June 05, 2004

Ronald Reagan Died

Ronald Reagan died today.

The above article speaks well of the two term president.

Unlike these Nevada officials, I was never fond of Ronald Reagan as president.

One of my earlier memories of becoming politically aware had to do with the Carter/Reagan election. As a child I was fond of President Carter. Not understanding the greater issues of the world, I felt bad that he was unable to free the Iranian hostages. I felt bad that he was blamed for the energy crisis of the 70's and I remember really liking his smile.

I was disappointed when he lost to Reagan. As a teenager, I was only vaguely aware of the AIDS crisis that was growing during the 80's. As an adult I learned that Reagan and his administration are in large part to blame for the lack of funding for research into finding the cause for AIDS and preventing it's terrible spread.

As a teenager I was aware as most of us were of the growing nuclear threat in the USSR and I remember the press conferences where President Reagan outlined his great plan for keeping the wolves at bay which was basically to bankrupt the USSR by forcing them to keep up with us in the arms race. We found out later that our own economy was also at risk as the dollar sank in value all over the world after his two terms were up

I also remember the enormous coincidence of the Iranian hostages being released after Reagan took office. This is the time in my life when I started to become skeptical of politicians and learned that our government didn't always have the best interest of the American people at heart. They were more interested in personal gain.

Do you remember the whole Iran Contra scandal when Ollie North fell on his sword?

I do.

My disappointment wasn't that great because I never trusted President Reagan. This is all based on my childish preference for Jimmy Carter's true warm smile over the false warmth of an actor turned politician.

Our deficit increased, white collar criminals were practicing business crimes as if it was standard operating proceedure, the groundwork was laid for future savings and loans scandals, and thousands and thousands of people died afflicted with a disease that could have been prevented had the Reagan administration devoted any funding to research or education.

These are my memories of Ronald Reagan.

I don't think he was the great man many obituaries will say he was, although I do believe he was a pretty good actor.

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