June 06, 2004

remembering the great communicator

On June 6, 1984, Ronald Reagan gave one of his most famous speeches at the 40th Anniversary celebration of the D-day invasion of Normandy, France. President Reagan’s passing yesterday, but a day short of the 60th anniversary of that hallowed event, has naturally lead to testimonials that remember that day and his words from almost precisely twenty years previously.

I recall listening to that speech in 1984. I was a much younger man, not yet a curmudgeon, and happily enfranchised-confidently pulling that lever to cast my vote for Reagan. This was before Iran-Contra had clouded the Reagan Presidency, and I was unwavering in my support. While the years have conspired to erode my belief in some of the philosophical positions that Reagan personified, my love of his optimism and unique leadership remains undimmed.

I would suggest that it would take a hard heart, to not be at least somewhat inspired by one of our nation’s most heart-felt optimists. Reagan was often deemed but a “great actor” by those in political opposition, but I have felt all along that those of that opinion had it all wrong: Reagan derived his strength and ability to lead from his sincerity. I have no doubt that who ever wrote these words, they were uttered by Reagan with no hesitancy or disengenuity:

[T]he dead of battle have spoken more eloquently for themselves than any of the living ever could. But we can only honor them by rededicating ourselves to the cause for which they gave a last full measure of devotion....Today we do rededicate ourselves to that cause. And at this place of honor, we're humbled by the realization of how much so many gave to the cause of freedom and to their fellow man.

Honor. Freedom. Fellow Man. These are Ideas that stir men’s souls.

As I write, I have tears in my eyes as I know many of you do as well. Whatever policy errors and political misdeeds which may have occurred on President Reagan’s watch, he spoke eloquently, sincerely and reverentially about our Ideals and reached my heart strings in a way that will live with me forever.

Tears may seem unusual for someone who dislikes politicians as much as I. But, for any of you perhaps too young to remember, the year 1984 was a much different time than 2004. The malaise of Vietnam, Watergate, and the Carter administration were still fresh in mind. Reagan changed all of that.

It seemed then, as it does in retrospect, that this was the man who had single-mindedly willed America to a rebirth of spirit. As I have heard in the voluminous testimonials in the last 24 hours, even Reagan’s most ardent political opponents understand the unique service that the Gipper provided in helping rekindle the embers of our dying Republic.

What a pity that President Reagan’s political heirs have forgotten the substance of his words uttered merely two decades ago at Pointe du Hoc Memorial:

From a terrible war we learned that unity made us invincible; now, in peace, that same unity makes us secure. We sought to bring all freedom-loving nations together in a community dedicated to the defense and preservation of our sacred values. Our alliance, forged in the crucible of war, tempered and shaped by the realities of the postwar world, has succeeded. In Europe, the threat has been contained, the peace has been kept.

You see, my tears are not for a lost man, but for a lost America. In the last twenty years we have traveled the road from Unity to Unilateralism; from Leadership to Domination; from Ideals to Ideology. The lost ground in that time is not to be underestimated. It is as if the positive energy generated by Reagan’s idealism has wasted into the ether and we are left with the crumbs of a incomplete ideology, hollowed out by the rasp of factionalism.

Reagan of course does not deserve sole credit for the reinvigoration of America any more than our current President deserves sole responsibility for leading us into the abyss of political triumphialism. Both men stand as symbols of the larger trends of which they were a part.

Forgive my tainting of an epitaph with political observation. It is just very hard to avoid today because as I drove my car, I was treated to right-wing talk shows that could seemingly not resist doing the same. In their view, it was impossible during this election year to miss the profundity of Reagan’s death at this time; of the similarity of choice during the 1980 presidential campaign with that of 2004: the Reagan optimism contrasted with the Carter morosity; Bush contrasted with Kerry.

While the current President occupies the same political space as did Reagan, he lacks several essential ingredients to fill those shoes, not the least of which is sincerity of heart. Several of the remembrances of Reagan which I have heard echoed the sentiment that one of the most striking things about him was that he was so comfortable being himself.

That comfort was never so evident as it was at times of national grief. While every President since Mr. Reagan has uttered beautiful words and rhetorically appealed to our Higher Ideals, none could have moved us in the way that Reagan did. None could have closed a speech as did Reagan after the Challenger Disaster without an intellectual flinch from the listener:

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

Whether you agreed with Mr. Reagan, or disagreed, there is little doubt that he was a genuine article.

