Adolf Reagan

  1. Disclaimer: The following is an article by Larry Kramer who is well-known to have a very passionate hatred of the ex-prez. Do not read if you are senstive to criticism of the ex-prez. because your blood will boil. Larry Kramer has been a controversal figure in the AIDS/Gay scene for many years. Both revered and reviled by the gay community. He founded ACTUP which I believe was very instrumental in saving lives. I don't prescribe to all his rhoteric, and it may be full of myth as well. I also try to open my mind up to where he is coming from, and don't dismiss him as self-righteous whining either. It makes an interesting read.




    "The AIDS epidemic has been one of the two great holocausts of modern history, notes Larry Kramer, and Ronald Reagan chose to say nothing about it until the seventh year of his presidency. In all the early coverage of his death, why was this forgotten? Kramer, for one, is counting the bodies to mark the passing of the man he calls
    Adolf Reagan
    An Advocate.com exclusive preview posted June 18, 2004

    Our murderer is dead. The man who murdered more gay people than anyone else in the entire history of the world is dead. More people than Hitler even. In all the tributes to his passing, as I write this two days after his death, not one that I have seen has mentioned this. The hateful New York Times ("all the news that's fit to print") of course said nothing about this. We still are not fit to write about with total honesty in their pages. Not really. Just as we were not fit for Ronald Reagan to talk about us. What kind of president is that?

    I have been writing a long work of history that I call The American People. I chose this title because in every speech he ever made, Reagan went on and on about "the American People." We, of course, were never a part of his American People. And we knew it.

    Year after year of his hateful and endless reign we knew we were not a part of the American People he was President of. He would never talk about us, of course, or do anything for us except murder us. There were no social services for us. There was no research into our health. Even as we were dying like flies.

    How could he not have seen us dying? The answer is, He did see us dying, and he chose to do nothing. There was no representation of us in his government. There was never anything for us but his ignoble dismissal of us.

    All of Washington, indeed the world, knew that Reagan hated us. How could they not? Most of them did too. And when Daddy doesn't love you, who is there to stand up to Daddy? This is a trick that Hitler used and which I believe the young Reagan learned from him. He never had to say much out loud himself about his hatreds; but everyone knew what they were. Gays were as hated under Reagan as Jews were under Hitler. It is a trick that both George Bushes have carbon-copied. We have not been included among their American People either.

    I could never understand why Reagan's hatred of us was so intense and manifest and never-ending. Some of Nancy Reagan's best friends were gay, the self-loathing Jerry Zipkin, at one time her principal "walker," chief among them. It is said he taught her how to dress. In my play Just Say No, I dramatized my own theory of why she and her husband kept gays off their agenda as if we were the plague, which, of course, as in some hideous self-fulfilling prophecy, we became. Ron Reagan Jr. That is why. It was no secret in an ever-widening circle that Ron Reagan Jr. was suspected of being gay. In his freshman year at Yale (I believe this was his only year there; perhaps there were two), I have been told, he had numerous gay experiences. I am well-known at Yale. Indeed, I have established the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale to document the evil acts that American "history" has performed on us.

    And just as damning as the son's reputation, of course, because it could not be hidden, was that Ron Reagan Jr. was a ballet dancer. This did not look good and was obviously exceedingly embarrassing to a father who rode so many horses. So off with the tutu and on with a wedding ring. Junior was married off and sent to far-off places in positions of low visibility.

    I have gay friends in Hollywood, equally closeted, who knew him and know him and protect him. To know him is to be sworn to some sort of pact of secrecy. What a hideous life Ron Jr. must have led all these years. To be denied a life and to have been so utterly gutless about fighting back. (Well, we know all about that.) While his own mother was gallivanting around with some of the biggest fairies in the world. What hateful parents to have had in the prime of your life, "the great communicator" of a father out there communicating how much he hated you, and his wife out there going along with this.

