On March 1983, on a live broadcast on Voice of America, Reagan spoke on National Security, in doing so he painted Central America as 'a dire, imminent threat to America and it's people when he unveild his Startegic Defensive Initiative, aka Star Wars. At the same time a local General (backed by Reagan's nmilitary advisors) in El Salvador, Gen. Efrain Rios Montt (who shared Reagan's view of his own people) embarked on one of the most murderous campaigns ever... against 100s of communities, killing thousands of indigenous peoples and after approx 2 billion in US dollars went on to arrest, torture, maim and kill tens of thousands of civilians in the name od crushing a 'small insurgency' with US blessings... and getting away with it ..scott free! Actor Kris Krisstoferson when down to see the insurgency himself.. there was none... and when he returned he persona non-grata.. a lot like how the media has tarnish actor Danny Glover for calling Dubya's current scam..exactly what it is. A scam! Of course Reagan cloaked in a mission to stop the reds and Cubans from attempting to bring communism to America's doorstep.
In nearby, Reagan's 'Marxist' Nicaragua, the 2nd poorest country in the western hemisphere, the rightwing army (led by former officers of the Somoza dictatorship - funded by Reagan-- did equally damage, while Reagan dubbed them ' the founding fathers' of that nation.. that also threaten America's 'security' (freedom).
Also in 1983.. he did actually help to preserve Social Security.
Reagan went on to support James Watt's 'contructive engagement with Apartheid in South Africa policy.
"Tree cause more pollution than cars."
"ketchup is a vegetable."
"Facts are stupid things"
's black list of liberal speakers.
Attacks on OHSA and work place safety.
239 troops die in Beirut and he invades Grenada to stop more Soviet/Cuban communist expansion.. a nation the size of Disneyland.
Silence on AIDS.
His friend Micheal Deaver's conviction for influence peddling.
His friend Lyn Nofzinger's conviction for influence peddling.
Caspar Weinberger's 5 count indictment.
200 officials accused of wrongdoing.
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Chief William Casey, lying about Iran-Contra - certain to be convicted.. but developed SUDDEN brain cancer and died within a week!
Elliot Abrams, lying about Iran-Contra - convicted and pardoned by Bush I and now back with US gov't and you're paying hsi salary again.
Abolish the cabinent position of Education Department.
The Bitburg funeral laying wreaths at the tombs of the Nazi/SS. Reagan had said he earlier visited a former concentration camp.. but it proved to be a lie.
Attempting to seat Robert Bork on the US Sumpreme Court... when Archibald Cox refused to resign and demanded Nixon's tapes... Bork was as all to happy to step up the ladder and dismiss Cox and cut Nixon some slack.
It was Reagan who gave nutcases Like Jerry Falwell, Pat Roberston and the Moral Majority national notoriety and legitimacy.
His two biggest political promises -to break up big Government and use military power to bring freedom - were empty bluster. It ended up tripling the national debt, doubling the deficits he left the government 30% bigger than it was when he found it.
He ignored any notion of a balanced budget.
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall"... it was Gorbachev who took on all the risk in glasnost and perestroika. It was Gorby who was sent to Siberia long before Reagan could belt out those words. What risk did Reagan take? None.
It was what the eastern europeans had seen transpiring in Moscow that inspired them that freedom was in reach.. not the 'day late, dollar short' rhetoric of Reagan.
Cheap angry campaign rhetoric will always hook in the angry white men... it has never failed.. esp. those in the working class. The Gipper made the class warfare respectable. Usually, it was found on the nasty scowling faces of the likes of George Wallace,Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon. Reagan managed to put a charming smile on the very same issues and therefore making it an acceptable position to take -- a smiling face on the ugliest social positions one could have.
Reagan voted for FDR 4 times. He was very grateful for how FDR's New deal social programs had saved his family from the misery of the 1930s. Aftre hsi career tanked he was reduced to being an emcee in Las Vegas. He changed course in the prosperous 1950s -- which were very properous for him, as head of the Screen Actors Guild as he fingered and snitched on fellow hollywood types who he said had communist ties.. leading to their being black listed. He also gave MCA (Universal) a blanket waiver which basicall gave MCA control of all actors on televison. He became then head Lew Wasserman's 1st miliion dollar client and went from hosting GE
Theatre to producing it! Subsequently, the Justice Department began to investigate the waiver and the sweetheart deal.. and here is where Reagan's warpath on Big Government was born.
