What Is So Good About Reagan?

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by das omen, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. das omen

    das omen Green Belt

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    You can't listen to a Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity show without them name-dropping Ronald Reagan or saying that they are a Reagan conservative. My question is, why is Reagan held is such high regard among mainstream conservatives? Seems to me that he is portrayed as the ideal President that champions conservative values.

    Here are some common myths about the 40th POTUS:

    Ronald Reagan was a tax cutter - In 1982 "The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act" was passed, which "at that time was the largest percentage in peacetime increase ever"; the "1982 gas tax increase;" the 1983 payroll tax increase; the "1984 deficit reduction tax;" the "Railroad Retirement Revenue Act, Consolidated Omnibus Budget of '85;" and on and on. In fact, Reagan raised taxes "even of his eight years in office." So sure, he cut taxes his first year in office, but other than that, he raised them - a lot! How much? "Blue-collar Americans paid a higher percentage of their income in taxes when Reagan left office than when he came in."

    Ronald Reagan shrunk the government - In fact, "Federal spending grew by an average of 2.5 percent a year, adjusted for inflation, while Reagan was president." In addition, "The number of federal employees grew from 2.8 million to 3 million under Reagan, in large part because of his buildup at the Pentagon." Also, Reagan "vastly expanded one of the largest federal domestic programs, Social Security." And, just to top it off, "Reagan also abandoned a campaign pledge to get rid of two Cabinet agencies - Energy and Education - and added a new one, Veterans Affairs."

    Reagan was consistently "Pro-Gun" - Depends what you mean by "Pro-Gun," of course. Does that include Reagan writing "Why I'm for the Brady Bill"? Also, does it include signing the Mulford Act (when he was governor of California), "prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street?" The point here isn't that Reagan was anti-guns, it's that he favored sensible measures like waiting periods, background checks, and other measures to curb gun violence.

    Reagan never negotiated with terrorists - Clearly false, as the Reagan Administration traded arms for hostages repeatedly, not just with anyone but with the Iranian mullahs and ayatollahs.

    Reagan certainly never "cut and run" - In Lebanon in early 1984, Reagan sent in the U.S. Marines, declaring (on February 3), "As long as there is a chance for peace, the mission remains the same. If we get out, that means the end of Lebanon." Reagan also taunted Democratic House Speaker "Tip" O'Neill, saying, "He may be ready to surrender, but I'm not." The next day, Reagan vowed not to "cut and run" from Lebanon, adding that "If we do, we'll be sending one signal to terrorists everywhere: They can gain by waging war against innocent people." Four days later, Reagan announced that he was pulling U.S. Marines out of Lebanon." So much for not "cutting and running."

    Reagan was a particularly popular president - According to Gallup numbers, "Reagan's average approval rating during the eight years that he was in office was nothing spectacular - 52.8 percent...the 40th president not just behind Kennedy, Clinton and Dwight Eisenhower, but also Lyndon Johnson and George H.W. Bush." Reagan's popularity then recovered strongly, along with the U.S. economy, as is usually the case with presidents.

    Reagan cut the deficit - Jimmy Carter had deficits of $75 billion a year while Reagan had deficits of over $200 billion a year. He increased the national debt by 189%.

    http://www.bluevirginia.us/diary/3025/top-10-ronald-reagan-myths

    Am I missing something here? Please enlighten me defenders of Reagan.
     
  2. Chesten_Hesten

    Chesten_Hesten The Wiener of Steel

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    He told the Kremlin to suck it.
     
  3. PainIsLIfe

    PainIsLIfe Gold Belt

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  4. Briar

    Briar Blue Belt

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    Nothing, he was garbage.
     
  5. 5H3RD0G

    5H3RD0G Silver Belt

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    Americans were uneducated at that time they accepted being screwed as long as they looked tough. :icon_chee
     
  6. PainIsLIfe

    PainIsLIfe Gold Belt

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  7. Joe

    Joe :l

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    he made white people feel good
     
  8. MuyThaiTom

    MuyThaiTom Brown Belt

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    He is the best option for Republicans to mythologize as the ideal/prototype. Who else do they have in recent history?
     