I miss that.

19 Comments:

Blogger Cajun Huguenot said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Written Blog!!!

You said: "You see, my tears are not for a lost man, but for a lost America."

Reagan battled the evil empire well... but IMO, contributed to the lost America I hoped for (the FDR america). Reagan was instrumental, IMO, in moving this country to the right... and that's a sad legacy and a lost America. I also watched much of the 24 x 7 coverage on Reagan this weekend (please... somebody shoot Peggy Noonan). Reagan was quoted as claiming FDR to be one of his great heroes .... now there is some irony... "supply side trickle down any tax is too much" meets the New Deal. :) Turns out "supply side trickle down" is also an evil empire.

Cajun... I find your Secession idea intriguing, although just punting Texas out of the Union may be sufficient.

Dorf

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I can understand your sadness over the death of your former president, I think your praise of him is entirely misplaced. When RR was elected almost a quarter century ago he was considered to be a right-wing extremist. He was a movie actor who just did what his handlers told him to do-act like a president. He really had no idea what he was doing, he was merely a mouthpiece for the interests that guide the Whitehouse. After his term expired, the Japanese invited him to speak in thier country and paid him alot of money to do so. When asked questions about the world, or US policy, or anything, he was unable to answer the simplest of questions, he just didn't know! Another example of his mental state is when his handlers became aware that the public was becoming concerned about his "capacity" they whisked the befuddled man off to the pentagon for a photo-op. He was seen shaking hands with important looking generals, entering offices carrying files, and walking down the halls in front of uniformed men. When they shot enough footage, he was whisked away, probably before he even knew what was happening. From what I've read, that epitomizes the mental image many of us have of him. As for his death, I'll bet the coroner put the time of death at "1960"

11:17 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Just an afterword based on the comments and the emails I have already received. I am not a Reagan apologist by any stretch. Don't get me wrong: the negative rememberances were what I was hoping to get here, I am mere explaining myself for those of you who might be concerned about me losing my faculties.

For my part, I thought it was fitting to remember the good at this moment. We have the rest of history to debate the bad.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

This is the missing post from Cajun Huguenot that was somehow deleted. I am reposting it now so that he does not have to...I am a full service blogger :-D

-----------------------------------------------------

In November 1980, when Reagan was elected President, I was on board a U.S. Navy frigate cruising off the coast of Iran. Moral in the military under Jimmy Carter was at a very low ebb, but with Ronald Reagan’s leadership it shot up. He raised us out of the doldrums that Vietnam, Watergate, the Iranian hostage crisis, and the Carter administration had lead us into.

Reagan, like everyman, was greatly flawed individual, but we was also a man who thought great things. He followed what he believed to be right and America recovered economically, and his policies hastened the tittering Soviet Union to topple into the ash heap of history.

His greatest failure was the Beirut debacle where over 200 Marines needlessly died and America tucked its tail and ran (we should never have been there either). This played a part in our current trouble in that region of the world.

Even with his failure and flaws, Reagan is the best president in my lifetime. He was a far better than the other choice we had when he was elected and reelected. No better man could have been elected in those days.

While I strongly disagreed with going to war in Iraq (I don’t think Iraq is worth even one American life), I still think our current president was far better than the alternative four years ago or today.

Under Reagan I changed from the Democratic to Republican parties (1984). Today I am more of a right of centre Christian libertarian.

Thanks for your blog.

Deo Vindice,
Kenith

1:32 PM  
Blogger Brackenator said...

If anyone looks back to FDR as the great days, then they have let the wool of innocence be pulled back over their eyes. I can most definitely address this at another time.

Okay, now to the late great Cowboy, RR. I can remember the despair from the late 70's and how even in junior high this seemed to jade our perspective on everything. I do admit that I lived in a small town whose major employer was a defense contrator.

Regan to us was more than someone who seemed like he would support defense, therefore perserving our way of life and those of out parents, he was really a ray of hope. I can still remember capaign slogans saying it was time to "Vote for a Change". Most of my peers agreed with that.