    I suspect by now Ron Reagan Jr. actually believes he is straight. By now he may very well be. He may well have been all along. He just looked so suspicious, and of course it was this perceived suspicion that, one way or the other, is what caused his father to murder so many of us. Why does history not recognize this monstrous and never-ending history of hatred and the inestimable number of deaths it continues to cause?

    People magazine called me for a quote on Reagan's death. "I wish he had died before he was elected," is what I told them. I wonder what they will run.

    t is remarkable that two of the so-called greatest presidents have also allowed the greatest perpetrations and perpetuations of mass murder. Franklin D. Roosevelt was shamefully inept in dealing with "the Jewish question" (see my play The Normal Heart), most ironic since so many Jews were his most loyal supporters, the Jerry Zipkins of their day.

    No one really writes about this. Roosevelt is one of history's great gods. Just as no one really writes about Reagan and "the gay question." These two major murderers so far have gotten away with helping to cause the two major holocausts of modern history. Just as Jews are asked to never forget their Holocaust, I implore all gay people never to forget our holocaust and who caused it and why.

    Ronald Reagan did not even say the word "AIDS" out loud until the seventh year of his reign. Because of this, some 70 million people so far have become infected with HIV/AIDS. I wonder what it feels like to be the son and the wife of a man responsible for over 70 million people becoming infected with a virus that has killed half of us so far. I wonder what it felt like while he was alive to ponder this. For surely he must have thought about it. How could he not? He has been called the consummate actor who came to believe all his lines. Does this not make his legacy even more grotesque? It should.

    Hitler knew what he was doing. How could Ronald Reagan not have known what he was doing?

    But of course no one is writing about this. Reagan too is one of history's gods.

    So far Ronald Reagan has gotten away with murder.

    Kramer's play The Normal Heart, about the early years of the AIDS crisis, is now playing in a revival off-Broadway."



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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    WOW some mighty strong words there....not sure I agree necessarily. I think HIV/AIDS were all but ignored by Reagan, a true shame and tragedy of the time----- but then many of us were guilty of stereotyping and stigmatizing AIDS patients (and gays) in the 1980s. I certainly was one who was very ignorant. Ignorance does not equal bliss nor does it equal the evil of Hitler now. Live and learn.....and learn some more I say.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    I was ignorant too. I worked on a respiratory unit that became the AIDS unit.
    We used the kind of isolation reserved for airborn MRSA and such now.

    Patients were admitted already very sick. Kaposes sarcoma and pneumocystis pneumonia were common. Smome suffered from dementia while quite young. Most patients were med younger than me. Still in my thirties in the early 80's I was unused to young patients.

    What a relief to be able to only use Universal Precautions in 1984!
    We could hug and comfort our patients without all the isolation garb.

    Clear lungs, low PO2 and a certain smell (from opportunistic infections) made me sure before the WBC diff came back.
    I heard more than I wanted to know about private sex lives.

    An RN whose partner died in 1981 on my unit became a dear friend. In 1986 we got tested together. He was positive. He seemed healthy and the new combinations of medications became available just when his 'T' cells fell below 200. He lived many more porductive years as a nursing supervisor, friend, son, and mentor.

    Many of us remember his friendship and miss him.
    I went to CCU for both the 1:2 ratios and because like oncology our patients died. I learned so much from my patients.

    No the president is not responsible for the virus.
    Anger is understandable when so many young people die. We have learned how it is transmitted. Every day another young person becomes sexually active. I don't think teens shoul, but they do. EDUCATION needs to be neverending. Starting young.

    I heard President Bush on the radio today say that in Africa they call it the A -B -C's abstain, be faithful if married, consider a condom.

