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Thread: Reagan's Dark Legacy

  1. #1 Reagan's Dark Legacy 
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    Lou Cannon's book President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime cites CBO and House Committee studies when discussing how the man tripled the national debt and how the bottom 2/5ths of the population suffered under his reign. The consensus among his chiefs of staff and assistants was that he was lazy and a virtual puppet. He would not read important memos. He couldn't understand complicated issues concerning foreign affairs without aid. He read speeches from cue cards. He cut funding for mental hospitals. His administration sold arms to Iran (if he knew about it, he's a traitor to the country; if not, he was a weak, out of the loop leader). He was a hypocrite as well; he raised taxes several occasions despite his supposed disdain of them...and he lambasted "Big Government" while expanding the military.

    So why do so many people view him as one of the greatest presidents in American History? Why did Cannon's book receive less than 4/5 stars on Amazon, despite the attention to detail and meticulous citations which vindicate his sometimes "harsh" analyses of Reagan's presidential tenure? Maybe the fact that he came in after Carter makes him look good...


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    Ending the Cold War, pulling the US out of a severe recession, and most of all his amazing oration cement his place as one of America's greatest presidents.


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  4. #3  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Greatest/worst. It all depends upon who you ask.
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  5. #4  
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    Lynx...the Cold War will never end as long as nuclear weapons exist...so we are screwed...

    He did pull us out of a recession...because he raised taxes several times, something he was wary of and went against his "trickle down" ideology...in other words, he was forced to do the right thing or suffer political consequences...and oration? Really? He stole his best lines from movies and his anecdotes from semi-factual sources like Reader's Digest. Even "Honey, I forgot to duck" (which he said during his assassination attempt) was a quote attributed to boxer Jack Dempsey. Actions speak louder than words.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikepotter84 View Post
    Lynx...the Cold War will never end as long as nuclear weapons exist...so we are screwed...
    If you are going to make up your own history and definitions you're going to have a difficult time being taken seriously. Do you know where your closest fallout shelter is? Ever had a course in a nuke wars effects during school? Ever serve with the hundreds of thousands of military living from alert to alert many of which had delay at all cost missions in the event of the next major war? Did you do drills when you were is grade school? Do you know why most Middle aged and elderly Americans know where Lawrence Kansas is?

    The Cold War ended in 1991, as did the USSR and nearly three generations living in fear of nuclear annihilation. Any reasonable concerns now are comparably minor compared to the threat during the Cold War.


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  7. #6  
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    Lol...that's hilarious. Things never change except that now we must worry about North Korea rather than Russia.
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  8. #7  
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    Given your literary knowledge
    I'm not a fan of Shakespeare or Wells or....well any writer of fiction usually (even if it is sometimes reality-based in the case of Shakespeare). My "literary knowledge" is confined to works of History, Anthropology (Cultural and Biological) and Zoology for the most part.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikepotter84 View Post
    Lol...that's hilarious. Things never change except that now we must worry about North Korea rather than Russia.
    Continue to dig yourself in.

    You're trying to compare an adversary that had more than 40,000 nuclear weapons and demonstrated ability to use them both in tactical as strategic roles to completely annihilate every industrialized nation, to one that hasn't even even accomplished a single successful nuclear test, nor demonstrated any capability to project its budding capability, nor economical ability to rapidly develop the extremely limited capabilities it does have. You don't need to be good at math to understand it's a ridiculous comparison to the Cold War.

    Fears are premature and rather irrational at present. Given a few decades we'll see. Perhaps you should expand your reading to the Cold War--and mix it up with people who lived through that period--those that served, those that protected and those that held real fears.

    My most poignant reality came one day talking to my mom, who was pregnant with me during the Cuban missile crisis and wife of a young marine- concern for her unborn, doubt about their family decisions and fear of loosing her loved one as well as her country and everything she know about life in their small Maine town--a riveting personal account from the Cold War. Perhaps a book idea...huh?
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    Dig myself in? I'm certainly not doing that...one doesn't need 40,000 nuclear weapons to start World War III. Also, despite its smaller size today, Russia is still a threat. So is China potentially, although we are at peace at the moment.
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    You're distorting history, insulting the sacrifices of the elderly who lived through the Cold War and trying to make ludicrous comparisons between Cold War military threats to our society to contemporary military threats (which actually works against your anti-defense stance...lol).

