Sunday, November 16, 2008

I was a Reagan-era zombie

I came of age with Ronald Reagan as President. I just missed being able to vote against him the first time and watched with utter dismay as he won in what can only be described as a landslide in 1984.

Reagan scared the shit out of me the entire time he was in office. Let me say that again, with emphasis. Ronnie was scary!!! As a child of the 70s, I grew up under the threat of nuclear war. In some ways, my generation never believed that we would survive. Listening to Ronnie rant about the "Evil Empire" and drone on about how we needed to protect ourselves from the godless commies was never my favorite thing.

Reagan's "Star Wars" missile defense system was poorly thought out and provocative. It never worked, except maybe on paper. It pissed off the Russians and made them think we were looking to start a war that they would be unable to defend against. Now, somehow, Junior has tried to sneak it by us once again. Here we all were so fired up about the war in Iraq and arguing over who would replace him that we, or at least I, failed to notice when he decided to resurrect the idea of missile defense.

Folks, this shit still won't fly. It's still doesn't work. It's still provocative. And, hey, it's still pissing off the Russians. It feels like 1984 all over again.

Why would we want to travel down that path again? Is it only that this was the last time the Republicans felt like they really had control over things? Back when Ronnie Ray-gun was in office? I suppose that must be it. In the closing days of the election cycle here in Texas, we got the pleasure of hearing a radio ad run urging folks to vote Republican. The only name mentioned was Reagan's. Not a Bush or Palin or McCain in the entire thing. Just droning on about personal responsibility and voting Republican and how great Ronnie was.

Well, let me tell you my opinion. Ronald Reagan was an idiot. He didn't free the Iranian Embassy hostages, Carter did that. He takes credit for the fall of the Soviet Union. It collapsed under its own weight. Lots of people helped and maybe Ronnie had a part, but I can't really give the guy the credit. And we've seen where Reaganomics has gotten us.

So why the hell would we want to trot out a failed policy that did more to increase tensions in the Cold War than all of Ronnie's Evil Empire speeches put together? Are we really looking into starting that whole bullshit up again? Dude, cause I think Medvedev is ready to rumble.

It just isn't worth it.


Anonymous said...

Carter caught a lot of flack and Reagan was made to be an angel, when in reality, Carter had a lot of cleaning up from prior administrations and yet many forgot about Reaganomics.

Jean517 said...

I never liked Reagan either. I don't understand why it's like worshpping some idol now. He was clueless, although a nice man. It was clear that he was developing Alzheimers during his last years in office.

skyewriter said...

As a child of the 70s myself, I agree with this 100%. I had a friend in HS who was consumed by fear that we were all going to die in a nuclear weapon strike. (I tried to stay away from her.)

I also agree about the whole re-freezing of the Cold War relationship with Russia. Thankfully we have a level-headed intellectual in the WH come January 20. Hopefully he'll be better at using his brains rather than sitting on them (like shrubya).


Monica Roberts said...

And I'm old enough to remember doing 'duck and cover' nuke drills in elementary school since I started in 1967.

The Cuban Missile Crisis happened months after I was born and for most of my life we lived under the shadow of MAD (mutual assured destruction), SALT (Strategic Arms limitation Talks) and the films of the big bad Soviet military ready to execute another blitzkrieg across Europe.

It's been nice to step back from that for a while.

Monica Roberts said...

Oh yeah, I despised Raygun and proudly voted twice against him. My first presidential election ballot was cast for Jimmy Carter.