Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Crimes of Ronald Reagan

You could probably guess that I was never a fan of Ronald Reagan, not even when he was a "B" movie actor lamenting his missing leg in King's Row or playing straight man to a chimpanzee in Bedtime for Bonzo.

When he ran for president the first time, in 1976, challenging and losing the nomination to the incumbent, Jerry Ford, I thought it was some kind of sick joke. Sure he had been governor of California, but everyone I knew in California thought he was a joke even then, what with the inane comments like his "if you've seen one redwood you've seen them all", his "trees cause pollution" and his answer to student protests, "let the bloodbath begin".

Then in 1980 when he swept out of near-oblivion and not only won the nomination but also the fucking presidency, it was like I woke up in a bad dystopian science-fiction movie. But "the Amurrican peeple" apparently disagreed with me. They LOVED them some Ronald Reagan, and even then he was being deified as a living god.

Even in the latter years of his presidency, when he looked to me like someone's doddering and senile grandfather, rambling on about nothing, pissing his pants and drooling food out of the corners of his mouth at the dinner table, everyone pretended not to notice and still just LOVED him. Not everyone, of course, but there were enough St. Ronald idolators around to quash any criticism of him, and even today there are people will mutter a sotto voce "bless-ed be his nay-um" whenever he is mentioned.

It didn't really come as a surprise to me when it was announced, several years after he left office, that he had Alzheimer's. Suddenly a lot of his distracted behavior, his lack of memory about certain aspects of, say, Iran-Contra, made sense. It really was a case, to paraphrase Senator Howard Baker about Richard Nixon, "What did the president know and when did he stop knowing it?"

Reagan enablers/apologists insisted that he did not have it while president, but his own son disagrees.

Recently I rewatched the terrific 1985 movie, Salvador, which I still think is Oliver Stone's best film. If you haven't seen it, make sure that you correct that oversight. You can get it from Netflix if you can't find it elsewhere. Be sure to watch the documentary "making of" feature on the DVD as well.

Anyway, that movie does a number on American foreign policy in El Salvador and touches on how the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 signaled to the corrupt leaders of that country that they could wantonly kill as many of their "rebels" as they wanted to, with no repercussions from the United States. Major Bob, unleash the Death Squads.

And you already saw my "pallin' around with terrorists" photo of Reagan and the Taliban yesterday. Coincidentally, a writer for Listverse, a site which I read daily, came up with a list of 10 Reprehensible Crimes of Ronald Reagan. It's quite a spread, from the casting of mental patients out of hospitals into the streets to tacitly approving South African apartheid to openly supporting Latin American genocidal terrorists. It's all there and it's a healthy antidote to the fawning lickspittles who still cross themselves when He is mentioned.

Also be sure to glance through the comments. There are people even now who are just frothing at the mouth to spew a stream of invective against anyone who dares to profane The Name of The Prophet Saint Ronald...


double nickel said...

1980 was a watershed year, the point where things really started to go to hell in a handbasket in a serious way. Reagan was never more than a B grade actor, propped up by corporate America. He blazed a new trail on the path to fiscal ruin.

the yellow fringe said...

Have you read or seen the movie "Kill the Messenger" the Gary Webb story?

Farnsworth68 said...

YF: No, I haven't read the book or seen the movie. It hasn't been released yet, apparently, on DVD but I just put it on "hold" with Netflix. Thanks for the tip.