The Legacy of Ronald Reagan

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by earllogjam, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. earllogjam

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    The Legacy of Ronald Reagan

    Although he is dead now his legacy lives on. What are your thoughts on his role in history. He has been honored by many here in America as being a savior, a hero, a true American. Can he be rightfully credited for the downfall of the Soviet Bloc? The economic recovery of our nation? The return of morality? Bringing America back?

    What is his legacy in your eyes? How has he changed this country for good or bad?
     
  2. Osiris

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    I think he did more for our nation on a world scale than any President I can recall in my lifetime. He elevated us to a respectable level in the world community's eyes. Too bad it's all shot to hell now.
     
  3. SpeedoGuy

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    I had a hard time seeing Reagan as a defender of morality when his own subordinates were selling advanced arms to a nation labeled as terrorist and using the profits to fund death squads in an illegal war in Central America.
     
  4. PussyWellington

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    He was one of your greatest traitors, and time will prove it.
     
  5. earllogjam

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    Does he deserve most of the credit of bringing down the Soviet Union and Soviet Bloc? Or was Gorbachev the leader most deserving of the downfall of the Iron Wall?
     
  6. Guy-jin

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    The fall of the Soviet Union was an inevitability that Reagan had almost nothing to do with.
     
  7. B_phe1249

    B_phe1249 New Member

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    I think he was the greatest statesmen the U.S. will every know. The world was a much different place under Regan,Thatcher, Kohl and Mitterand.

    More importanty why do you ask such idiotic questions?
     
  8. D_Harry_Crax

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    Ditto. I read "The Russians" by Hedrick Smith in about 1978. He had been the Moscow correspondent for The New York Times for quite a while, traveled the whole country and went into great detail about the Soviet economy, culture, military, etc. When I finished the book, I said to myself, "we're afraid of these guys? A country in which the spaceships keep exploding on the launch pad, they can't make a decent refridgerator or a decent car, or anything else?" I knew then, and I was still in high school, that it was only a matter of time before the whole Soviet Union imploded through its own overreach combined with incompetence. (Difference between Soviet Union and today's US incompetence and overreach? Lots, starting with the fact that unlike the Soviets and Brezhnev, we don't have to wait until Bush dies to get a new president.)

    I remember the entire, awful 8 years of the Reagan presidency well, from start to finish. He had more members of his administration investigated for criminal behavior and/or resign for illegal or highly unethical behavior than any other president before or since (this includes Grant, Harding, and Nixon, all of them also Republicans, and certainly more so than Clinton). Hacks such as Peggy Noonan have decided to spend the rest of their careers, if not the rest of their lives, trying to make a god out of Reagan, like JFK for Democrats and then some! The Republicans certainly need a powerful icon; still talking about Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt more than a 100 years later doesn't seem very relevant. And for some reason, Republican leaders and strategists never have really emphasized Eisenhower very much as a role model or icon, even though Ike in retrospect is looking better every day (funny how declassifying documents make Eisenhower look better and better because of all the important and smart things he did behind the scenes, while declassifying documents tends to make other presidents--including JFK, of course--look worse because of all the scandals and screw-ups they wanted and needed to hide).
     
  9. BigDuder

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    Reagan will probably stand with FDR as one of the two seminal presidents of the 30th century. Each is a symbol of their respective ideologies and all the positives and negatives that go with that. FDR has the benefit of historical distance, overcoming the depression, and WWII to help keep him as less of a polarizing figure.


    Reagan benefits from the fact that he was President during the Cold War period when it made sense for free marketers and deeply devout chrisitians to be united against a common enemy. As for the actua substace of his Presidency?

    He hastened the fall of the Soviet Union. It likely would have happened on its own eventually, but his tough approach came at just the right historical juncture. His first taxcut gets all the credit from Republicans, but the tax reform act of 1987 made it harder to hide money from the government and ensured for the next couple of decades that money was kept flowing throughout the economy. He signed the historic nuclear accords. Most importantly perhaps, is what he means to so many Americans who were suffering through the postVietnam/Watergate national malaise. He reintroduced optimism into political speak (something that Clinton took from him and Bush seems to have forgotten) and while intangible, is perhaps his greatest accomplishment.

    Negatives: He was slow to react to the AIDS epidemic, and his involvement in Irancontra.

    A history becomes more distant we will be better postioned to accurately judge his legacy. Suffice to say, for now, in terms of influence, he has to rank in the top 5 Presidents in US history.
     
  10. D_Harry_Crax

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    Anyone who says that Reagan was the greatest statesman in U.S. history is the idiot. I could name a dozen presidents and two dozen persons who were secretaries of state, secretaries of the treasury, 5-star (or more) generals, justices of the Supreme Court, U.S. Senators (think Webster or Clay, among many others), etc., who were "greater statesmen" than the second-rate actor from California (and I'm not referring to Arnold).
     
  11. Osiris

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    Absolutely not. That was Gorbachev's ideals and goverment that brought it down. It was very well known that The Gorbachevs embraced Western ideal and lifestyles (Raisa was known to wield her AMEX freely when on trips to the US and in such capitalist places as Macys, Bloomingdale's, Neiman-Marcus, etc.

    The two things Reagan gets credit for, but does not deserve the credit for are the release of the hostages from the Iranian Embassy and the fall of the Soviet Union.
     
  12. Osiris

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    You could take it a step further because to a great degree it is a president's staff that often makes him who he is in office. Reagan had really brilliant men in his staff and he had some really daft ones too. But then again, what president hasn't had his share of idiots?
     
