Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

"Mourning Over America"


Boil all the hyperbole down and that's the extent of what the major media are lauding former President Ronald Reagon for.

He was an optimist. Wow. Great. Hell of a legacy. Tantamount to a 16 year old saying someone is "nice." There is where we stand today, people. In the world where "mean people suck" wins out over intelligence, or thoughtful discourse or, it seems, common sense.

You can't argue that Reagan was optimistic. What you can (and should) argue, is whether that quality has or had any real meaning. Was it Reagan's optimism that led to the Iran-Contra affair? Was it Ronnie's optimism that shut down PATCO, thereby signaling the beginning of the end for American unions? Was it the Gipper's optimism that gutted regulation at every level of the government, leading directly to the multi-billion dollar savings and loan fiasco?

Yet, somehow, a massive number of American's remember him fondly -- and think he was a hell of a President. They give him credit for the dissolution of the Soviet state in the same way that fans reward a worthless coach who happens to inherit a great team. They think he did it, when what he really did was go along for the ride. Reagan wouldn't have known the Brandenburg Gate from the Golden Gate until he was handed his script, given his marks and told "Action!" What Reagan did begin was an era (and it continues unabbated) in which we only want to hear good news. If that's the morning over America, you can have it.