Tuesday, June 8, 2004

I read a really interesting book online today, discussing the psychological trends behind the Reagan presidency and the American people. Basically, Reagan carried with him from childhood a deep-seated fear of castration and amputation, and it was a common theme that drew through much of his action as a leader.

As expected, the wave of "pretend Reagan was America's last hero" pressure has continued since the weekend. Here's a typical conversation, completely made up by me (like so many of Reagan's homespun bullshitty stories):

Person: Reagan was our best president ever.
Me: How can you say that? He was evil - EVIL! Here's a list of 243 things he did wrong. (Start with Iran-contra, work backwards through dead Americans in Beirut and capitulating to terrorists by removing troops, Bitburg, deficits, ketchup, etc. etc.)
Person: Typical liberal, all you have is "Reagan was evil" but no substance. He was so much better than Clinton, who was sleazy and crooked and everyone hated.
Me: Actually, if you look it up you'll find that Clinton's popularity over eight years was identical to Reagan's. And he was more popular than Reagan at the time they each left office.
Person: Well, but Reagan was decent and honest and Clinton was a
lying scumbag.
Me: Strangely enough, Reagan's administration was so crooked that it ended up with 30 convictions for crimes committed while in office. And that doesn't even include the big ones, Iran-contra, which Bush pardoned! Clinton's administration had exactly one.
Person: But Reagan was the Great Communicator!
Me: Weren't you the one who told me last week that you liked Bush because he didn't communicate well and that showed he was sincere? It sounds like you just like these people because they're willing to water down school milk to give you a fake tax cut and you're just backfilling their qualities to suit.
Person: Reagan was our best president ever, and you're an un-American asshole.

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