I Also Remember Reagan

  1. But my memories are a startling contrast to the other memories posted on this board:

    I remember him proposing what we now call "Reaganomics." Liberals poo-pooed the idea, calling it "greedy" and crying how it would take food and money from the poor. Even his eventual Vice President, George Bush, called it "voodoo economics." But guess what? It worked. During the Carter administration, the US economy was in the doldrums. Economists were predicting nothing but worsening conditions. Our economy would not pull out of that slump for years, if ever. But, before the end of Reagan's first term, the economy had turned around. At his second conference of the G7, other members asked him how he had pulled off the "American Miracle." He proposed that by cutting taxes, and getting rid of the unnecessary regulatory burden on business, we would eventually raise government revenue by sparking a growth economy. He said the way to improve the economy was not through more government programs and taxes. He said you don't get people back to work by raising taxes on businesses and giving that money out as welfare. He said if you stop interfering with the American economy, it would fix itself. And it worked. Ultimately, unemployment fell. So did the inflation that had been rampant under Carter. Americans went back to work, and our economy boomed.

    I remember him telling us that we could defeat communism. We could stop the expansion of communist governments throughout the world. The liberal elites at the time could not believe those words came from his mouth. He was inviting a war with the Soviet Union. Just the statement alone was dangerous, he was a loose cannon on deck. Then, to the chagrin of the liberal elites, he got elected. The liberals were terrified. This cowboy was going to start WW III. Didn't happen. He faced down communism. I read where someone proposed that it was actually Lech Walesa who brought about the downfall of communism. What poppycock! Walesa is a courageous man, and his accomplishments must be recognized. But we must also recognize that without Reagan, Walesa was a dead man walking. See, the Soviet Union had a track record of not brooking any unrest in the Eastern bloc satellite countries. They had in the past invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia to put down popular uprisings. Reagan warned the Soviets that the US would not tolerate the same actions in Poland. Reagan was the man who had the courage to stand up to the Soviets. Liberals called for "peaceful coexistance" and "détente." Reagan knew that the Soviets ultimately did not want either of these conditions. They wanted world domination. He had the fortitude to stand up and put a stop to it.

    I remember Reagan as the Commander in Chief. When he took office, the American military was in an abysmal state. Morale was at an all time low. Drug use in the ranks was rampant. Equipment was outdated, much even antiquated. We were not only outnumbered by the Soviet Union, our equipment was hopelessly outclassed. In a very short time, Reagan turned that around. I could go on and on, but the Gulf War stands out as a legacy to Ronald Reagan's defense policies. The Iraqi Republican Guard was equipped with some of the most modern Soviet equipment, and had been trained by the Soviets. That same equipment turned out to be far outclassed by the weapons systems brought in during the Reagan administration. The Soviets watched the Gulf war, and were shocked by how poorly their weapons did. Just as an example, they discovered that the American M1 tank could take out top of the line Soviet tanks, and do it from a distance that was outside the effective range of their tanks. I have even heard one historian suggest that the outcome of the first Gulf war put the final nail in the coffin of the Soviet Union. They were far behind, and their economy was teetering on the brink of collapse. They knew then they were done.

    Since the end of the Vietnam war, US military members had lost their pride. By the time I joined the military in 1978, civilians weren't spitting on us, but the derision in their eyes was clear. The common wisdom held that only dolts who could not make it any other way joined the military. One of the first things President Reagan gave back to us was our pride, our esprit de corps, and our professionalism. For the first time since Kennedy, we had a Commander in Chief who believed in us and our abilities. We had a Commander in Chief who said "I won't send you into harms way with inferior equipment because of petty politics." Within a few years, we were the force in the world to be reckoned with, not the Soviets.

    To be sure, Reagan was not perfect. To deify him would be to dishonor his memory. I was a member of the military when President Reagan gave us back our honor, so I would not now take his away. He made mistakes. He was human. But for every misstep, for every mistake, there was a reason. His goal was always the improvement of the US. He did not embarrass us by getting caught with an intern under his desk. Nor did he play the coward, firing cruise missiles at dubious targets, like aspirin factories and terrorist camps where Osama might used to have been. In fact, he went out after terrorists. And, he caught them. Read about what happened to the hijackers of the Achille Lauro

    Its funny how his detractors would now twist his memory. Its funny how they would give credit for his accomplishments to someone, anyone else. Perhaps its because they just cannot accept, even now in the face of history, that they were mostly wrong, and he was completely right. Maybe its just a petty, juvenile tantrum.

