran like a scared rabbit -- he must have set some sort of land speed record for jerking U.S. forces out of Lebanon after a barracks was bombed. His administration repeatedly broke the law, negotiated with drug dealers and terrorists (Iran-Contra), and supported dictators world-wide.
On the other hand, listening to half an hour of delusional Reagan worshippers credit St. Ronnie with being the sole person responsible ending the Cold War does beat listening to tin foil hat callers ranting about Kenyan birth certificates and death panels. I guess there are indeed degrees of how much the stupid can burn.