It astounds me that Reagan is still held up as an ideal by the right. And I am perplexed as to whether peoples memories are so short, they weren’t paying attention/don’t follow history, or simply don’t care.
Just as today we have the boogeyman of “terrorism”/radical islam, Reagan/Bush has the evils of communism.
Reagan proceeded with a very dangerous game to bankrupt the USSR- the nuclear arms race. One that put all americans at risk- not only through the threat of annhilation- but by the massive increase in US debt this caused. And of course- rather then take responsibility for his spending, he chose to slash taxes. Pushing the burden onto my generations, our childrens generation, their childrens childrens generation.
He supported the “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan with money and arms in their war against the Soviets. Freedom Fighters, including as some evidence suggests Osama Bin Laden . Who he then completely abandoned when they had served our purpose. Which of course led to the rise of the Taliban, and our present day situation.
He supported Saddam Hussein, and supplied him with WMD’s. And according to some evidence-troops to instruct and aid in their use against Iran.
Iran. and of course the Iran/Contra affair. (for which one of my relatives was among the highest place people convicted). A scandal that puts fast and furious, benghazi, and every other supposed scandal of the obama administration combined to shame. Violating US law. Violating international law. A dangerous dance of cocaine and gunsand playing off Iran and Iraq against each other while supplying both. Not to mention the Nicaraguan Contras.
The Contras. Which brings us to central and south america. Where Reagans narrowsighted fear of socialism and communism left virtually no country unscathed. Where democratically elected leaders were assinated or overthrown. Where brutal dictators and militias were armed, funded, and supported- often resulting in the rapes, tortures, deaths, or simple disappearances of tens of thousands of citizens throughout the region.
The Drug War. Reagan vastly expanded the drug war – see both the notes on central/south america, as well as taxes/spending above. Also of coure iran/contra and the cocaine aspect, as well as freeway ricky ross and the LA times investigative reporter Gary Webb. Both of which, coupled with cuts to social and mental health programs under Reagan played major roles in the explosion of crack cocaine. The injustice of the mandatory minimums for crack cocaine under Reagan/Bush that saw a huge portion of an entire generation sentenced to decades in prison for the crime of addiction.
The environment- Reagan, who ordered the Forest Service to log patchwork patterns around many national parks- particularly in the west, ensuring they could not be expanded. who, when flying out for the opening of Mt St Helens national monument looked down from the plane and said “oh my god- the devestations amazing”…to which an aide had to inform it they weren’t there yet- what he was seeing was the result of the logging of public lands he supported and encouraged- logging that cost the federal government more to arrange then it collected in fees.
Reagans attempted appointment of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court- and refusal to withdraw. One of only 3 nominees every opposed by the ACLU (2 by reagan, 1 confirmed), 1 by bush jr, confirmed).
Lebanon. The bombings of the marine barracks. The bombing of the US embassy. Some events which closely mirror Benghazzi.
Firing of the nations air traffic controllers. An important blow to labor, and one of many dangerous steps he took towards the strengthing of the presidency.
His pocket veto of the whistleblower reforms…
I could go on and on, and on. (and then delve into his failures as governor of CA).
Reagan was no angel, and nothing to be idolized or remembered fondly. And many of his actions mirror, or are the very root of policies taken by Obama, who despite the claims of many of those that idolize Reagan is not a raging scialist/communst/marxist- but indeed, at best, a moderate democratic- and one who on countless important issues is to the right of many moderate republicans.