    Kevin McHugh
    •  
  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   WickedRedRN
    What a wonderful post! So refreshing to see someone who speaks after my own heart. I was raised the daughter of a staunch Democrat, graduated High School in the 80's and began my working adult life. For me, Reagan has been the greatest President of my lifetime. I will hold all others to his standard.
  4. by   psychomachia
    Quote from kmchugh
    But my memories are a startling contrast to the other memories posted on this board:

    I remember him proposing what we now call "Reaganomics." Liberals poo-pooed the idea, calling it "greedy" and crying how it would take food and money from the poor. Even his eventual Vice President, George Bush, called it "voodoo economics." But guess what? It worked. During the Carter administration, the US economy was in the doldrums. Economists were predicting nothing but worsening conditions. Our economy would not pull out of that slump for years, if ever. But, before the end of Reagan's first term, the economy had turned around.
    Kevin McHugh
    Ever bought something on credit?? Well....(Reagan pause)...that's what ol' Ronnie did and although it appeared to help the economy the deficit created was a record one for this country. Thanks, Ron...

    Reagan's campaign promise of a "smaller" government was never accomplished and neither was his promise to reduce Carter's deficit. Bush Sr. inherited the mess and had to raise taxes. And of course, who could forget the ridiculous "read my lips" statement. Sorry George, but it's hard to read someone's lips when they're talkin out of their a**...

    Reagan gave us more debt than any president in history because he felt deficits don't matter...

    Bush Jr. promised to reduce the debt but in 2002 projected a 2 TRILLION dollar INCREASE...

    Perhaps George Jr.'s legacy will be that he outspent Reagan??

    Probably...

    And especially since George likes to think of himself as "Reaganish" I bet this statement will someday be repeated:

    We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.
    - Ronald Reagan
  5. by   roxannekkb
    Quote from kmchugh
    Reagan warned the Soviets that the US would not tolerate the same actions in Poland. Reagan was the man who had the courage to stand up to the Soviets. Liberals called for "peaceful coexistance" and "détente." Reagan knew that the Soviets ultimately did not want either of these conditions. They wanted world domination. He had the fortitude to stand up and put a stop to it.

    Kevin McHugh
    Everyone is entitled to their memories, of course. But what was Reagan going to do, attack the Soviet Union if they put down the uprising in Poland? I highly doubt it. And I think Reagan, or at least his advisors, were well aware that the Russians weren't about to do anything in Poland, so it's easy to talk big. They couldn't handle militarily putting down dissent in Poland, being that they were tied up in Afghanistan--a fruitless war that was draining them. Reagan brought down the Soviet Union by bankrupting them--they couldn't keep up in the arms race. And you give very little credit to the all of the people who were actually living in the Soviet Union and its satellites, and who were creating dissent. By the time Reagan "requested"the Berlin Wall to come down, the Soviet Union was already tearing at the seams.

    And as Reagan "dreamed" of ending the cold war, he certainly wasn't eager to give the people in South and Central America freedom from their heinous governments. Communists were the only evil, according to Reagan. Not fascist genocidal dictators, who happened to be pro-US. Reagan's concept of freedom was a little warped, to say the least. Bring down the Soviet Union, but keep the likes of Somoza and Rios Montt in power.
  6. by   fergus51
    Reaganomics always crack me up. Baiscally it seems like Reagan had the party and Bush Sr. got stuck paying for it.

    We elected a "reaganomics" politician in my home province a few years ago. It's not my home province anymore mind you, since the job situation is so crappy and our economy stinks. We went from being a wealthy province to one of the have nots....
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    http://www.michaeljacksontalkradio.c...n_Journal.html

    Over the past few days it has been a little more overt, but it has been subtly injected into the campaign since the race for the White House began in earnest; the comparison being drawn between President Bush and President Reagan. I detect no similarities of style or substance.

