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Saturday, February 12, 2011

More on Ronald Regan—a villain as bad as Richard Nixon

The following article came out after Ronald Reagan’s death. He was an icon in the sense of what Friedrich Nietzsche  called Übermensch or superman.

It was Hunter S Thompson who described Richard Nixon as an Übermensch;

“because he has already done it himself in a massive act of will and crazed arrogance that already ranks him supreme, along with other Nietzschean supermen like Hitler, Jesus, Bismarck and the Emperor Hirohito.”

And I would ad Reagan to that list.-សតិវ អតុ

Ronald Reagan 1911 - 2004
On the death of the Great Communicator
And the Great Deceiver
Originally printed in F5
-June 10, 2004


     According to the mainstream news media, especially the local Wichita Eagle and KAKE TV, Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest men of the century. The Eagle devoted six full pages to him on Sunday.
     About the only part that I think we can all agree on is that he had a major impact on this country. What we don't agree on is what kind of impact. For some of us, the Reagan years were a bad dream from which we could not awake.
     It was during the 1960s and 1970s that so many idealist, with so many important thinkers emerged — Martin Luther King, Jr.; Robert and John Kennedy; Nelson Mandela; and Salvador Allende, of Chile — to name a few. Compared to these inspirational leaders, Reagan stands out like a rotten apple. It is ironic that John Lennon died the same year Reagan was elected. Lennon's "Imagine" became an anthem for the idealism of the '60s and '70s. Reagan now symbolizes the death of this idealism and the death of a dream. These earlier heroes fostered equality, justice, freedom, peace, tolerance of others and the hope for a better society. Reagan stood for the exact opposite, fostering a country of greed, self centeredness, arrogance and mean spiritedness.
     From the beginning he fed us nothing but lies. During his first election campaign he made ridiculous claims that President Jimmy Carter "gave away our Panama Canal." It was never ours to begin with. I could always tell when he told a lie because his lips moved.
     He promised to attack welfare and every program to help the poor or minorities. He kept those promises. Carter said it best a few years later: "He makes us comfortable with our prejudices."
     Every time I hear a poor working-class person tell me how "great" he was I feel like I'm back in La La Land. Reagan succeeded in his efforts to lower the standard of living for the working class and help out U.S. businesses. He broke unions, froze the minimum wage, which encourage other wage freezing and with inflation at between 1 to 2 percent a year, the average worker lost 12 percent of their wages. And yet Reagan had enough charisma to win support of a large portion of the working class. He was the perfect con artist. He robbed the working class and they thanked him for doing it.
     Reagan was a drug warrior, reversing the idea the small amounts of pot possession was no big crime. He carried on a holy war against pot and all other drugs, just as Nixon had. He reversed years of progress in loosening our marijuana laws then he gave us drug testing.
     The Gipper was especially hard on those of us who considered ourselves leftists. His attacks were relentless. He bitterly attacked the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. He tried to make them sound as bad as Pol Pot. He ridiculed, belittled, threatened and even supported armed insurgents against the Sandinistas. He politically isolated and embargoed them, to choke their economy to death.
     This "totalitarian communist government" the Sandinistas founded held elections with a variety of political parties, both left and right. We only have two political parties. They abolished capitol punishment, while Reagan was expanding it in this country. They guaranteed freedom of religion.
     Reagan wanted to lump everyone on the left, including liberals, with Soviet communism. He moved the political center to the far right. Even today being called a liberal is just about the same stigma as being called a communist. We still have not recovered from this.
     Right-wing kooks, including the staff at the Eagle, like to claim Reagan ended the cold war and brought down the Soviet Union. I didn't realize he took part in Korean War, Vietnam, or launching the space race. I suppose everyone from Harry Truman to Kennedy had no impact on the cold war.
     Let's not forget the character of the man himself. He was a song and dance man… an actor who knew how to charm. He had the same first name as a clown who hawks hamburgers and the clown has more integrity. He played second fiddle to a chimp named Bonzo, in the movies, and he played the country for a chump when he got elected.
     For those of us who were not dazzled by his showmanship, his misrule was a ghoulish nightmare. For myself I can only say: "Mr. Reagan I will not miss you at all."

This cartoon was from the Public Voice.

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