Ronald Reagan. Jesus H. Christ. Okay, well, let’s get it over with. Like Adolph Hitler, whenever his name is brought up in the course of a political debate you know the dialogue has gone right down the toilet.

I was born in 1974. One of my earliest memories is the hostage crisis in Iran unfolding during the Carter Administration. I remember exactly where I was the day Reagan was shot. I remember his address to the nation when the Challenger exploded. And I remember everything in between with a horrific clarity that sometimes makes me strip naked, slather my body with margarine and roll around on the floor humming the theme music to BUCK ROGERS. Yeah, I’ve had it rough. Don’t you judge me.

These days it seems Republicans are competing amongst themselves not for campaign cash or the Presidential Nomination, but for the claim to Reagan’s legacy. And not since Sauron’s finger got cut off have I seen such a band of freaks and weirdos battle for something so dark and insidious. Suffice to say I have a different take on Reagan. No shit, right?

The only thing Ronald Reagan genuinely did was to make the phrase “I do not recall” common parlance in political discourse. And in his case, well, the old man meant it. By the end of his Presidency he was having trouble finding his shoes let alone money for hostages.

Reagan is remembered so fondly by conservatives because he is the only conservative President in the last 60 years who is not viewed negatively by history. They are desperate to recreate his magic because without it, well, they’re fucked. In that sense, and if you can buy into some truly time warping logic, Ronald Reagan is the Republican Bill Clinton.

Nixon? Lawbreaking asshole. Bush (not that one)? Elitist rich asshole. Bush (yeah, that one)? God boy maniac retard. And an asshole.

And then there’s the part that everyone seems to forget: Reagan was a fucking actor.

An actor’s job is to stand where he’s told. Say what he’s told to say. Smile on cue. Act angry on cue. Act concerned on cue. They don’t think. They don’t innovate. And they certainly don’t wake up one morning realizing they have a burning desire for public service and the political acumen to reshape the free world for generations to come.

Ronald Reagan was merely the face of the “Reagan Years”. He was the salesman. The guy on the poster. The one-dimensional robot programmed to carry out an agenda and sell it to the very people it was going to screw over. The person who sold you your last used car has more in common with Ronald Reagan than any Republican currently serving in office.

But, hey, don’t take my word for it. I’m just an asshole with a website. You go right ahead and keep electing guys like Scott Walker to public office. Something tells me that Reagan’s real legacy is going to be alive and well for a long time to come.



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