For the next few days it will be hard to watch TV news or read a mainstream newspaper without massive coverage of the death of Nancy Reagan, the wife of our former president, Ronald Reagan, possibly one of the worst presidents of US history. He was definitely the worst president in my lifetime.
It was President Reagan who pushed this country to the far right. He viciously attacked leftists of every kind during his reign. On foreign policy he worked hard to try and destroy both the Soviet Union and the newly emerging Third world Marxist experiments, such as in Angola, Mozambique, but mostly in Nicaragua and their Sandinista Government. The Reagans literally made war on Nicaragua and supported right-wing fascist governments in Central America. This was worse than just a bad foreign policy, it was a series of war crimes.
Since Reagan Left office, this country has never really recovered and the far right has increased its strangle hold on the US. All this began with President Reagan and his co-conspirator First Lady Nancy Reagan.
Nancy was more than just arm candy for President Reagan’s many press appearances. She was an advisor as well. The two were both far-right idealogs. All of their policies showed that.
The two also raised public relations to an all-time high, with all their dancing, acting, and nifty clichés. They won over the press. They were both master manipulators. And unfortunately they won over a lot of the American public, who liked the way they led the country even though many people did not like their policies. Together the Reagans made low wages, bad working conditions and lack of worker’s rights in general, standard fair here in America.
The two marked the beginning of a trend of Republican actors turning to politics, only to mess it all up. Most people think that most of Hollywood and most actors are liberal. But most actors, who went into politics since the Reagans, were more conservative, such as Fred Grandy, who used to be a shmuck character on The Love Boat, "Gopher". He became a Republican member of the US House of Representatives from the state of Iowa. There was also Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican Governor of California and Clint Eastwood became mayor of his adopted hometown, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California – a small, wealthy village and artists' community on the Monterey Peninsula.
Nancy started her “Just say no” campaign mostly as a way to improve her image, which was pretty bad before she started it. Her aids wanted to improve how she looked to the American public, so they came up with her anti-drug crusade. It was heavy on law-enforcement and led to such problematic policies as “mandatory minimums.” Nancy tried to convince people that smoking joints were somehow connected to the murders of the South American drug lords. The Reagans had an authoritative style of ruling that some of s called “friendly fascism.” Suddenly cocaine went from a drug some people wanted to legalize to a fate worse than heroin addiction. A new version of the drug made smokable, called crack, was supposed to be the most addictive drug to ever hit the streets. It was all mostly bull-shit.
Today this country is just starting to recover from the damage of Nancy’s drug war. We have more people incarcerated in prison than any others in the entire world.
The Reagans inflicted a lot of damage to this country and the world. Neither of them or heroes, nor do they represent anything of value to progressive people everywhere.