I remember Ronnie

  1. Well now that our week of mourning is over, I would like to share my memories of President Reagan's era in office.


    I remember his anti-labor stance and his firing of the air traffic controllers who had the nerve to want better pay and working conditions. This of course signalled a pro-corporate environment from government and the working class and unions were put on notice.


    I remember that mental health funding was cut with the expectation that private sector providers would pick up the slack. Of course if you didn't have any insurance or adequate insurance, then you were S.O.L.


    I remember how the growing AIDS/HIV crisis was pretty much ignored by the administration while most of the country was talking about it all the time.


    I remember when Lech Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Solidarity Union which led to the end of Communism and thus triggering the end of communism for the rest of Europe. He must be stunned to learn now that Reagan singlehandedly ended the Cold War.


    I'm sure there is more but that's all I can think of for now.
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  2. 110 Comments

  3. by   fab4fan
    I remember his administration declaring ketchup a vegetable.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I remember the hilarious Phil Collins video "this is the world we live in" featuring Ronnie and Nancy puppets. What a fun parody of a serious situation all around....

    I remember the military getting HUGE pay raise after years of languishing and falling further behind their civvie counterparts all through the Carter administration. No I was not IN the military, but many I knew were.
  5. by   elkpark
    I really liked this column in yesterday's paper from syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts (http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/):

    What's that about everyone loving Reagan?

    The Reagan Revolution began in 1980 in Philadelphia, Miss.

    Philadelphia, a speck of town north and east of Jackson, is infamous as the place three young civil rights workers were murdered in 1964 for registering black people to vote. Now here came Ronald Reagan, Republican presidential aspirant, opening his campaign at a fair that for generations had served as a forum for segregationists, and offering thinly veiled support for their cause.

    ''I believe in state's rights,'' he said.

    His death this week has to it, as you might expect, a sense of national moment. Flags at half staff, long lines snaking into the Capitol to pay final respects. His widow weeps, his supporters grieve and I'd have been content to leave them their space, to watch it all in respectful silence.

    Except that it's getting kind of deep around here, if you catch my drift. Any deeper and we'll all need hip boots.

    UNCRITICAL TRIBUTES

    I refer, in case my drift goes uncaught, to the fulsome media tributes that have attended the former president's death. Not just fulsome, but uncritical, bereft of balance, lacking perspective. If all you knew of Ronald Reagan is what you saw on newscasts or read in the initial coverage from USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Miami Herald, you'd think him a cross between Wilford Brimley and John Rambo, a twinkle-eyed grandfather with a fondness for jelly beans who single-handedly saved America, kicked the Commies in the butt, and maybe even found a cure for the common cold while he was at it. You'd never know about what he said in Mississippi.

    It's hardly uncommon to speak well of the recently departed. And there is certainly much about the former president's tenure that merits celebration. He restored ''can do'' to the American lexicon, his vibrant optimism a jolt of adrenaline after the dour Carter years and the criminality of the Nixon gang. He pushed communism to the breaking point. He famously called the Soviet Union what it was -- an empire of evil. He changed the political landscape.

    But my point here is that some of us also knew another Reagan, and he is conspicuous by his absence from much of this week's coverage.

    Some of us remember his cuts in federal lunch programs for poor children and his claim that ketchup is a vegetable.

    Some of us remember his revival of the old canard that Martin Luther King was a communist.

    Some of us remember Americans dying by the thousands from AIDS while their president breathed not a word.

    Some of us remember finding homeless people sleeping under freeways.

    And some of us were there when the cities imploded, rent by a cheap and insanely addictive new drug called crack. It turned our mothers into prostitutes, our fathers into zombies, our children into orphans, our communities into killing fields. We looked to the White House for help and received in response a ruinous ''war on drugs'' and this advice from the first lady:

    ``Just say no.''

    HISTORY REWRITTEN

    To the degree those things are missing from their analyses, news media have embarrassed themselves this week. They have rewritten history and slapped on a happy face.

    It's not an issue of respecting the deceased. It is, rather, an issue of telling the whole truth, fulfilling our obligation to write history's first draft. Imagine analyzing a recently departed Bill Clinton and leaving out Monica Lewinsky or memorializing Richard Nixon and forgetting Watergate. That would be what this is: dishonest. Lies of omission.

    So let me say this for the record: Some of us watch these proceedings with the sober respect you'd have for any loss of life, but also with dry eyes. The media have sold us a fraudulent version of history. Everybody loved Ronald Reagan, it says.

    Beg pardon, but ''everybody'' did not.
  6. by   nurseygrrl
    I remember my cousin, whose father was a Korean War veteran and died of colon cancer when she was 8 years old. My aunt was supposed to recieve checks for her care up until she was 21. Ronnie changed the age to 16. I didn't like him much for that. I don't think anyone deserves Alzheimer's and I certainly don't wish anyone dead, but it seems that if tragedy befalls someone, we forget all of their shortcomings and profess our love and devotion...how weird is that about people?
  7. by   z's playa
    Quote from fab4fan
    I remember his administration declaring ketchup a vegetable.
    ummm......excuse me?
  8. by   nurseygrrl
    Quote from z's playa
    ummm......excuse me?
    Reagan tried to declare ketchup as a vegetable because there was a certain veggie requirement for school lunches and I suppose he thought that was a cheap and easy way to fulfill it.
  9. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from elkpark
    I really liked this column in yesterday's paper from syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts (http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/):

    What's that about everyone loving Reagan?