The Hostage Crisis in Iran had been going on for close to 400 days in November 1980, and it seemed like President Carter could not do anything right. The country as well as its youth were not in the best frame of mind to consider the future.

This Great Communicator may have been the greatest actor who never received an Oscar, but he made the country feel good about itself and our stagnating economy grew while he was in office. We felt like it was ok to be American again.

Though I admit in those years I was not as analytical as I am now. A friend of mine wrote a paper called "The Price of Hope and the Next Generation" analyzing the affect of continual deficit spending and how that Soviet block could not keep up while it seemed the government could go on spending like that forever. At the end of the Reagan era, congress had borrowed almost 4 trillion against Social Security, the current deficit is close to 20 trillion, thank you Bush, 41, and Clinton, 42, Shrub, 43 for continuing the pace which will see the end of Social Security.

Sorry, I digress. If you remember feeling good at a time when there was not much else to feel good and you feel th price was worth it, then es Reagan will be remembered well. If you feel that the price was not worth feeling good, then the Reagan era was filled with a placebo that kept us moving forward.

Thank you for your time.

The Brackenator

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Brackenator,

Hope all is well.

You said:

"If anyone looks back to FDR as the great days, then they have let the wool of innocence be pulled back over their eyes."

I think you put words in my mouth, or maybe I need to clarify. FDR and the New Deal didn't represent the great days.... it represented finally putting down a path for a more enlightened government/society (i.e. a society with common sense safety nets). I listen to conservative American's make fun of European countries that believe a government's role is to provide safety nets. These same American's say our government role is to stay out of the way, and not to provide safety nets. This group comes in two flavors... those that want to provide those safety nets outside of government (i.e. voluntary charity), and a second group that doesn't want to provide them at all (i.e. eat your own kill laissez-faire). I think the first group is naive, and the second group is greedy, mean, "choose your own adjective". We live in a society where 80% of Christians read their bible and come to a conclusion that the GOP best represents those teachings of taking care of the needy... I'm still waiting for a logical explanation of that. If you are a Christian voting GOP... you are either naive or a hypocrite.

Bet I don't sound to innocent anymore. :)

2:16 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

I was about to disagree with Dorf and say that I didn't think that 80% of Christians voted GOP. Then in a fit of rationality, I decided to look it up. The number I found was 83%. That is amazing.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curmudgeon,

While you are having the fit... maybe you can give me some insight to why you think those 83% vote GOP. As you know... I'm not exactly a biblical scholar... but I did honor a friends request once and I read Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Maybe it was just my interpretation... but I came away thinking the message was clear about taking care of those in need. I could find no theme of self-interest or survival of the fittest earthly entitlement. If one comes to the conclusion it is physically impossible to take care of our society's needy through non-government voluntary measures, the only logical christian choice for government is the Democrats. Someone shed some light on why 83% come to a different conclusion.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Brackenator said...

Christian
Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christ-like.
Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
Showing a loving concern for others; humane.

hypocrite
One who plays a part; especially, one who, for the purpose of winning approbation of favor, puts on a fair outside seeming; one who feigns to be other and better than he is; a false pretender to virtue or piety; one who simulates virtue or piety.

democrat
An advocate of democracy.
Democrat A member of the Democratic Party.
A peak, 4,315.1 m (14,148 ft) high, of central Colorado in the Park Range of the Rocky Mountains
A large light uncovered wagon with two or more seats.

republican
Of, relating to, or characteristic of a republic.
Favoring a republic as the best form of government.
Republican Of, relating to, characteristic of, or belonging to the Republican Party of the United States.
(a) The American cliff swallow. The cliff swallows build their nests side by side, many together.
(b) A South African weaver bird. These weaver birds build many nests together, under a large roof-like shelter, which they make of straw.


murdered, murdering, murders
To kill (another human) unlawfully.
To kill brutally or inhumanly.
To put an end to; destroy: murdered their chances.
To spoil by ineptness; mutilate: a speech that murdered the English language.
Slang. To defeat decisively; trounce.


I just wanted to post these standard definitions so as to make sure we understand what some of the posters are saying.

A hypocrite is someone who fakes what he is. A Christian is someone who should show loving concern for others.