    With foreign policy paramount let me make mention of the two chief executives approach to the Neocons - the ultra conservatives whose agenda is fully embraced by Mr. Bush. Mr. Reagan rejected them outright. Many of the self-same neoconservatives who now serve the administration were there twenty years ago in the White House. While Reagan worked to bring about change in this country's relationship with the Soviet Union (and, eventually, its collapse), they subscribed to the notion that "totalitarianism" was irreversible and never changing. He was told by them, over and over, that the Soviet Union was quite likely to make a pre-emptive strike against the United States.
    The neocons opposed entirely Mr. Reagan's efforts at personal diplomacy with Soviet leaders. Reagan chartered his own course, first with Leonid Brezhnev and then, ultimately, with Mr. Gorbachev, who became his friend. It is very possible that the Soviets truly believed that we might well be the ones to strike first. We didn't, as Reagan pointed out and we certainly could have during those years when we were the world's only nuclear power.

    President Reagan grew in office, from having advocated and brought about escalation of tensions between the world's mightiest powers, to negotiation.

    Again. while the Reagan years saw a rejection of neocons, George W. Bush embraces them. The names are the same... Pipes, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Kristol and more. Of course Mr. Reagan made mistakes along the way - the "Starwars" project; multibillions for a program that will probably never work or be completed. It was Maggie Thatcher, the Prime Minister of Britain, a chemist by training, who was quoted as saying, "I'm a chemist, I know it won't work."

    But comparing the two chief executives? The incumbent, who gave us "shock and awe" (Whatever happened to those mistaken words?) and Mr. Reagan who instilled pride in citizenship. The incumbent who has so undermined our relationship with significant allies around the world.

    And we start the week with the latest protestation of the 43rd. President here at home. More than two dozen members of the military and diplomatic elites from the ranks of both Democrats and Republicans have united to launch an attack on the Bush administration's conduct of foreign policy, There are 26 members of the group calling themselves "Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change" and they should know. Their ranks include several people who held significant positions for President George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

    On the positive side, for Mr. Bush, last week he won a great deal of approval from the United Nations Security Council for a resolution that recognizes a new interim Iraqi government, selected with a lot of input from the United States.
    Michael
  8. by   kmchugh
    I knew this was coming. When I wrote the original post, I was playing in the back of my mind all the arguments that I knew were coming. And what is funniest about those arguments is that I have addressed them all in the past.

    Reaganomics: There can be no argument on one fundamental point. When Ronald Reagan assumed office, our economy was in the trash. Unemployment and inflation were both high. Eight years later, when Reagan left office, we were in a boom the likes of which had not been seen since the late forties and early fifties. Fergus, we've discussed the Canadian politician who tried Reaganomics in one of your provinces. I don't know why it didn't work. Perhaps the national laws of Canada prevent such an economic model from working when tried in only one province. (I don't know that, just speculation on my part.) But, when tried nationally here in the US, it worked. End of statement.

    National Debt: We've been through this before, Psychomachia. Reagan didn't pass the national budgets, congress did. Everyone at the time knew that we needed to bolster our national defense, but to allow Reagan to do it, congress demanded increased spending elsewhere. Guess who was one of the first national politicians to raise an alarm about the deficit? Ronald Reagan. See this thread for elaboration:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53644

    The Cold War: Roxanne, where were you during the Polish unrest? I was in Europe, in the military, working in intel. I remember it quite clearly, and remember Reagan telling the Soviets to leave Polish problems to the Poles. It doesn't matter whether or not you believe we would have fought the Russians in Poland. It doesn't matter whether or not I believe it. It doesn't really matter whether the Russians completely believed it. All that mattered was that Reagan planted that seed of doubt. And like it or not, the Russians had every ability to put down the uprising in Poland. Without even breaking much of a sweat, since the only "foes" they would have faced would have been the striking workers, who didn't have much in the way of armor or heavy artillery. The Polish government would have been forced to "assist" the Russians in "rescuing" the Poles.