    Your credibility about historical objectivity is sinking fast. Too bad. I can tell you're an otherwise highly intelligent individual, but it seems we aren't going to have many productive conversations about politics nor history because your narrow ideological views. I won't be buying your book. Perhaps we'll find common ground elsewhere--or at least more open conversation. (shrugs)
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    1.)I'm not insulting anyone.

    2.)
    trying to make ludicrous comparisons between Cold War military threats to our society to contemporary military threats (which actually works against your anti-defense stance...lol). t
    That is your misunderstanding of my comments. I didn't downplay anyone's achievements but I didn't praise them overtly either. I fail to see how my comments "work against" my "anti-defense stance", especially when I'm more against the Military-Industrial Complex and war mongering for the sake of war than I am defense in and of itself. I just don't feel we need to keep expanding during a recession.

    3.) I do not care if you find my credibility lacking. My opinions are opinions no doubt...but they are informed by a wealth of historical data. I've backed everything up with multiple sources already.
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    Mike, I've got to say that your knowledge of history is so superficial as to consist of slogans. You really have no idea what the cold war was or what it was like to live through that era.

    You seem to be the very definition of sophomoric.
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    I can't say that there has been a single time in my life that I legitimately feared a nuclear assault on the U.S. However, even my parents grew up rehearsing nuke drills and the whatnot, coupled with a very real and often present fear of nuclear attack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    Mike, I've got to say that your knowledge of history is so superficial as to consist of slogans. You really have no idea what the cold war was or what it was like to live through that era.

    You seem to be the very definition of sophomoric.
    I think you mean "facts", not "slogans". Yeah, reading dozens of books concerning US History, taking college level courses and devoting a great portion of my life to researching political issues (even going so far as to write a brief book) is highly "sophomoric". Don't take your insecurity out on me, sir. I've just lost a lot of respect for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikepotter84 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    Mike, I've got to say that your knowledge of history is so superficial as to consist of slogans. You really have no idea what the cold war was or what it was like to live through that era.

    You seem to be the very definition of sophomoric.
    I think you mean "facts", not "slogans". Yeah, reading dozens of books concerning US History, taking college level courses and devoting a great portion of my life to researching political issues (even going so far as to write a brief book) is highly "sophomoric". Don't take your insecurity out on me, sir. I've just lost a lot of respect for you.
    So you only 'respect' those who are willing to kiss your ass?

    Sophomoric might be too kind a term. Juvenile seems to fit.
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  17. #16  
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    I don't desire to have my ass kissed. I desire an informed populace.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikepotter84 View Post
    I don't desire to have my ass kissed. I desire an informed populace.
    Well they're not going to get that way listening to you.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  19. #18  
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    Well, that is where we disagree. I feel that I can make the world a better place.
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  20. #19  
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    it seems we aren't going to have many productive conversations about politics nor history because your narrow ideological views
    I am not planning on making every thread so overtly political in nature. We will have less hostile convos sometime soon.
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    Anyhow, Lynx, I appreciated your input earlier. You did make some valid points. I never claimed you were mistaken on all of them. However, I do not agree with you, for example, that the Cold War ever truly ended. The nuclear threat is as real as ever. The widespread fear of nuclear holocaust has abated and we are on better terms (although the refusal by Putin to turn over Snowden might lead to issues in the near future) with a much smaller Russia today but we can't underestimate China or North Korea.
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    You are not describing the Cold War. I'm not a fan of Reagan but he stopped the Cold War,because after him, we got rid of the last duck and cover drill.If there is some spectrum of war, (hot being full blown, cold being indirect/ political hostile glances) you are inciting a subzero war.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikepotter84 View Post
    However, I do not agree with you, for example, that the Cold War ever truly ended. The nuclear threat is as real as ever.
    The Cold War wasn't about nuclear threat per se 1. The Soviet Bloc is dissolved and gone - hence the Cold War is over.