A democrat is a two-seater taken to new heights where the air is thin and the brain cannot function. I mean a person who belongs to or relates to the democratic party of the United States. Where they do not believe in the dignity of the very young or very old and as a part of the platform of that party uphold that murder of those peoples is part of their agenda. If you do not believe this then ask about reproductive rights and euthanasia. (http://www.democrats.org)

A republican is someone who favors the republican party of the United States or is a member of a social, not socialist, class of birds that build their nests side-by-side. This group does not believe in the dignity of those who are not very young or very old and have little regard for the environment. The believe that they have a right to treat the land and environment as they wish. (http://www.gop.org)

A green party member is similar to the democrats and republicans except they want to deny prosperity to the world and want to isolate the United Stated from many foreign influences. (http://www.gp.org)

To be perfectly honest, no one defined as a Christian could in all conscience vote for anyone associated with any of these three parties. Why a viable Christian voting block has not emerged is that no one has had the sense or courage to truly challenge a two or three party system. If you want Christian rights, not right-wing, preserved at the national level then start a party that truly holds them.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brackenator:

Good post. I was thinking it couldn't get any worse than the GOP always capturing 80%+ of the religious vote... and then you point out it really could (i.e. Theocracy). Very scarey thought.

Good point on the democratic party and it's support of women's right to choose, and euthanasia. I support both of those, so it works for me... but I was asking a serious question and you answered it for me. That would definitely be black and white issues for many religious folks.

Curmudgeon on........

5:52 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Brackenator's post was great, but not totally responsive. Dorf asked why 83% of Christians seem to come to the conclusion that the GOP serves their intrests or in someway is most compatible with their belief system. I think you have to look at American history to understand the reasons.

First, I think what you see is the last vestigages of Puritanism. The Puritans belief in the Protestant work ethic is almost mythical in proportion. The classic statement is that good work is its own reward. In years past, many historians attributed early colonial survival to this core value.

Over the years this idea has transmuted into something far different in the common consciousness. This has been brought about by two forces. First, the advent of personal economic liberty. The Protestant work ethic predated the reality of personal economic liberty. The rising economic wealth created by the industry of an economically free society formed the second force. This force of increasing wealth created over time an illusion that hard work leads inexorably to personal economic prosperity-an idea reinforced by the obvious truth that often hard work does lead to prosperity in America. Over time, this illusion became accepted as a fundamental tenet of many Christians.

So Christians respond strongly to those who understand and use the puritanical roots of American thought. Like other people, Christians are subject to the moral failing of becoming intellectually lazy and find themselves accepting what they perceive to be the precepts of their forebears uncritically. A fresh analysis would obviously produce a least an even split between modern American Conservativism and Liberalism.

But Brackenator touched on one of the big reasons that the Christian backing of the GOP is so incredibly solid: abortion. There is a lot of single issue voting that goes on. A lot of folks cast their ballot for the GOP on that issue alone even though they might cast a contrary vote if not for that issue.

9:09 AM  
Blogger David R said...

Yes, the abortion issue is no doubt a significant factor in the 80% support among Christians. But let's not oversimplify, the fact is that with the rise of the Christian right as a political force over the last two decades (another Reagan legacy), the GOP has systematically given itself over to pandering to this group. Our current president and his attorney general provide only the most egregarious example of this long-term trend. It's hard to find many speeches given by Shrub that don't contain overt evangelical codewords, and Ashcroft's religious fanaticism is well known and publicized. The 80% support for the GOP amongst Christians is largely due to the fact that the GOP has completely discarded the idea that religious beliefs should be held at least at arms length from public policy. The GOP embraces the Christian/Evangelical right like no other political party in the history of this country has ever embraced a particular religious creed. Christians vote for GOP candidates because they have been bamboozled into thinking that these candidates are "like them". I hesitate to slap the hypocrite label on this 80% crowd. Many professed Christian's are hyprocites, to be sure, but not necessarily in any larger percentage than the population at large. I would lean more towards calling them misguided and ill-informed. I find a tendency, especially within evangelical circles, towards disbelief that any one of "their own" could possibly be guilty of hypocrisy or any major moral failures, for that matter. So the "born-again" president gets a free pass from objective evaluation. Simply the fact of his loudly and repeatedly professed born-againedness is enough to ensure righteousness. It is the GOP policitians, with the president leading the way, who are the hypocrites. The 80% of Christians who will vote for Bush this fall are guilty of the intellectual and moral laziness which leads them to accept without question Bush's (and much of the GOP's)loud professions of born-again Christianity without actually making the effort to investigate whether his deeds and actions match his professed religious beliefs. I am not a practicing Christian, but I share many of the beliefs of my Christian friends, and I would gladly vote for a truly Christian candidate. Unfortunately there is not one in the race. Just because Bush or any other candidate flaunts Christianity on their sleeve, does not ipso-facto make them a Christian. It's not enough that they just talk the talk. Unfortunately, talking the Christian talk is what the GOP has become a master of, and it's a good enough sell to get them that 80% I guess.