    The Reagan Revolution began in 1980 in Philadelphia, Miss.

    Philadelphia, a speck of town north and east of Jackson, is infamous as the place three young civil rights workers were murdered in 1964 for registering black people to vote. Now here came Ronald Reagan, Republican presidential aspirant, opening his campaign at a fair that for generations had served as a forum for segregationists, and offering thinly veiled support for their cause.

    ''I believe in state's rights,'' he said.......


    So let me say this for the record: Some of us watch these proceedings with the sober respect you'd have for any loss of life, but also with dry eyes. The media have sold us a fraudulent version of history. Everybody loved Ronald Reagan, it says.

    Beg pardon, but ''everybody'' did not.


    Oh yeah, I remember his appeal to Southern Whites with his belief in "state's rights". How could I forget that? I love Leonard Pitts, he always tells it like it is. He truly deserved that Pulitzer.
  10. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I remember the hilarious Phil Collins video "this is the world we live in" featuring Ronnie and Nancy puppets. What a fun parody of a serious situation all around....

    I remember that video also. I guess we'll never see it again since it was declared politically incorrect back in the 90's and probably every single copy was burned. (I'm kidding..............sorta)
  11. by   roxannekkb
    I remember Ronnie very well. He removed Iraq from the list of terrorist nations, and "made friends" with Saddam Hussein. Killer dictators are only bad when they are not friends with the US. Ronnie encouraged Saddam to attack Iran, and gave him all the tactical support he needed--leading to a long devastating war which killed, injured and maimed tens of thousands.

    Ronnie also helped train Osama bin Laden and the Taliban--yes, the CIA basically midwifed that band of fanatical Islamic fighters to battle against the Russians in Afghanistan. They helped gather young Muslim men from different nations, trained them, gave them weapons, and set them loose on the Russians. What a legacy that one is, assisting in the birth of the Taliban and al-queda.

    Ronnie's legacy also includes supporting genocidal dicatators in Central and South America, and helping to suppress popular uprisings. Think Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador...His role in Nicaragua in particular was deplorable. After the people overthrew Somoza, the CIA helped Somoza's old elite fighters stage a comeback. Reagan called them "freedom fighters." Makes you want to gag. Having had some personal experience with Nicaragua, I can't begin to say how we destabilized that nation, and the public health crisis that our continued interference created.

    Ronnie also looked the other way when Salvadoran allies raped American nuns; he supported apartheid; he diverted money to drug-running death squads, but he did it all with that sweet smile on his face.

    Ronnie tried to crush, but succeeded in reduced funding for the lead paint program, breakfasts and lunches for poor kids. Another of his public health accomplishments was to limit funding for the federal Women's Infants and Children's (WIC) fund. What a guy. Who cares if kids and babies go hungry? It must be their fault that they're poor.

    And as far as him freeing Europe from communism--please, that has been vastly overstated. What he did was bankrupt both the US and Soviet Union. The old Soviet Union was already teetering in the 80s, due to corruption, unrest among the public and in their satellites, and being unable to keep up with the US arms race. Pope John Paul II played a large role, as did Lech Walesea, the Russian people who strove for perestroika (sp?), the growing unrest in East Germany, and so on. And a very enlightened and forward looking leader--Gorbachev. Ronnie just happened to be in the right place at the right time. He was very good at reading scripts. "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall." Yup, that did the trick.

    And of course, there's AIDS, which may be Ronnie's finest hour. Perhaps we should change the name of the U.S. Global Aids fund to the "Ronald Reagan fund for AIDS." And no, Ronnie could not have stopped the epidemic, but acting on it might have contained it better.

    Anyway, those are just a few of my own fond memories of Ronnie, who has now been canonized in the press, sanitized, and elevated to the level of demigod.
  12. by   stevierae
    I don't like to speak ill of the dead, but I, too, remember his claim that people on welfare would drive up to the food stamp offices in Cadillacs, and his "I am a Contra!" statement (and who can forget Oliver North, saying shamefully that he was just obeying his commander in chief?) And I, too, remember the HUGE influx of mentally ill and even psychotic people swarming the streets in California after he (as governor) closed state mental institutions and halfway houses and board and care homes for people who, left unsupervised, would not take their meds.

    However, to be fair, I have also heard that blamed, at least in part, on his predecessor, Governor Edwin Brown (Senior.)

    I sure remember double digit inflation, and interest rates to buy a new house as high as 18%! However I have also heard that blamed on Jimmy Carter.

    I think we do need to remember that he left office in shame and in the wake of scandal from Iran-Contra.

    Well, the man is dead, so I guess it's kind to focus on his accomplishments. That's what happens when everybody dies, after all.
    Last edit by stevierae on Jun 15, '04
  13. by   nightingale
    Thank you for posting this thread and it's replys. I was feeling guilty for being so annoyed about "Ronnie's Eulogies"; I kept thinking about all the bad (and who really wants to just remember the bad in people) but the drama was so emmense about "How the Country Will Remember the Man"...

    ewwww... I hope history does not repeat itself on this "hero".
  14. by   fab4fan
    Not to be too much of a nerd, but that Phil Collins video was called "Land of Confusion."

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