TALKING POINTS: REAGAN THE DUNCE
There is an interesting article by Susan J. Douglas in the July 2007 issue of In These Times, "The Enduring Lies of Ronald Reagan." I want to give a few highlights for the benefit of those who haven't seen it. It is important to have facts at hand in case you are unfortunate enough to run into someone who thinks Reagan was one our "great" presidents. If such a horrible fate should befall you, you can repel the evil influence by pointing out:
1. He was, according to polls at the time, one of the most unpopular modern presidents ever-- his ratings overall were lower than Kennedy's, Eisenhower's and Johnson's.
2. He was a big dunce-- trees cause more pollution than automobiles, the apartheid government in South Africa had eliminated "segregation" (also don't forget "ketchup is a vegetable" for the purpose of providing healthy food for poor children-- a hamburger with ketchup = meat, carbohydrate (bun), plus vegetable-- a perfectly healthy meal).
3. "Reaganomics" was a disaster-- one of the highest unemployment rates
since WW 2 (10.1% in 1981, 11.9 million out of work, 1982), 500,000 people (the majority children) fell into poverty due to welfare cuts while those making $80,000 plus got $15,000 more or less back from tax cuts, poverty rate went up to 15% the highest in 20 years.
4. His knowledge of foreign affairs was nil-- honoring Nazi war dead (Bitburg), Iran-Contra (who me?), [ and don't forget the Contras were the "moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers"], stupid actions in Lebanon and Beirut. [He gets credit for being in office and breathing when the USSR came apart].
5. Eight of his senior appointments were indicted, so he had one of the most corrupt administrations in living memory.
Just a few things to remember when St. Ronnie is conjured up from the vastly deep. Feel free to add more in the comments section.