There has been a beaucoup of blather lately about Ronnie Reagan and his legacy. But instead of just reaching up (?) for low hanging fruit, I decided to thank him…
I have more problems with the title of this edition of Inspection than even you might imagine. Our eight years of Hell was brought to you, in part, by the ghost of the Gipper. Well, part ghost, part almost ghost since there wasn’t much of anyone home at the end. I type that not to be cruel, just to state the obvious. God save us all from that. Must be like being in a hot, stuffy, room, screaming to get out but your body, your mind… well, they just won’t cooperate. Or, like the title of a Harlan Ellison story…
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.
Ronnie honored dead Nazis with a wreath. They claimed it was all a mistake. I think he got caught with his sensitivity down, what little there was of it.
Ronnie promoted this “government is the problem” crap. “Crap” because, yes, government can be “the” problem sometimes, though no government would be far worse. But business: specifically big, can be as much of a problem… especially unregulated: though extreme deregulation was gospel to Ronnie and his Reagan-ettes… who still spout “no regulation is always best” nonsense.
We get the government and the business we allow; we tolerate. Both need to be well regulated. Neither government or business should be poorly regulated as in bad regulations, or little to none. The myth that the market will magically take care of all this is only partially true when you have a multitude of smaller than Godzilla companies that compete fairly and in a friendly manner. Otherwise business can be just as oppressive as government and even worse… when they work together and against the consumer, and the public in general. Fascism is like putting oppression on steroids…. something free market fanatics seem to avoid talking about in their “no regulation” rants. Certainly Ronnie had no interest in preventing it. No, he’d rather put a wreath on it’s grave.
When reviewing the post Reagan years, did that act revive this rather nasty, gross form of, economic form of vampirism, and it decided to slowly immigrate to the States? Why didn’t we listen to the warnings of the pundit bell ringers who, like in some old movies, rang the church bells to warn us? (And, for fun, shall we dub it Bella La Grossie?)
Ronnie and the first Bush supported the Khmer Rouge over the Vietnamese in Cambodia. No one ever would claim the Namese “saints.” But in comparison? Hell, yeah.
He and his gang should have been hung out to dry over the traitorous arms deal and I suspect the pre-election maneuvering too. But I’m no Carter fan. Carter deserved to lose if for no other reason than his hideous Rose Garden strategy.
He didn’t “bring down the wall” or defeat the Soviet Union. No, we have to thank Mikhail Gorbachev for that: the leader that the likes of Limbaugh and other Reagan fans kept claiming would “never” give up power…
And claimed he would, “Never allow that wall to be torn down…”
They were pretty much was wrong on many things: especially Gorby. While not a saint by any means, it’s sad that Ronnie keeps getting the credit that the man who helped free the old USSR should have gotten.
That was the short list of my problems with Ronald Reagan.
I’m thanking Reagan for one thing. Back in the 80s I finally realized that I hated floating songs from publisher to publisher only to find them taken, dissected, then regurgitated as some other “writer’s” work. I also finally understood realized that as a performer for adult songs I was really a songwriter who may have a flare for a different type of entertainment: another kind of audience. I felt lost. Just give up? Toss all my work in the dumpster?
I am, by nature, a creative beast. Rip creativity from me and you might as well shove a shive into my heart.
As much as Ronnie didn’t do to actually help small business, he talked the talk: encouraging people to consider starting their own small business. It was a moment in time similar to Jack’s space program. If only he had combined that with education on how to do that without going into massive debt, on how to get self discipline needed to be in business for yourself and actually help us up a bit with more financial incentives. Oh, but that would be too government intrusive, too “big Daddy” gov. …except meanwhile; as with all of the current Neo Con crop, socialism for big business and the rich, well that was “OK.”
The secret password for the decades long trend he help to start has been “National Socialism.”
I didn’t do it because of Ronnie specifically, but a lot of us back then followed the other: “start your own business,” trend he had encouraged with his words: if not many actual actions. So I grabbed the ring and have never regretted the meager living I have made being an entertainer for the younger generation and an educational service provider. I am willing to admit that if Ronnie had never promoted small business: regardless of his actual policies, I might still be meandering from failure to failure, the wreckage of stolen and smashed dreams, wondering: “Now what the hell do I do?”
And, now, another great orator leads the nation. Like Barack, Reagan was a great speaker when given a good script and a teleprompter. Another great orator who can, once again, find a cause and lead us into… solar power? Wind? A truly kinder, gentler nation: not the phony one promoted by Mr. Partisan President’s father himself? Health care? A country willing to face it’s demons and admit its faults: the very faults that could bring on another 9/11 if un-addressed?
Or does being president mean, “Never having to say we’re sorry?” Cringe. Hell, that didn’t work in the movies. Take it from a happily married man for well over 30 years: being in love definitely means having to say you’re sorry… many, many times.
Yes, and how about bringing those to justice who used high positions to encourage a culture of torture? Or is justice only meant for us peons? Or spelled more accurately, “Pee ons?”
Pick wisely, please. I know that’s an easy thing to type. It’s also a damn hard: landmine-laced field, thing to accomplish. But after eight years of ruling by fright, the time is ripe.
We are waiting.
Somehow I think the ghost of Jack, maybe even Ronnie, might applaud.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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