    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on Jun 17, '04
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.
    - Ronald Reagan



    yep.

    steph
  10. by   Tweety
    Quote from kmchugh
    Its funny how his detractors would now twist his memory. Its funny how they would give credit for his accomplishments to someone, anyone else. Perhaps its because they just cannot accept, even now in the face of history, that they were mostly wrong, and he was completely right. Maybe its just a petty, juvenile tantrum.

    Kevin McHugh

    Kevin, that was a good post. Personally, I don't mind giving him credit where credit is due. He did a lot a great things and was indeed a great man. I liked the man in a lot of ways and give him his due, you can't rewrite the past.

    The things that he accomplished, he accomplished well, and obviously are casues that are near and dear to you, such as the millitary thing.

    That doesn't erase the fact he hurt a lot of people as well. You yourself admit he made mistakes, well I'm sorry if those people who were hurt by those mistake make you think it's some juvenile tantrum to point them out, but it's real nonetheless.

    Books have been written about the Ragean years, a thread on a bulletin board about it can go on and on and on for days. But that's my two cents. And it's not a juvenile tantrum.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jun 17, '04
  11. by   Energizer Bunny
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Kevin, that was a good post. Personally, I don't mind giving him credit where credit is due. He did a lot a great things and was indeed a great man. I liked the man in a lot of ways and give him his due, you can't rewrite the past.

    The things that he accomplished, he accomplished well, as obviously are casues that are near and dear to you, such as the millitary thing.

    That doesn't erase the fact he hurt a lot of people as well. You yourself admit he made mistakes, well I'm sorry if those people who were hurt by those mistake make you think it's some juvenile tantrum to point them out, but it's real nonetheless.

    Books have been written about the Ragean years, a thread on a bulletin board about it can go on and on and on for days. But that's my two cents. And it's not a juvenile tantrum.
    Tweety, in this case, I most certainly completely agree with you.
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from CNM2B
    Tweety, in this case, I most certainly completely agree with you.
    In 1980 I was working nightsin the samecriticalcareunitI work in now. A patient in her 80's in the 80's,ventilatordependant wasfrantically trying to mouth words around the ET tube. Guessing "Pain?, Suction? and so on gor frustrated "NO!" head shaking. I gave her a pencil, paper, and clip board. She wrote, "Don't vote for Reagan. He's another Hoover."
    I got that because 'My folks was Okies'. "Hoovervilles" of the homeless, including WWI vets were on the outskirts of towns. People literally starved to death in the fertile fields of our California central valley. American citizens who had once owned farms. Others died in cities. Read "THE GRAPES OF WRATH" by John Steinbeck.

    Personally we were doing OK because of low interest on our ten year old mortgage. Just the interest on our money market account was enough to feed the family for a week. High interests are good for those with savings. Still Reagan was likeable and Carter while a good, kind, Christian man doing his best did not have the ability to inspire the people.
    There were NO homeless in most communities! It is hard to imagine that now, but I know for a fact. Governor Reagan had closed the psychiatric hospitals. The halfway houses were in residential neighborhoods with dazed people jaywalking day and night. Bany talked to nobody, walked around the same pole constantly, and sometimes took off their clothes.
    After Reagan became President the halfway houses closed. Veterans and families became homeless along with those unable to effectively communicate.
    I understood what my patient had been trying to say.

    Friday, June 11th, 2004
    http://www.democracynow.org/article..../06/11/1431244
    Reagan's budget cuts and overhaul of tax codes led to an explosion of homelessness in the U.S. during his 8 years in power. We speak with Carol Fennelly, a leading activist on homeless issues during the Reagan presidency.