  9. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    You're missing the point. Reagan constantly sold everyone on the exceptionalism of America and how our 'traditional' (read: Eisenhower era) values made us the greatest nation in the history of the world. He was very charismatic (as a former actor) and was able to inspire a lot of people, which was a good thing IMO. He also gets a ton of credit for something that started under Carter, namely the taming of inflation and subsequent economic explosion of the 80s. And conservatives really love his foreign policy as it related to the USSR because he cast everything in extremely black and white/good vs evil terms that conservatives absolutely lose their shit over.

    Reagan's carefully curated and maintained image was one of clean cut optimism, American exceptionalism, and strictly defined morality with zero room for doubt with a strong dose of cultural conservatism. He was basically the conservative platonic ideal of an American. The GOP loves his image so much that they basically ignore his many policies which are antithetical to their current litmus test positions. You'll notice they rarely talk about his legislative record, they only talk about his rhetoric and the stances he took even if those stances didn't jive with his governance. They all want 'Morning in America' mantle, but none of them can sell it. Doesn't stop them from trying.
     
  10. PainIsLIfe

    PainIsLIfe Gold Belt

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    Hey, my family became middle class while Reagan was in office.
     
  11. lfd0311

    lfd0311 Gold Belt

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    He was at tax cutter for the rich. He also single handedly broke the unions. That's really irrelevent though, he was one of the last real bad ass American Presidents who took no guff from folks. There was a time this country was the most feared on the planet, and it had nothing to do with our technology. It had to do with the fact that out senior leadership where hard old WWII era guys who wouldn't back down from a fight if they thought it was the right thing to do. We lost a lot of that
     
  12. Josh

    Josh Guest

    He's associated with an easily and oft repeated bullshit explanation for why it's okay to have an economic system that aggregates wealth upwards while creating absolutely damaging and unnecessary levels of wealth inequity.
     
  13. speakhandsforme

    speakhandsforme Black Belt

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    I could go on for days about what a terrible President Ronald Reagan was. There are bevies of statistics and long-term trends that support that opinion. There was a time when America was on the cutting edge; Ronald helped skew our national trajectory back towards feudalism.

    But, stupid people have been so thoroughly sold on this fake posthumous myth that Ronny was great, that any such arguments are useless. If Nixon hadn't so royally fucked up (or if the American people were even reasonably intuitive), he would be the Republic demagogue.
     
  14. MadSquabbles500

    MadSquabbles500 Steel Belt

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    He siked everyone into thinking the wealth will trickle down. It was and is indeed a trickle.
     
  15. Lead

    Lead /Led/ Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    He lowered tax revenues to an insanely irresponsible amount and had to backtrack by raising it back up numerous times. Reagan marked the new age of deficit spending we see get worse and worse each presidency. He also brought the GOP format of being fiscally responsible aside from military expansion that wasn't.

    People like him a lot because he was a likeable figure. Some of his policies were helpful for their time but a lot of the Carter-Reagan contrast for the economy can be placed on the Fed's change in monetary policy.
     
  16. drowningidiot

    drowningidiot Green Belt

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  17. SleepyBoy

    SleepyBoy Silver Belt

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    He was all Fluff, and the public loves fluff

    Edit ^^^ the picture above sums it up perfectly
     
  18. IngaVovchanchyn

    IngaVovchanchyn Titanium Belt Platinum Member

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    There is a lot of unintentional irony in this sentence for those who appreciate that kind of thing.
     
  19. carlos cadona

    carlos cadona Opinions subject to change

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    Me and my dad were just talking about this yesterday. My dad is one of the most right wing people I know but when I brought up Reagan he went off on a 20 minute rant about how much he hated him.
     
  20. InternetHero

    InternetHero Titanium Belt

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    Those are pretty derp derp contentions.

    I would have better complaints about Reagan, but to sum up where it is going wrong.

    1. Tax cutter - The actual law does not seem to follow the logic of the post.

    The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (Pub.L. 97
     

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