  13. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    As much as Republicans like to invoke Reagan's legacy it's kind of sad and ironic how much they are shitting all over it. I don't agree with all of his policy decisions, but I respect him as a very capable leader and statesman, and as a much truer champion of conservative ideals than the hypocrites currently serving.
     
  14. Guy-jin

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    Agreed to an extant. He also gets credit for bolstering the US economy when he put it further in debt than any President in history (until now? Not sure on those numbers.) among quite a few other dubious claims to greatness. Moreover, he embraced the fundamentalist Christian Right and laid the groundwork for the Neoconservative movement. I have trouble seeing those as pluses, considering they directly led to the current state of affairs in America.

    Then again, maybe those were also inevitabilities, although I don't think they would have been.

    I wouldn't put him in the pantheon of great presidents, that's for certain.

    In fact, I wouldn't put any president we've had since Truman in the pantheon, and Truman is questionable because he allowed the use of the second A-bomb, but that's another conversation for another day.
     
  15. Principessa

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    I agree it's time had come and the die was cast long before Reagan implored Gorbachev to bring down the wall.

    LMAO, Why do you have such idiotic answers?:tongue::biggrin1:
     
  16. BigDuder

    BigDuder New Member

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    well said, nineinchcock 160IQ
     
  17. earllogjam

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    How are Republican's shitting on Reagan's legacy? I don't see that much difference these days other than the fact that Bush has the charisma of a flea.
     
  18. simcha

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    Well, let's see, since I was quite alive and coming of age then I can tell you that those were frightening years. I had regular nightmares of nuclear war. You never knew what that man with alzheimers was going to do with that red button in the Oval Office.

    He began the union busting that has brought us to the complete erosion of worker rights when he had all the air traffic controllers replaced during their strike.

    He deregulated the airline industry creating the mess we are in today with shabby uncomfortable and inefficient airtravel.

    He took away a vital level of service for the mentally ill by closing all assylums. All they did was turn these very disabled people out onto the streets and some of them (the ones still alive and not in jail) are still wandering around the neighborhoods where they were released homeless. And we have a massive uptick in crime after this and now we jail a record number of people. We have more people in jails per capita than any other industrialized nation on the planet. Most of them are mentally ill and/or drug users. So all he did was shift the cost of dealing with mentally ill people from places where they received services to the penal system. Mental health services are a joke most everywhere in the USA and it began with Reagan.

    He kept talking about fiscal responsibility and "conservative" fiscal spending. Yet he has the record, before our current Republican president of running up our national debt. That effect is going to be felt for generations of Americans. We're seeing our credit erode quickly now and it's going to continue to crash. We just can't keep living on credit. But, alas that's Reaganomics. Oh, and meanwhile you spend record levels of money on defense when there is no war, finding insignificant wars like Grenada to fight and gut social services while running the largest deficit known to the USA. Then you decrease the amount of revenue the government is collecting by cutting taxes for the rich and upper middle class while spending more and more and more... And this made sense to whom?

    Most of his cabinet and advisors were indicted for something illegal, the Iran-Contra affair just being one of those scandals. And the roots of Saddam Hussein started under Reagan. He built up Iraq and Saddam Hussein to fight Iran while secretly running arms to the Iranians through the Contras... Is it any wonder that we would have to "deal" with Iraq under the next two Republican presidents?

    He gutted the education budget beginning the massive degradation of the public education system in our country. Nope, send your kids to private school. What? Only rich white Republicans can afford private schools? Oh, too bad. You're a poor inner-city black kid. You are forced to get a sub-standard education so we can keep you ignorant of your rights so we can steal elections later and take away more rights when we institute the Patriot Act. Destroying public education assures that we will have an underclass that is entirely ignorant of our history, values, and our Constitution. Therefore they have no concept of how government is supposed to work and what power they should be exercising in maintaining their basic rights given to them by the Founding Fathers of our country.

    He touted "Family Values" while trying to hack away at abortion rights. Meanwhile he gutted social services to families with children. So basically they were all for bringing more babies into the world but they weren't going to support families to raise them once they were in it. Yeah, that's Reaganesque "Family Values."

    And his "Moral Majority" looked the other way while gay men started dying in San Francisco and New York because the disease was doing what he wished he could do, kill vast numbers of gay men. Never mind that the disease was bound to show up everywhere no matter what your sexual orientation and that by ignoring it we have an epidemic that is out of control and touches every segment of our society. The fault for lack of containment goes back to Reagan.

    Oh, and let's not forget breaking up "Ma Bell" putting our telecommunications network behind most other first world countries because of the competition forcing the newer telecommunication companies to spend more on marketing and less on R & D and maintenance of the network.

    And he started the lack of spending on maintaining our nation's highways and public transportation systems. So we are left in a situation where our transportation infrastructure has decayed to a point that it needs a complete overhaul and most of the country relies almost exclusively on the polluting automobile. But those oil executives and the Saudis who were his buddies sure got rich.

    Oh, there are so many other things that history will write about one of our worst presidents ever highlighting the massive and lasting damage he and his cronies did and continue to do to the fabric of the USA.
     
  19. hedonic

    hedonic New Member

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    He should have stayed an actor, cause thats what he was good at, ACTING, His facial expressions and Body language said it all. CONTRA dict in SA. Someone should have RE- minded him about his memory.
     
  20. avg_joe

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    He is a true American hero. Yes, he can be credited for the downfall of the Soviet. He is one of the brightest and greatest American presidents.
     
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