    Throughout the week, Ronald Reagan has been praised almost non-stop on television, in newspapers and in magazines. Politicians and pundits from both establishment political parties have been practically falling over each other to heap praise on Reagan. And as he is glorified for what are termed his accomplishments and legacy, there is one term that was rose to prominence during Reagan's time in power that is seldom mentioned. That is "homelessness."
    In fact many homeless rights activists say the single most devastating thing Reagan did to create homelessness was when he cut the budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development by three-quarters, from $32 billion in 1981 to $7.5 billion by 1988. The department was the main governmental supporter of subsidized housing for the poor. Add this to Reagan's overhaul of tax codes to reduce incentives for private developers to create low-income homes and you had a major crisis for low-income families and individuals. Under Reagan, the number of people living beneath the federal poverty line rose from 24.5 million in 1978 to 32.5 million in 1988.
    And the number of homeless people went from something so little it wasn't even written about widely in the late 1970s to more than 2 million when Reagan left office. But as Reagan proudly declared that the number of homeless shelters had increased significantly during his presidency, the homeless epidemic did not go ignored by everyone, especially not in Reagan's back yard in Washington DC. Homeless rights activist Mitch Snyder and a dedicated group of homeless people and activists waged a many year campaign to win rights for people forced to live on the streets. Ultimately, they formed a movement based at what came to be known as the Community for Creative Non-Violence or CCNV. We are joined now by one of the people who was a leader of the homeless rights movement at CCNV during the Reagan years.
    Carol Fennelly, was a leading activist on homeless issues during the Reagan presidency. Along with Mitch Snyder, she was instrumental in establishing the Community for Creative Non-Violence in Washington DC. She is currently the Director of Hope House in Washington.

    AMY GOODMAN: Carol Fennelly. We welcome you as well to Democracy Now!.

    CAROL FENNELLY: Thank you.

    AMY GOODMAN: Can you describe these years?

    CAROL FENNELLY: You know, I remember the month that Ronald Reagan was inaugurated president. Our soup line, which would grow from the beginning of the month to a short line, to a large line by the end of the month, and then it would drop down when people got their small checks or whatever. At the first part of the month, it could get small again and grow up through the end of the month. But that first month, it was almost as if there was some cosmic energy out there, you know, telling us what was coming in the future, but the first of the month rolled around and the line didn't get shorter. It stayed the same. It grew and grew and grew and the soup lines just went around the block in those years. I mean it, was a very difficult time. There were not enough services. We were literally claiming people off streets who had frozen to death in Detroit and, you know, in the industrialized states like Michigan. People who were out of work went into double digit unemployment. There were around Houston, there was a tent city of homeless people, most of whom had come from the Midwestern, you know, states like Michigan. They were looking for work. They called them black tag people, because back then, Detroit had black license plates and they would pack up their families and go to Texas looking for work in the oil fields. It was a scene out of the depression. I mean, what people fail to remember is that we were in a massive recession during the early 1980s. People were out of work. People were homeless. When we hear about this great economic, you know, victory that Ronald Reagan had in the 1980s, I think, who wrote that history, because I wasn't there.

    AMY GOODMAN: At the same time, that the conditions you describe were intensifying, there is also a resistance movement that you are a part of. What did you do?

    CAROL FENNELLY: We went on fasts, hunger strikes for months at a time. We went to jail a lot. You know, we built a Reaganville in Lafayette Park, and homeless people stayed in Reaganville for the whole winter one year. We ended up actually finally passing homeless legislation, the McKinney Act, that is still around. It was a huge victory for homeless people back in the mid to late middle 1980s. And, you know, it -- there were great victories for us as well. But it cost us with our health and freedom as any social movement costs people who are active in it.
  13. by   kathc
    Quote from LoriRN2B
    What a wonderful post! So refreshing to see someone who speaks after my own heart. I was raised the daughter of a staunch Democrat, graduated High School in the 80's and began my working adult life. For me, Reagan has been the greatest President of my lifetime. I will hold all others to his standard.
    Same here. Raised a democrat (I'm now Republican, bordering on Liberatarian), graduated in 1980 and remember well the Reagan years. I too will remember him as one of the greatest Presidents of my lifetime.
  14. by   fergus51
    Kevin, I don't mean to imply the economy didn't improve under Reagan. It's just that there were some clear winners and losers in that and some downsides as well that people tend to gloss over (like the deficit and no matter who spent it, it was spent when Reagan was in the white house). Bush Sr got stuck with the bill and the American people didn't forgive him for it. Not to mention the fact that Reaganomics isn't some silver bullet. There are soooooooo many other factors that can affect the economy as noted in the Reaganomics failure in my home province (mainly blamed on softwood lumber disputes and a weakenned Asian market not any government regulations).

    It's the same with Bush 2. Our economy is improving in a lot of ways, but at the cost of HUGE debt and certain industries are not feeling that job surge one bit.

close