I would like to address the original topic, how do we feel about Reagan? I have to say that I largely agree with the Curmudgeon (an occurrence that is becoming distressingly common), in terms of his judgement of Reagan the man. He was the geniune article. I abhored most of his politics, I did not vote for the man, and I thought he was simple minded and ignorant of facts to as large a degree as our current president is. The difference being that I don't think Reagan was ignorant -on purpose-. There was a child-like innocence and naivety about Reagan's famous optimism, that to this day remains somehow endearing. I feel like Reagan really did believe in his rhetoric, and he really believed in us, even in me personally. I think we all felt that from him, and I think that is the essential ingredient that we needed at that time as a nation. For that reason I never could generate the anger at Reagan for his misguided policies that I have for the current administration. Reagan sincerely meant well for the country. Maybe I'm the one being naive, but I still feel that statement to be true. The current crowd, which has already started using Reagan's passing to promote themselves as the keeper of his legacy, is by contrast completely unconcerned with the well-being of the country, and are driven entirely 100% by self interest. I did not vote for Reagan in the 80s, but I would vote for him now over Bush. Even if the policies would be largely the same, at least I could trust Reagan to care about his responsibilities to the people of this great land. That would give me some hope.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Well said DavidR. Well said!

There is no shame in agreeing with a Curmudgeon. But it isn't as much fun as disagreeing, is it?

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I big cyber hug to my long lost buddy... DavidR. I don't know how much Curmudgeon keeps you informed, but I have traveled a long ways (that direction would be left) and I figure you and I are on the same page now.... although your agreeing with Curmudgeon often gives me pause. :) Your post was most excellent.... you nailed it (well at least up to the Reagan part). I understand the importance of our nation feeling a connection with a president... but then I heard Reagan's approval ratings while he was in office were actually quite average. I for one, am very inclinced to believe he was a creature put foward by GOP handlers... much like the current administration (ok... maybe too many conspiracy theories :). Did you ever hear Reagan's famous line in an early debate where he said "I'm paying for this microphone"? Straight out of a movie... a Spencer Tracey movie I believe. My question is... "if he was acting then... when was he not acting". Anyway... I have no real desire to slam Reagan on his death, but the GOP jumping on to Market it you spoke of makes me want to hurl. What a sanctimonius bunch of groveling weasels we have leading this 200+ year experiment. Also, even at Reagan's death, I refuse to celebrate someone who moved this country to the right. I can no longer be inspired by any president that starts their core belief at "we should have lower taxes" ... or in the current Texas Prez version.... "it's the people's money". But as you alluded to ... their isn't a better marketing machine in this country than the GOP... they are going to keep selling their born again faith and the minimum tax BS as the only substance required until it quits selling... and I don't expect that any time soon. I require a president to believe in government funded safety nets before I will even give them the time of day... I seek that out way before I have any interest in their religious beliefs (which I continue to think should be a private matter). Old crumudgeon keeps telling me things like social security is just politics... I say it's the guidepost to watch to see which direction our society will move in... that seems like way more than politics. Of course, IMO. :)

Good to hear from you...

Dorf

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DavidR,

btw... saying you would vote for Reagan over Bush isn't exactly earth shattering. Let me take a shot at it... "I would vote for Ronald McDonald over Bush if that was the two choices".

Also... try this out for a conspiracy theory. A rought timeline may do.