    1 In fact it started before the Soviets got their first nuke.
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  24. #23  
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    Reagan's appeal seems largely based on him bringing confidence back to a cowering nation, which he accomplished through strengthening the military. It seems like he started the right wing push to overpowering the military. (When a neighbor threatens to kill you, you feel much safer with a gun. Reagan just escalated it to tanks.) That confidence comes at the price of taxes. Which the Americans of that era were glad to pay for peace of mind.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamraider View Post
    Reagan just escalated it to tanks
    Whut?
    I'm pretty sure that tanks were in inventories at least slightly before Reagan became president.
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  26. #25  
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    Just out of curiosity, from someone not initiated to US politics, Do most people in the US think Reagan was a, well, commander in chief making the actual decisions, or that he was more a, hum, figurehead that was signing on (when aware) to decisions made by others?


    (From the outside it appears there is a cultural characteristic or tendency in the US to place a lot of emphasis on a given person, a leader, a hero, etc.)
    Last edited by icewendigo; July 2nd, 2013 at 10:10 AM.
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    Sadly, they praise him as a "commander and chief making the actual decisions". It's better than going through the trouble to find out who's truly running the country.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    (From the outside it appears there is a cultural characteristic or tendency in the US to place a lot of emphasis on a given person, a leader, a hero, etc.)
    Of course, because we elect a person, and only one close adviser, the vice president, not the staff that presidents surround themselves with to advise them and help execute executive powers in their name. Claims that presidents aren't really in change and not making decisions is always quite silly and a way to denigrate their accomplishments--they are the ones influencing the public, politicians and signing various memos and bills into laws.
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  29. #28  
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    These are some idle thoughts that are probably best ignored:

    I always saw Ronald Reagan as an actor, whose crowning performance was playing the President of the U.S.

    I worried, that when he survived the assassination attempt, that he would think the world could survive a nuclear exchange. Instead he began a process of disarmament.

    Not a U.S. citizen, but I would be a Democrat if I were. Not a fan of Reagan, but I chanced to arrive in Houston on the day of his funeral, which I watched in my hotel room. Curiously, at one point - I think the gun salute - I found myself standing to attention and saluting. So, I must have some regard for him and his achievements.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Ending the Cold War, pulling the US out of a severe recession, and most of all his amazing oration cement his place as one of America's greatest presidents.
    The recession was the result of America's response to the second Oil Crisis, refusing to adjust its fiscal policy. They knew when they made that decision that there would be a recession, and it was the right decision. It prevented there being another price gauge until 2000 (when the country elected an oil man riding on hundreds of millions of campaign contributions from oil companies - to be commander in Chief.)

    Anyway, nobody had any reason to believe the recession would last. OPEC caved in and dropped their prices back to normal, and our recovery was pretty much guaranteed at that point.

    Unfortunately for Carter, the whole fiasco happened on his watch. Poor guy. Right decision. Wrong perception on the part of the public. Too bad for him when reelection time arrives.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikepotter84 View Post
    Lynx...the Cold War will never end as long as nuclear weapons exist...so we are screwed...

    He did pull us out of a recession...because he raised taxes several times, something he was wary of and went against his "trickle down" ideology...in other words, he was forced to do the right thing or suffer political consequences...and oration? Really? He stole his best lines from movies and his anecdotes from semi-factual sources like Reader's Digest. Even "Honey, I forgot to duck" (which he said during his assassination attempt) was a quote attributed to boxer Jack Dempsey. Actions speak louder than words.
    Having the ability to know how to use literary quotes should put him heads and shoulders above many of the other presidents we've had.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    (From the outside it appears there is a cultural characteristic or tendency in the US to place a lot of emphasis on a given person, a leader, a hero, etc.)
    Of course, because we elect a person, and only one close adviser, the vice president, not the staff that presidents surround themselves with to advise them and help execute executive powers in their name. Claims that presidents aren't really in change and not making decisions is always quite silly and a way to denigrate their accomplishments--they are the ones influencing the public, politicians and signing various memos and bills into laws.
    I think the presidents themselves often invite the perception that their staff is running things on its own as a way to shift blame when things go wrong or bad decisions are made. It should be no surprise that so many people end up believing it.

    Though it is very naive and foolish of us to believe it.
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