Here’s how I would respond to the epidemic of the Reagan worship rampant among GOP presidential contenders if I were invited to participate in one of the Republican presidential debates (admittedly, not a very likely eventuality):
“Senator, I knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. Senator, Ronald Reagan was no Ronald Reagan.” (Historical context)
The point I’m trying to make, of course, is that the Ronald Reagan who is constantly being deified by the GOP isn’t the real Ronald Reagan. The real one had a much darker side.
He was serial liar.
He deliberately preyed on racial divisions.
He propped up murderous regimes in third world countries.
He committed serious crimes in the Iran-Contra scandal.
He ignored AIDS at a time when it might have been more effectively contained, because, after all, it was a homosexual thing.
He started the disastrous war on drugs.
He set in motion the destruction of the great American middle class through growing economic inequality.
Actually, come to think of it, he probably is the perfect hero for the right wing. Just please stop asking the rest of us to buy into the story.