Saturday, July 02, 2011

Remembering Ronald Reagan (Not So Fondly)

Note: I began the following essay a few moths back when the 100th anniversary of Reagan's birthday was an actual news item. Since then I sort of lost interest, but decided to go ahead and finish it up and post the necessary links for those of you who care to do any kind of background research on this topic. I do this for Christian friends of mine who are blinded by something I have come to label Reagonolatry. Or "Reagan-Idolatry." This mawkish tendency among some, to put on rose-colored glasses about something they wish to view favorably: in this case, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

One has to wonder: What are the reasons for this? Are there things people don't want to let go of? Materialism and Greed? A bad attitude towards the poor and people of other ethnic backgrounds? We have FOX News and websites such as World Net Daily and Christian Post that make a living out of padding the White Conservative Christian Evangelical with enough of a buffer on their conscience that they won't reconsider many of their cherished views. 

If they ever did, their would be noticeable changes in voting habits and powers that be would start to lose their grip.

Never losing sleep over it's insatiable need to publish inane fluff pieces, the Washington Post earlier this month listed it's Five myths about Ronald Reagan's legacy. Of course, nobody cares about whether he was a bad actor or not, and especially his detractors believe his Presidency was a Great Acting job, even if not a great... Presidency. But since the Post squandered an opportunity to really rip off the Gipper's mask, I suppose it falls upon the author of this blog you are reading to tell the real truth. OK not that I'm the only one, but I do get to pass the truth along.

I'll never forget the plight of my hometown of Klamath Falls, OR- an area that regularly votes upwards of 60% Republican most of the time- falling into economic depression in the 80's as stores in the inner urban area closed down and job became scarce. For some reason, Rural Communities tend towards Ultra-Right Wing ideology, and despite hard times and countless other disasters of Republicanism over the years, they still pretty much vote the same way.

I took courses at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls in the Spring of 1984 and again in the Winter and Spring of 1992. In 1984 you hardly dared disagree that Reagan was a great President, doing the right things for the economy and security. By the early 90's however, with Bush Sr.'s 1st term in mid-swing, students had a different mental state. Many were scared the jobs they were studying for might not even be there.

I think they had good reason to think so. We had by then, 10 years of a Republican in the White House,after all.

But I digress. Let's get into the specifics about Reagan shall we? Grab your tin-foil hats and come along. Let's take a journey though some websites that take not such a great view of the Gipper.

The Mythos of the "Reaganomics Recovery"

Libertarians are becoming less and less my favorite kind of people, but here's a critique of Reaganomics from a Libertarian Free-Market view anyway. Good grief, I just started reading it and he's lying his ass off already- saying Carter had a huge Budget Deficit that Reagan needed to bring down. Do I leave this link up? OK I will,but only in the interest of presenting another view. As far as what really happened to the economy, I watched the News back then. Reagan pushed the deficit up not down, and everyone I knew admitted it (although Ray-gun's defenders acted as if was a good thing!) For a crash course in what Reagan actually did do to the economy vs how Carter left things when he stepped down from office, go here. To just see how the deficit was on it's way down under Carter, before Reagan got in, go here. To see just how much good President Jimmy Carter was doing for the country before Reagan's gang of Robber Barons got in office, go here. To find out how Reagan and his cohorts conspired to lie about the state of the US Debt and scare-stampede people into submission, go here.

For more sobering analysis of Reaganomics, view the following:

This video makes the claim at the beginning that Deregulation actually began under Carter. I certainly can attest to that, knowing that things like the FFC rules governing the operation of Radio Stations started under Reagan's predecessor.

Did Reagan really lower taxes? All depends on how you look at it:

CNN's Money blog has an interesting breakdown of Reagan's conduct with first lowering, then raising taxes here. For a detailed, thorough analysis of how Republican Presidents run up deficits they tend to saddle Democratic Presidents with, check here. For proof that unemployment doubled under the 1st 4 years of Reagan's term in office, go here. For Paul Krugman's answer to the Conservatives attempt to re-write history to gloss over Reagan's glaring errors, go here.

In 30 years, the US went from being the Worlds largest Creditor nation, to being the largest Debtor Nation. How did Reagan play a part in this? Check this video:

So Just How Did We End Up With This Bozo In Office Anyway?

Quite simply put: Reagan and his cohorts conspired to keep the Hostages taken in Iran under Carter's watch from being brought home by then President Jimmy Carter. I believe this was true back then, and I believe it now. As tells us:

According to handwritten notes of Reagan’s foreign policy adviser Richard Allen, Bush called on Oct. 27, 1980, after getting an unsettling message from former Texas Gov. John Connally, the ex-Democrat who had switched to the Republican Party during the Nixon administration. Connally said his oil contacts in the Middle East were buzzing with rumors that Carter had achieved the long-elusive breakthrough on the hostages.

In a still “secret” 1992 deposition to the House October Surprise Task Force, Allen explained the cryptic notes as meaning Connally had heard that Carter had ransomed the hostages’ freedom with an Israeli shipment of military spare parts to Iran. Allen said Bush instructed him, Allen, to get details from Connally. Allen was then to pass on any new details to two of Bush’s aides.

Though various foreign leaders and intelligence operatives have alleged that by mid-October 1980, the Reagan-Bush campaign had struck its own hostage deal with the Iranian government, there apparently continued to be nervousness among the Republicans that whatever arrangements they had with Iran might come unglued.

Adding to this, the blog known as The Ronald Reagan Years tells us the following details:

In 1980, during Ronald Reagan's presidential run, William Casey was Reagan's campaign manager. Casey's background was in foreign intelligence. In World War II, Casey was the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in London (1943-45). After the war, he directed U.S. intelligence in Europe and had a love for covert operations. Reagan's vice presidential nominee George Bush also had an intelligence background--he was director of the CIA from 1976 to 1977.
Strong evidence suggests that both Bush and Casey made a secret deal with Ayatollah Khomeini's Iranian government to delay the release of American hostages until after the 1980 presidential election. Going into the election, the U.S. government had been deadlocked with Iran for almost a year over the fate of American citizens held by that country. The impasse had become an albatross around President Carter's neck and CIA-men, Bush and Casey were determined that the hostage issue would not be resolved while Carter was in office. To this end, Bush and Casey allegedly made a secret arrangement with the Iranians to delay the hostages' release and help ensure Carter's election defeat.

I wont bother re-hasing the details about Reagan having pandered to the KKK and the Racist South in the 1980 campaign. You can read a good breakdown of that here. I've already documented the whole sordid history of the Republicans and their record on Race & Gender in a previous blog post.

For a trip down memory lane, read about the Iran Contra scandal here: In light of all of that, watch this video on how Reagan was involved in funding Osama Bin Laden:

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