    He did not respond as nurses did. We really showed ourselves then. We should all be proud of what most of us did at that time.
  5. by   leslie :-D
    spacenurse, these past couple of days from reading your posts, i've quickly come to admire your input. you just nail the issues with consideration and much insight. there's much to be learned from you. again, good post.

    as for the author's input on adolph reagan, putting myself in a gay person's shoes, i too would feel contempt with such a perceived disregard for an entire population whose people were suffering, then dying w/o intervention. fear and ignorance are the real killers here.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from earle58
    spacenurse, these past couple of days from reading your posts, i've quickly come to admire your input. you just nail the issues with consideration and much insight. there's much to be learned from you. again, good post.

    as for the author's input on adolph reagan, putting myself in a gay person's shoes, i too would feel contempt with such a perceived disregard for an entire population whose people were suffering, then dying w/o intervention. fear and ignorance are the real killers here.
    I admire your posting too. Even when most of us disagree I sense you are explaining your way of thinking and feeling, not disregarding others feelings as unworthy.

    I am glad to have been offthe last couple nights. Now is time to nap before going in tonight. I am one of thousands of nurses who care deeply, advocate for patients, and disagree with friends and family while still loving each other.
    This forum is good for me (and I assume the rest of us) because my politics and religious beliefs dont get expressed at work. We are too busy focusing on our patients anyway.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    here, here spacenurse!
  8. by   jnette
    Quote from earle58
    fear and ignorance are the real killers here.
    Can't argue that. And I believe we all have a bit of that ... regarding some issue or another. Sad.. but true.
  9. by   Q.
    We were all ignorant of HIV/AIDS back then. And by all I mean Administration, the medical community, and the people who got infected with the virus to begin with.
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Susy K
    We were all ignorant of HIV/AIDS back then. And by all I mean Administration, the medical community, and the people who got infected with the virus to begin with.
    Exactly....
  11. by   donmurray
    I think he may have been aware...




    The following press conference is the first public mention of AIDS in the Reagan White House. At that time 200 Americans had died of a new infectious disease. Reagan himself did not mention AIDS for three more years.

    THE WHITE HOUSE

    Office of the Press Secretary

    PRESS BRIEFING BY LARRY SPEAKES

    October 15, 1982

    The Briefing Room

    12:45pm EDT

    Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement * the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?

    MR. SPEAKES: What's AIDS?

    Q: Over a third of them have died. It's known as "gay plague." (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?

    MR. SPEAKES: I don't have it. Do you? (Laughter.)

    Q: No, I don't.

    MR. SPEAKES: You didn't answer my question.

    Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President *

    MR. SPEAKES: How do you know? (Laughter.)

    Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?

    MR. SPEAKES: No, I don't know anything about it, Lester.

    Q: Does the President, does anyone in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?

    MR. SPEAKES: I don't think so. I don't think there's been any *

    Q: Nobody knows?

    MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester.

    Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping *

    MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he's had no * (laughter) * no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.

    Q: The President doesn't have gay plague, is that what you're saying or what?

    MR. SPEAKES: No, I didn't say that.

    Q: Didn't say that?

    MR. SPEAKES: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn't you stay there? (Laughter.)

    Q: Because I love you Larry, that's why (Laughter.)

    MR. SPEAKES: Oh I see. Just don't put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.)

    Q: Oh, I retract that.

    MR. SPEAKES: I hope so.

    Q: It's too late.

    This transcript was quoted at the beginning of Jon Cohen's book, Shots in the Dark: The Wayward Search for an AIDS Vaccine, 2001.

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    Last edit by donmurray on Jun 25, '04
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from Susy K
    We were all ignorant of HIV/AIDS back then. And by all I mean Administration, the medical community, and the people who got infected with the virus to begin with.

    Yes, there was a lot of ignorance about it on all parts. I will cut the administration some slack, but they claimed igorance long after they should have been doing something. But that's old news.
  13. by   nurseygrrl
    Thanks for posting that Tweety. I had really wanted to read it. I agree there were many parties responsible for the ignorance and stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, but as the President of a country being overcome by a plague, I feel that he holds the bag moreso than the others.

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