Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thirty years ago today...

Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States of America. I think we should all just take a moment to remember one of the greatest, most successful, and wittiest Presidents the world has ever seen. We shall never forget him.

25 comments:

OldSlaughter said...

I had to grow up listening and watching snide BBC comics portray the man as a thick cowboy, a puppet of his clever speech writers.

As I have got older and watched, read and conversed I realise he was far from those things and was actually a great man.

He entered office with perhaps the most consistent and longest held set of policies, outlooks and philosophies.

Certainly one of the best and truest. As, regardless of policy, was Thatcher. A clear objective and an honest tenacity in achieving it.

Wow, to think I also had to hear how good Clinton was going to be. And Blair. A generational thing I should wonder. Those that could remember a genuine struggle against evil and untainted by the morass of relativism served us so very well.

Simon Cooke said...

Thanks for posting that - a truly great man

Euan said...

...let's not.

Andrew Denny said...

One thing to remember about Reagan was his constant, optimistic turn of phrase. This gave his speeches a tremendous drive and power.

For example, where others might start an anecdote with "I'll never forget...", he would say "I'll always remember..."

Barack Obama tries to emulate this with 'Yes you can', but much as I like and admire Obama - and I love his podium oratory - he doesn't quite reach the power of the Gipper in the quiet, intimate moments of oratory.

Obama doesn't quite *confide* to the listener in the way Reagan could. Obama is perhaps better at warming the crowd, but Reagan reached the individual.

Lady Finchley said...

Thank you, Iain. They don't make them like him anymore.

cmp said...

I was 14 when he left office and I felt nervous that the US President would no longer be this wise and kindly man.

Didn't like the look of Bush, he looked a bit mean next to Ronnie

Victor, NW Kent said...

A great patriot, a revered President and a great wit who made an art form of simple direct speech:
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden".

By the way - he had two official photographers one of whom took 37,000 photos of the President.

Guido said...

Funniest post of the year so far. Thanks.

trevorsden said...

Far too many people misundersstimated him.

He was the embodiment of crass left wing intelligence. Not HIM of course but the crass left wing reaction to him.

The best way to send a lefty into apoplexy is to point out that Regan won the cold war.

jojoko said...

That man ruined many people's lives, mine included. Rather than uphold the constitution he rammed his fist through it. Don't expect everyone who shares your other views to admire this phoney who proclaimed free market values but behaved like a South American dictator.

Harvey Redgrave said...

Grant. Your postings are inane. Leave the blogging to Dale.

Just Wonderful said...

I have been fortunate to serve my country for 22 years. I was able to visit Arlington and see the way that the people of the United States honour their dead. To walk in that place and have people shake your hand solely because you serve your nation is a humbling thing. Sneer all you want but this man, first and foremost, loved his country. What he did should never be belittled.

Dual Citizen said...

@Trevorsden,
Yes he (and Mrs. Thatcher) won the cold war. But what upsets the CND lefties more is that he (and Mrs. Thatcher) got rid of the cruise missiles on both sides, without spending 5 years camping in sh1tty squalor outside an airbase.

Stop Common Purpose said...

Did Reagan use an autocue?

JoeF said...

Excellent post

Undoubtedly the best President since WW2.

Combination of politics (optimist), foreign policy (defeating communism, internationalist, winer), economics and morals. Certainly makes all those since look pathetic.

Blackacre said...

Lady Finchley: "Thank you, Iain. They don't make them like him anymore."

Thank the lord for that - one was enough.

P. Stable said...

"We shall never forget him"

Are you actually old enough to remember him, Grant?

Windsor Tripehound said...

@trevorsden

The best way to send a lefty into apoplexy is to point out that Regan won the cold war

Second only to reminding them that Hitler was a socialist.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Ronald Reagan was a great man. He was a master of the art of communicating....he kept it simple.Great Patriot and made America respected.He allowed his fellow Americans to travel the world with their heads held high and above all he made this world just that little bit safer.

He was loved and respected and was certainly a damn sight better than America has had since.......May He Rest in Peace

DespairingLiberal said...

Many of you believe in the results of US propaganda. ("Reagan won the cold war"). Cruise and Pershing were withdrawn because the missiles went into submarines, where the likelihood of protest was so much harder. The cold war ended because Gorbachev decided to end it by withdrawing support from E. Europe. This happened after Reagan.