1) Bush fails in business until age 40, even with a rich daddy.
2) Bush fails to be elected to Congress from Texas on his first try
3) Bush finds religion in Crawford, TX ... and serves as his daddy's proxy to the religious right during his daddy's run for the White House. Works... daddy gets elected.
4) Bush says... hey... big numbers in the block Christian vote... that will work in Texas. Does... serves two terms as governor.
5) Warning: This is where I really go conspiracy theory :) Bush says... hey, this 80+% religious block vote can probably work getting in the White House. More importantly... the GOP money guys behind the scene are looking for a candidate to do their bidding... preferably someone they could control if he won the white house. Carl Rove and his boy hit the radar... the great GOP money behind the scene pool and say this is our guy. Next stop White House... although a small trip through the Supreme Court required.

Walla... big business has a guy that will ignore the environment, reduce any tax he can get away with, reduce any industry environmental protections he can get sell, give billions to the drug industry but not allow the government to leverage thier size for drug price discounts, fight any importation of Canadian drugs (all of a sudden they aren't quite as enamoured with pure laissez-faire on this topic... ok on the rest), etc... I could go on... and will soon. :)

Dorf

4:48 PM  
Blogger David R said...

Hey Dorf, my how the worm has turned :-)

I got a great laugh out of your Ronald McDonald vs. Bush line. Why? Because I said EXACTLY that to my wife yesterday. Am I being recorded in my car? Your conspiracy theories must be getting to me...

In truth, I would vote for one of Reagan's famous co-stars, Bonzo the chimp, over Bush. I think Bonzo displayed a level of curiosity and an eagerness to learn that far exceeds anything I've seen from Shrub.

Thanks for the cyberhug.. back at ya.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

OK. Enough hugging. I may have to add displays of affection to my list of “deleteable” offenses.

But seriously, if we are going to allow animal stars on the ballot, the obvious candidate of choice is Lassie: the bravery of JFK, the charisma of Reagan, the loyalty of Ford and the soul of Carter.

Side note: I thought this was an especially good and balanced Reagan piece.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was listening to Mario Cuomo on C-Span this morning. He is pushing his book "Why Lincoln Matters". I share Lincoln's birthday... I always hoped that was a sign I would do great things... doesn't look like it. :) Anyway, a caller asked him the question "is their no hope to elect a liberal president in the future". I thought his answer was a good one. He said beware of labels... they get in the way of debating the real issues. He said that if he was forced to use a label for his ideology, it would be "Progressive Pragmatism". A progressive pragmatist (PP) doesn't start the debate with "the government should be small" or "the government should be large" or "taxes should be little" or "we should have high tax rates". The PP doesn't view government as a seperate entity to be despised or loved. He views government as "US" trying to make the best collective decisions to serve "US" (i.e. common good). The PP says that what can be done well with private business/markets SHOULD BE done in the private sector. In areas where common sense dictates we must do this with government ... transportation infrastructure (roads), court system (laws), defense (military), health care (47 million without) .... then we should do it through government. Those that worship laissez-faire to the point where they think EVERYTHING belongs in the private arena have a blind spot. I recently came to the conclusion that if I was to label myself it would be "Social Democrat"... but I have recently used almost the exact same reasoning and words that Cuomo defines as "Progressive Pragmatist".

So how does this tie with the Curmudgeon Reagan blog? C-Span played a taped recording of one of Reagan's speeches. Reagan attributed the following words to Lincoln. He was wrong... his handlers probably gave him bad information... but the point is Reagan obviously believed the words.

You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/cannot.htm

Again, my point is just an honest debate of what Reagan stood for. I'm troubled by folks that view an economic system as the only "fairness arbiter" we need in our society. I'm afraid that's exactly what made up Reagan's core belief system... leave laissez-faire alone and fairness will pop out on the other side. Reagan was telling us that taxing the wealthy in a progressive fashion was the same thing as destroying them (btw... we seemed fully capable of creating record wealth under Clinton tax rates). As Cuomo said, Reagan and others believe in a top down approach .... set the top free and it will trickle down. Well... that quit working 20 years ago (I recommend the book "Wealth and Democracy" to anyone who really thinks trickle down has continued to work over the last two decades).

We need to elect presidents with a "bottom up" perspective... and that's not just politics.

Again, all JMO

Dorf

12:58 PM  

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