Saturday, June 19, 2004

Goodbye Mr. Reagan

When President Reagan was elected, I was only 12 years old. My first reaction was that he was going to ruin my teenage years being President. I thought he was a complete buffoon, an actor, and I couldn't see how people thought his oratory was so persuasive. Every time he spoke, I would just roll my eyes and say - what a joke, is this man a simpleton or what? Deficits and Star Wars, the country will run into the ground!!

Now that I am much older, tolerance and understanding do come. I am especially impressed with his visionary economic policy. He really did turn the economy around, producing more competitive companies and killing inflation to this day (although I am alarmed that the price of a gallon of milk just went up to $3.49 at my local store!!). It took a lot of guts and determination to pull it off. Never mind the sheer vision and genius. His foreign policy staging (was Star Wars just a bluff to push the Soviet Union over the edge?) helped to lead the end of the cold war. I remember when the Berlin wall came down, I thought, great, it will go down in history as happening under President George (H.W.) Bush, when in fact, communism just crumbled under its own weight. Bush, in that case, was a bystander in that event, not the cause, but the crumbling was not just from internal forces, US policy did affect it.

When I think back on Reagan, I remember that he was always smiling. Before, I thought he was just stupid and happy. Now I realize that he did inspire the country with his optimism. Not me at the time, I was already a bitter realist. Maybe I would enjoy him better now.

Of course I will never agree with any of the social views of the right, especially when it comes to women (choice choice choice) and science (please use all those discarded embryos at fertility clinics for stem cells), but they do have a better handle on economic issues. Do I think that years from now, I won't have the disdain that I do for President George W. Bush? We'll see, time will tell. It's amazing how your views can change.

6/27/04 - Oh wait, Iran-Contra, how quickly we forget!!
7/07/04 - Ketchup as a vegetable, another good one!!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I loved President Reagan....he was the first president I voted for. (imagine, a conservative at 18....strange???)

I thought President Reagan was always positive and painted such a good picture with his words of how we could be....

Yea, he wasn't perfect....he made mistakes....plenty of them. But given my own imperfectness, I'm not ready to cast the first stone. (at many people)

Anyways....President Reagan and my mother shared the same birth date. (Feb 6th) and they exchanged letters about that at one point. (Which made my mom very happy)

BTW: I don't think Reagan was as socially conservative as some think...but I guess that depends on where the viewer stands in that continuum themselves.