Reagan was doubtless a witty, charming and clever man, but was he a great president? He hugely escalated the deficit to finance the arms race, the legacy of which has continued to this day. He also backed cruel policies in central America, pitting highly-armed and financed ruthless contras against peasant armies and civilians.

In the US itself, he opened the way for the current financial crisis, by cancelling the long-established seperation of retail and investment banks.

He was really proof that in politics nowadays, presentation and charisma get you elected but they are no guarantee (see Tony Blair) that you will have good policies once you get there.

Simon Harley said...

Never thought I'd say this, but I agree entirely with DespairingLiberal.

starfish said...

@DL

I do admire the way you rewrite history

Cruise and Pershing withdrawn because of sub-based missiles? They were deployed at the same time as Polaris/Trident!

Cruise and Pershing were withdrawn as part of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, nothing to do with protestors

"The cold war ended because Gorbachev decided to end it by withdrawing support from E. Europe."


This stands Russian history on its head. Gorbachev came to power because the soviet union had effectively bankrupted itself - he took the initiative to negotiate with Reagan - Reagan always had a position of strength. Gorbachev wasn't even a member of the politburo until 1979 (mainly becuase his opponents had died of old age)



"Reagan was doubtless a witty, charming and clever man, but was he a great president?"

I doubt that it is possible for a Republican to be great in your book eh?

"He hugely escalated the deficit to finance the arms race, the legacy of which has continued to this day. "

Yup it is all his fault, nothing to do with Clinton

"He also backed cruel policies in central America, pitting highly-armed and financed ruthless contras against peasant armies and civilians."

Morality in politics is for nitwits. He pursued these policies entirely in US self-interest - something I wish our leaders would do for a change instead of trying to please everyone else at our expense

"In the US itself, he opened the way for the current financial crisis, by cancelling the long-established seperation of retail and investment banks."

Such a bad decision that no-one reversed it?

"He was really proof that in politics nowadays, presentation and charisma get you elected but they are no guarantee (see Tony Blair) that you will have good policies once you get there."

And when pray has this not been true?

Scary Biscuits said...

@Starfish/DL: I think it was Clinton in his second term (not Reagan) that cancelled the separation of retail and merchant banking that had been introduced in the 1930s. Then, as now, combining the two led pretty quickly to the banks going bust at everybody else's expense.

DL may dispute that Reagan was responsible for anything good. However, it is indusputable that he came to power in a recession and left America much richer and growing. He came to power in a nuclear arms race and left with arms reduction treaties. He came to power with the Berlin Wall up and left with it down. All these things might have had nothing to do with him... really?

Reagan's failures were not being more open and honest about supporting the Contras and the ISI (in Afghanistan against Russia) but if he had been would the Liberal left have allowed him to win either conflict (which he did)? He also greatly increased the US deficit and failed really to reverse the remorseless growth of central government but he did greatly slow it. Compared with presidents that have attempted to spend their way out of recession, from Hoover to Obama, his record towers above them.

Jules said...

@DespairingLiberal, @Simon Harley

"The cold war ended because Gorbachev decided to end it by withdrawing support from E. Europe. This happened after Reagan."

Oh dear. No. The simple facts are these: the USSR tore itself apart, Gorbachev skillfully crash-landed the wreckage. And who applied the cumulative economic, geo-political and military pressure through the 1980s that caused the USSR to implode? Who used SDI to spoof the USSR into finally bankrupting itself?

The answers are Ronald and Reagan. You might not like it, you might not like Americans. But that's just the way it is.

DespairingLiberal said...

Scary, if it was in the Clinton era, he only waved through the bill - it was Conservative senators led by Phil Gramm, a hardline neo-con, that authored the bill ending Glass-Steagal banking seperation.

The factor I was referring to from the Reagan era was the move to allow banks to enter the speculative mortgage market, which was a Reagan policy from back in 1982. (The Alternative Mortgage Transactions Parity Act.) This led inexorably to the bizarre world of Ninja loans and slice-and-dice derivatives that caused the huge speculative bubble in US housing and the crash. It is true though that Clinton and subsequent presidents blandly accepted the neoliberal orthodoxy that these deregulations would auto-magically allow the markets to solve everything. Greenspan in turn was asleep on the job for years, allowing cheap money to continue the feeding frenzy.

But why all this cheap Fed money and cheap foreign money? Because there was (and still is) a need to fund that vast federal deficit with cheap cash from abroad and that deficit goes back primarily to the staggeringly colossal coldwar expenditures of the Reagan era.