Friday, January 28, 2011

Ronald Reagan - Lest We Forget . . .

Today, many of us marvel at all the stupid and contradictory things said by the right-wing crazies who seem to be all around us. People like Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin come quickly to mind. But, there is one god-like person all of them idolize and bring up every chance they get as their heroic “Great Communicator”:


Reagan was the “B” grade Hollywood actor who was convinced he had all the answers for everything for everyone. He first became governor of California and later went on to serve two terms as the President of the United States of America. Some people think he was elected because he ‘looked and talked presidential’. He certainly talked in simplistic terms which appealed to people on an emotional level, and - he was an actor after all, albeit a decidedly mediocre one.

And that heroic ideal of the people who are often called ‘bat-shit crazies’ today, was no slouch in the utterance of stupid, absurd and contradictory things himself. In fact, in re-reading some of them, one gets the feeling that Ronald Reagan may have been the advance guard for making obtusely ludicrous pronouncements. Reagan sometimes makes his followers seem bright in comparison, except for maybe Dan Quayle who is a study in himself. Here are just a few of the things Ronald Wilson Reagan said over the years:

"It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?"

"I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself."

"I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency -- even if I'm in a Cabinet meeting."

"Well, I learned a lot....I went down to (Latin America) to find out from them and (learn) their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries"

"Facts are stupid things."

"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles."

"All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk."

"The state of California has no business subsidizing intellectual curiosity."

"I don't believe a tree is a tree and if you've seen one you've seen them all."

"Approximately 80 percent of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources."

"We are trying to get unemployment to go up, and I think we're going to succeed."

"What we have found in this country, and maybe we're more aware of it now, is one problem that we've had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice."

"I have a feeling that we are doing better in the war than the people have been told." (about Vietnam)

"...the moral equal of our Founding Fathers." (about Nicaraguan contras)

"...a faceless mass, waiting for handouts." (about Medicaid recipients)

"Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders."

" . . . until now has there ever been a time in which so many of the prophecies are coming together. There have been times in the past when people thought the end of the world was coming, and so forth, but never anything like this."

I believe that the future is far nearer than most of us would dare hope.””

“Even though there may be some misguided critics of what we're trying to do, I think we're on
the wrong path.” (about welfare reform)

"We're not building missiles to fight a war. We're building missiles to preserve the peace."

“Where would this country be without this great land of ours?”

Ronald Reagan was a big champion of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain, who was often compared with him. Maybe that’s why I find it so amusing to consider what she really actually thought of him:

"Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears."
           ~British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Not to be outdone, some of Reagan’s international contemporaries had a similar opinion:

"What planet is he living on?"
           ~President Mitterand of France

Larry Speakes, Reagan’s own press secretary said preparing him for a press conference was,

" reinventing the wheel."

So, you see, when you take the time to really analyze things, you realize these new crazies have a great deal to live down to.

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