Monday, June 07, 2004

Reagan

Eric Alterman on Reagan:

"To me the most astounding thing about Reagan was his ability to convince the many members of the media and much of the country that his fantasies mattered more than reality did. In this regard, I think we can point to his presidency as the moment the country went off the rails in terms of a willingness to address its real problems, rather than the ones we wish we had. The news is more nonsense than normatively significant national problems, and while there has always been some of this, I think with Reagan we hit a tipping point. Listening to Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts wax nostalgically about how wonderful it was that Reagan made stuff up and a bunch of silly journalists had the temerity to (briefly) call him to account, brought back an almost physical wave of nausea as I involuntarily experienced the beginning of the period when facts and truth ceased to matter to their alleged guardians. "

1 comment:

S.W. Anderson said...

Indeed, I've always looked on the so-called Reagan revolution as a sort of sudden turn off the road America had been on, onto a very narrow side street leading to a dead end.

That road America had been on was headed toward making the country fairer, broadening prosperity ever more widely throughout society, compensating for the fact that there was no longe an open West where anyone could go out, put down stakes and make his better future through his own grit and hard work -- the capital of land, water, timber, etc., being there for the taking.

In a land of huge numbers of renters and most people being paycheck employees of huge, often far-removed corporate employers holding economic and political power obscenely out of proportion to their contributions to anyone or anything besides their own runaway appetite for wealth and power, a new, compensating, balancing paradigm is needed. Not socialism, but certainly not laissez-faire capitalism, as we've seen it perpetrated by Reagan, Bush 41 and his son.

Interesting come-back for the Bush folks about Reagan: Remember, he was a pro-Roosevelt Democrat, before he was a Republican.