In the Grip of Ronniemania

The deal was set in stone, and yet so much could go wrong – dreadfully so. The historical reputation of a feeble-minded, former “B” movie actor named Ronald Reagan depended on the Election Day victory of the idiotic son of the man who had for eight years served as the Gipper’s loyal vice-president. The archives of his two terms of office were scheduled – by law – to be made public for scholarly research on January 20, 2001, the twelfth anniversary of the end of his presidency. Fortunately, although Al Gore actually won the election, an ideologically perverted Supreme Court would install the fortunate son as commander-in-chief. When George W. Bush finally took the oath of office (an oath he would violate tens of thousands of times in the next eight years) his very first act was to sign an executive order that sealed indefinitely the papers of not only the Reagan administration, but those of his father’s as well – curiously omitting the papers of William Jefferson Clinton at the same time. The fix was in. The truth about Reagan’s reign of error would be hidden from history’s harsh glare. The American people would be able to – for the time being, at least – stupidly slumber on under their self-imposed delusion of all the wonderful things Ronnie had meant to the country he had all-but-destroyed
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Now it can be told: We, The People got screwed by Ronald Reagan.
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The time has come for us to take a deep breath and explore the psychological meaning and implications of what can only be described as America’s sick, dysfunctional love affair with this racist, inarticulate and utterly clueless man. Why his archives have been hidden from posterity is perfectly clear. When the truth is finally revealed about the high crimes and misdemeanors committed by this “amiable dunce” and his VP, the both of them will be hurled permanently – mercilessly – onto history’s trash bin. The hideous truth of the matter is that the damage that this dirty old bastard did to our beloved nation is so immense, it will never be accurately gaged. It is – quite literally – beyond estimation.
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That the blame for the near-destruction America’s social infrastructure can be laid directly at the feet (now thankfully pointed eternally skyward) of Ronald Reagan, only a fool would deny (as so many fools on the right continue to do). Through the use of an absolutely Orwellian propaganda machine which was later mastered to near-perfection by Karl Rove, he was able to convince a huge segment of the electorate that what was so right about America was, in fact, very, very wrong. It was while he slept in the Oval Office that the word, “Liberal”, once an honored and respected term, became an expletive. It was during his presidency that the rape of the middle class in this country began. It has been going on, unabated, for almost a third-of-a-century now.
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They called him “the great communicator”. So useful would the skills he learned as a third-rate Hollywood actor turn out to be, he was somehow able to lull the American people into believing that the programs brought into being a half a century before by the Roosevelt administration (programs that virtually created a middle class that hadn’t even existed prior to FDR) were in reality a bad thing. Government wasn’t the answer to our problem, he told us, government was the problem. At a time when the population of this country was fast approaching a quarter of a billion, he told us that he was going to solve all of our woes by cutting back on public services, shrinking the size of the federal government – and the American people actually thought that this was just really neat idea! After nearly thirty years of voodoo, Reaganomics (which were aided and abetted by Bill Clinton and now Barack Obama – don’t you dare deny it), the America that you and I grew up in is as dead as a door nail. That “shining city on a hill” is a mirage; it’s a dream. Wake up. Wake up. WAKE THE FUCK UP.
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The people swallowed Reagan’s act from the moment he announced his candidacy – or at least white ones did. African Americans were never able to trust this man and for damned good reasons. They were never able to forget the fact that it was his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that brought him into the spotlight of national politics during the long ago, futile campaign of Barry Goldwater. Indeed, the big kick off of Reagan’s 1980 campaign would be in the small town of Philadelphia, Mississippi, a putrid, rat hole of a place whose only claim to fame was the murder there of three civil rights workers seventeen years earlier. He was merely pandering – sometimes subtly, sometimes not-too-subtly – to America’s irrational racial fears and hatreds. His message in Philadelphia that day (meant to be subliminal but, in reality, disturbingly clear) was that in a Reagan administration, Jim Crow would get the red carpet treatment at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Why do you think it is that whenever people of color are polled with respect to the legacy of Ronald Wilson Reagan, his numbers are in the single digits? Are these people just ignorant? Or might their bitterness be based on a terrible truth? Quite possibly it might have a little something to do with the fact that black people in America suffered terribly under Reagan. Call it a hunch on my part.
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What always amazed me more than anything else was how the American people – the white ones – fell for that whole, sham Ronnie persona. Why were they not able to see through it? It was all an act! HE WAS A AN ACTOR, FOR PETE’S SAKE!! Didn’t they see the transparency? The stagecraft? No administration had ever used television so effectively to distort reality as this one had. No administration would surpass it in it’s ability to “catapult the propaganda” until the second Bush administration a generation later. Reagan’s career as a screen actor was pretty much kaput by the mid sixties. His very last film, made in 1964 and called “The Killers” (which contained an interesting scene of him beating the bleeding mortal shit out of poor little Angie Dickinson) barely registered with the public. He had come to the point in his life where he needed to make a major career change. Within two years he would be theGovernor of California; fourteen years after that he was living in the Executive Mansion. From being a perfectly mediocre actor to being the president of the United States of America….I’m not makin’ this stuff up!
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It is said that he was bitter toward the film industry for its not having recognized his talent. He could not understand why he was never even nominated for an Academy Award! If you’ve ever seen even one of his films, you’ll laugh out loud over the absurdity of that last sentence. Truth be told, Reagan couldn’t act himself out of a brown burlap sack. If you’ve never seen one of his films, by all means rent one! You’ll understand what I mean. All politicians are bad actors and Reagan was no exception. But while he might have been perfectly awful by Hollywood standards, he was actually pretty damned good by Washington standards. So good was he, in fact, that he was able to cheerfully lead his likewise cheerful country down the path of ultimate ruin.
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Honestly, folks, I really wish I was makin’ this up.
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When he died on June 5, 2004, like with the death of Richard Nixon ten years before, the gushing tributes – especially out of the mouths of those who should have known better – can only be described as sickening. Reagan was not a very good friend to the American people. In fact, to the average, working class person, he was their worst nightmare. My greatest fear is that it will take at least a century or more for us to finally figure out what has been blatantly obvious to anyone who has bothered to pay attention all these years: Ronald Reagan planted the seeds of America’s destruction and George W. Bush harvested the crop. We should all expect and demand that the next president sign an executive order making the Reagan papers public. The current president obviously hasn’t the guts to do so.
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One can only hope that the entire truth about the Reagan White House will eventually see the light of day. One of the more encouraging signs of late is that the American people are starting to wake up to the realization that sending a corrupt, disgusting, half-witted little piece of shit like Bush to the White House was the worst electoral mistake in American history. And yet these same, silly Americans still retain a maudlin, nostalgic, almost retarded affection for Ronald Reagan. Everything Bush did to you, Reagan tried to do to you – and would have done to you had he had control of all three branches of government. What needs to be understood is that Reagan was, essentially, a mask with a twinkle in its eye and a fine Irish smile. Remove that mask and you have the twisted, hideous smirk of George W. Bush.

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That’s the real face of the Reagan Revolution.
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Tom Degan

The Rant

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