When, in the course of Human Events, there ensues a thoroughly inappropriate Nation-wide Celebration of the Birth and Legacy of one Ronald Wilson Reagan, continuing the altogether unjustified Canonization of this grotesquely over-valued former President, it becomes necessary for Yours Truly to dissolve any hint of political, jingoistic, or amnestic Bands which might otherwise seem to connect me to the current Crop of muddle-headed Myth makers and Reagan-idolaters and to assume among the Powers of the Earth a contrary Perspective, a decent respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that I should declare the Causes which impel me to this Separation.
I hold these Truths to be self-evident, that although it is said that one should not speak ill of the Dead, this has not mandated positive Remembrance of numerous other, far less odious Villains and Malefactors (e.g. Nero, Caligula, Benedict Arnold, John Wilkes Booth), and it similarly should not apply to the aforesaid Mr. Reagan, who—despite being deceased—deserves very little if any positive Remembrance or White-Washing of what was a regrettable and indeed, despicable Presidency.
The History of the past President Ronald W. Reagan was One of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute right-wing Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World:
He affected a deceptive, publicly sunny grade-B disposition that masked a combination of extraordinary cruelty, outright dishonesty, and blockheaded ignorance.
He convinced millions of Americans that the federal government was somehow the enemy, particularly in proportion as it sought to help people.
He demonized the poor and destitute, those unable to defend themselves, and in particular made African American “welfare queens”—largely a creation of his own unhinged imaginaton—the subject of particular contempt.
He repeatedly played fast and loose with basic facts (e.g., trees are a “major source of air pollution”), setting a tone that is dangerously continued even today by his most enthusiastic idolators.
He undid the Carter Administration’s attempt to achieve energy independence and environmental conservation generally, thereby laying the foundations for the anti-science know-nothingism that is increasingly rampant today.
He installed the despicable James Watt—probably the most rabid anti-environmentalist to ever hold a high governmental position—as Interior Secretary.
He foisted “supply-side economics” and a worship of Milton Friedman’s laissez-faire capitalism upon an unwary public, which essentially slashed the taxes for the wealthiest Americans and which even George H. W. Bush acknowledged to be “voodoo economics.”
He reinvigorated the nuclear arms race and on numerous occasions came perilously close to blowing up the world.
His blockheaded insistence upon Star Wars prevented what otherwise could have been a truly historic denuclearization at Reykjavik.
He had vast amounts of blood on his hands: literally tens of thousands of innocent civilians killed in Nicaragua alone because of his sponsorship of brutal, murderous thugs known as the “contras,” who he rebranded as “freedom fighters.”
He supported similar repression and death in other countries in Central America, notably El Salvador and Guatemala.
He aligned the United States, time after time, with corrupt oligarchs and against idealistic students and impoverished peasants.
His brutal strategy of arming and supporting any right-wing despot, anywhere in the world, who claimed to be anti-communist fueled a generation of misery as well as a continuing legacy of anti-American hatred.
He supported apartheid in South Africa and considered Nelson Mandela an enemy of Western civilization.
His support of Afghan jihadis helped initiate a rising tide of anti-Western violence, including the militarism of one Osama bin Laden and his followers.
He ostensibly made Americans “feel good about themselves,” which is a trick that any thoroughly dishonest two-bit snake-oil salesman can do; indeed, it is their stock-in-trade.
He spouted a mindless, feel-good, xenophobic optimism combined with a messianic sense of American exceptionalism, which induced the country to escape from reality into a make-believe world that permitted—even encouraged—a profound sense of denial as to the existence of genuine problems, and a stubborn refusal to take responsibility for any of them.
He studiously ignored the emergence of AIDS, thereby giving this pestilence an opportunity to grow rapidly in the absence of a serious, nationwide effort to counter it.
He initiated the Iran-contra scandal, which gave rise to the modern era’s claim of an imperial presidency, unaccountable to law or the constitution.
He initiated a period of anti-regulatory fervor, that to some extent continues to this day, and has been responsible for numerous financial and environmental disasters.
He initiated a heartless war on organized labor—including but not limited to his destruction of the air traffic controller’s union—in the process giving rise to a continuing derogation of the American worker, ushering in decades of anti-union demagoguery and a widespread diminution of living standards among the working people of this country, many of whom were then and continue to be unable to see beyond the self-righteous poseur as kindly grandfather and recognize the inimical effects of his policies.
He may or may not have been worse than Warren Harding and James Buchanan; only George W. Bush gives him serious competition for the worst president in the history of this long-suffering Republic, a country that deserved far better leadership.
I, therefore, do in the Name and by the Authority of my own memory and conscience, solemnly publish and declare, that I am, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent of any and all admiration or adulation of the aforesaid Ronald W. Reagan, and that I am Absolved from any and all Allegiance to this occasionally amiable Dunce of a Buffoon, whose misdeeds continue to afflict our Country and the World. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of Academic Freedom as well as the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, I commit my Disappointment, my Annoyance, and my not-so-sacred Aggravation.Return to Top