Category Archives: Ronald Reagan

Landslide – Liberal Mandate

Obama and FDR – I have been saying that we need an FDR, and that Obama has the resolve and the intelligence to be as good a President as FDR. Franklin Delano Roosevelt won by landslides in ’32 and ’36. Herbert Hoover believed in “rugged individualism” and, in ’32, that the philanthropy of the wealthy would solve the nation’s economic problems. He did not pull the U. S. out of the Depression. FDR did, and did it, in part, by creating the safety net and regulatory infrastructure that George W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan have dismantled.

McCain has called Obama “a socialist.” He has also tried to equate Obama with Hoover. If this is correct, then Obama is a “free market socialist,” a “capitalist socialist.” But McCain was wrong on both counts. And it is John McCain whose ideals echo the failed policies of Hoover, along with his predecessors Warren G. Harding, and Calvin Coolidge, and their contemporaries, George W. Bush, Phil Gramm, Dick Cheney.

Describing the Republican Administrations of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, FDR said “the Nation looked to the government, and the government looked away” and “government by organized mob.” This is what we have seen again during the last 8 years; both abroad and at home. In the war in Iraq and in the response to Katrina, in firing prosecutors, in wiretapping Americans, and in the “signing statements, and executive orders with which George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have governed by fiat. And they have not governed well. Maybe they meant well, but that’s not good enough.

We need effective government. As Lincoln said, “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, FDR, George W. Bush, Hoover, John McCain, Ronald Reagan

* Father / Daughter Talk *

A young woman was about to finish her MBA. Like very few others her age, she considered herself to be a Conservative Republican with Family Values.

While she knew he was devoted to God, to her mother, and to her; she was deeply embarrassed that her scientist father was, in her words, “a fire breathing Liberal.” Based on the lectures she attended, the books she read, and the editorials she read in the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes, and the news as presented on CNN, Fox and MSNBC she felt that her father was completely out of touch.

The fact that Republicans were in the White House for 20 of her 28 years helped reinforce this feeling. Her father remembered John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and the anti-war movement of the 1960’s. She remembered Reagan. Her father once joked that Reagan is “imprinted as the canonical President of your childhood.” She knew while it was a joke, there was a grain of truth, and she was ok with that. She heard Reagan, Quayle and McCain compare themselves to John Kennedy – McCain was in the navy – but didn’t realize that on the issues they were diametrically opposed.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to subsidies for oil companies to make drilling more profitable, and for his opposition to outsourcing work to private industry, to companies like Haliburton, and to foreign companies. She couldn’t understand his anger at the Administration for firing Prosecutors, didn’t understand the difference between serving “at the pleasure of the President” and “for the pleasure of the President.”

She deeply regretted an abortion she had had because she got “carried away” after a few drinks too many when she was 17. She stilled loved the boy, altho she hadn’t seen him for 10 years.

The objectivity proclaimed by the news media had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father.

He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking very difficult courses and was constantly studying, was working 30 hours per week at minimum wage and had no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn’t even have time for a boyfriend, and didn’t really have many college friends because she spent all her time working and studying.

Her father listened and then asked, ‘How is your friend Sarah doing?’

She replied, ‘Sarah is great. She takes easy classes, she never studies, and she gets C’s. But her father went to our school, and donated a library, so she can’t fail, and she really doesn’t need to work hard. She’s entering beauty pagents and will go into Broadcast News. With her looks, her body, and her willingness to use it, she’ll go straight to the top. It’s not fair, is it?”

He father looked at her and said “Welcome to the Democratic party.”

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Filed under Bobby Kennedy, Democrats, JFK, Liberals, Republicans, Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
– Ronald Reagan

The trouble is, some agencies, like FEMA, SHOULD BE here to help.

Others, like the Air Force, the Army, the Marines, the Navy, the CIA, the FBI, the Justice Department, the EPA, and the FAA, exist to protect the country and the citizens. Whether they are GOOD at it or not is another issue, and it’s a management issue. But their purpose is either protective or defensive.

But if you agree with Reagan, as do George W. Bush, his heir, and his older baby brother, his Raoul Castro, John McCain, that ‘The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help’ how do you justify holding office? Are you’re saying ‘I’m incompetent!’ ? Or are you there with your hand out?

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Reagan’s Legacy

In the “Good Old Days” Americans felt that we can do anything we put our minds to. The government, in Lincoln‘s immortal words, was “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

Invoked at Gettysburg to justify for the Civil War – so “this Government, of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth” was the American ideal from FDR to Nixon; perhaps from Washington to Nixon.

We knew were the good guys. We won World War II, we defeated the Nazis, we were taking on the Soviets, and we knew we would win. When Kennedy said ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ he knew, we all knew, that if Eastern Europe was ruled from Moscow, we were threatened. We wanted to make the world a better place.

We landed on the moon. Not once, but six times between Apollo 11 landing in the Sea of Tranquility, Mare Tranquillitatis, on July 20, 1969 when Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Neil Armstrong took that “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” and Apollo 17, in Taurus Tittrow, Dec. 11, 1972.[1]

But today our national ideal is the opposite. Today, rather than we can do anything, we believe that government is incapable of everything. Some people actually believe that NASA staged the moon landings. A Conservative pundit would say, “Brown was incompetent as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. How can you expect otherwise? He’s a government employee. Ditto for Rumsfeld as the Secretary of Defense.
President Reagan said “the 10 most frightening words are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”[2] If you hold this view, how can you run an agency like FEMA? How can you expect any response to a Katrina-like event other than the actual response to Katrina? How can you run the Department of Homeland Security? Or the Department of Defense? Or the Executive Branch?
Rather than “Of the people, by the people, and for the people” our government has become “of the special interests, by the special interests, and for the special interests.”

This is the legacy of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Lenin would be pleased. Stalin would smile. And Putin is laughing.



[1] NASA. www.spds.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apollo.html . See also Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Apollo and other sites. For a good overview see the Universities Space Research Association, USRA. www.lpi.usra.edu/expmoon/apollo_landings.html For great images, and sound, www.panoramas.dk/moon/mission-apollo.html.

[2] March 22, 1988, Remarks to state and local Republican officials on Federalism and Aid to the Nicaraguan Democratic Resistance. http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1988/032288d.htm.)



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Filed under Apollo 11, Kennedy, Lincoln, Ronald Reagan