Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ronald Reagan 100 -- February 6, 2011

Some people think Ronald Reagan was the greatest US President ever. I remember a little bit of when he was Governor of California and I remember his presidency well. From the time he was governor, I remember hearing about the tax increase mentioned in this poster. I remember more and more people with mental problems being shoved out into the streets because Reagan closed the state hospitals but did nothing to fund community treatment. From the time he was president, I remember him actively ignoring the AIDS crisis. I remember Iran-Contra. I remember him cutting and running from Lebanon. I remember him cutting taxes and claiming that trickle down economics would benefit everyone. I remember him running up our national debt by jacking up defense spending. He often gets credit for forcing the end of the Cold War. It was more complicated than that. I remember the savings and loan crisis.

I remember the day Reagan was running for reelection in 1984. A school friend said "If Reagan wins, I'm leaving the country." I laughed, trying to remember how many times I have heard that statement. The next day, after Reagan won, my friend was late for class. He had been to the Australian consulate and had arranged to emigrate.

I don't understand how he became a saint to some people.

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