Blacks knew they were in hot water with Reagan when he began his campaign in Neshoba County Miss. at a county fair, the same place were 3 famous white/black civil workers were murdered 16 years earlier. Reagan knew full well what he was doing. He was appealing to the lowest common denominator...scapegoating, hatred.. if you want a leg up.. who do you step one? The most defenseless, weakest and most downtrodden people. And that the time it was blacks, the poor and the uneducated. Working class whites will buy it every time. To understand the day... blacks in 1970 had just had 4-5 years since their existence to almost enjoy being a fully free american. Free to go any hotel, restaurant, service station and not fear rejection, being spat upon, jeered, beaten or murdered. But before that, Reagan signed and campaigned for Barry Goldwater in 1964, Reagan was staunchly against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [ which had abolished segregation in public facilities] and he shared much of Goldwater's hateful and divisive politics (the same politics got Geo. Bush Sr. his 1st political office the same year).
The Gipper was bright enough and the 1st to marry politics and entertainment.. and it worked like a charm along with race politics in California (as civil rights strife was breaking out in Watts and Oakland) and his threat to bring back the death penaly (after Gov. Brown had ended it.. and Reagan wasted no time.. he gassed Aaron Mitchell as soon as he got in) to establish credibilty.. and that would be his last.. as he could not stomach it again. Reagan blasted Gov. Brown for signing legislation that would outlaw housing racial discrimination in California... thus the 'law and order' one liners that Nixon would also employ. he became the master demagogue of divisiveness.
He appointed LESS
minorities to all positions (cabinet and below) than any of his predecessors. The one black man he did appoint, Samuel Pierce (HUD).. Reagan once asked at a cabinet meeting.. 'who was the black fella' seated at the table.
When radical students and Berkeley residents indulged in revoluntionary overkill.. Reagan responded with "If there has to be a bloodbath now, let's get it over with"
Reagan's endless telling and retelling of welfare queens (aimed at women), Aids as a punishment from god, all added to his seemingly non-existant malicious streak. A 61 year-old WWII vet (awarded Bronze Star) had frozed to death in the Federal Park across the street from Reagan's White House. The number of homeless exploded under his federal budget cuts and the Gipper could careless.. not since the Civil War or the Great Depression were the homeless numbers so high.
Race division wasn't his talent at being an ace. Class divison was also a master stroke of the Gipper. Never duing any admistration have the rich gotten so rich and the poor so poor.. so fast. Huge tax cuts (shrinking government) and outrageous military spending (not caring about or scrutinizing the cost of items submitted to the government for invoicing.. they just said give me the bill...and here's the check!) The share of the nation's wealth controlled by the richest people increased from 1% to 13% under the Gipper.
Yes he was skillful politician.. skillful at sticking into those who had no clue what he was doing. A great communicator to those who 'felt good' about what he was saying.. but never having the sense to look into what he was saying... and what he was actually doing. And what he couldn't do.. he had someone else execute for him so he could pose and smile for the camera.
I have not begun to go into what occured and how much damage was done as a result of the HUD Scandal, the Iran-Contra(diction) or the disasterous savings and Loan scandal which we are all still paying for.
For many, just buying what you see on television is good enough.. and that's okay. But if you really give a damn about truth and history.. go seek it for yourself. Read the writings of those who admired the man and read the writings of those who do not and judge for yourself.
But from what I saw of this of this man and what occured while he was in power.. he was very much a hero to those who just 'need to reassured and told that everything is good, we are good and they are 'bad'. These are the type of people that do need someone to follow now and for the rest of thier lives. And in somecases.. they will latch onto the 1st thing that looks good.
A hero is a brave man/woman who goes against all odds, against the firm will of many.. to say and do what's right for the greater good of all people regardless of how unpopular his actions might be. Reagan never did this over a single issue.
Ronald Reagan was no hero, was not a brave man nor was he great president to ALL
the People. To some he may have been, but to many other americans and citizens of the world.. he was not even close.
He was a bad actor, a bad president and those who benefitted from him in power used televison this week to re-invent his legacy and present it as fact in the minds of many who don't have a clue.
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson