Norma Sherry: One For The Gipper
One For The Gipper
…on Ronald Reagan's passing...
By Norma Sherry
We're inclined in this country to glamorize and idolize those that have passed on. A marriage may have been horrible for the last twenty-five years, but the surviving spouse will undoubtedly remember only the good times - even if they were thirty years ago. But it's not just spouses we glorify once they've gone to the great unknown.
Ronald Reagan, our 40th president, died on Saturday, June 5th, and the airwaves and newspapers covered little else. I found the astounding collective mindset to revere this past president while forgetting or foregoing any of his past that was remotely negative, very disturbing. After all, doing so is a blatant disregard of history.
There was no mention of the humanitarian programs President Reagan dismantled; no mention that he did away with birth control services to the poor, or that he stopped all federal and international funding that supported family planning. We did hear or read the stories about what a good man he was, about how he cared for the American citizen, and how he single-handedly tore down the Berlin Wall. Depending on which news story you heard, the attempt on his life by lovelorn madman, John W. Hinkley, Jr., changed his life considerably. According to the account I heard, this incident was responsible for his fatalistic point of view - or Nancy's interest in the occult.
None of the articles or all-day eulogies mentioned the Iran-Contra crimes, the Savings and Loan scandals, the insider trading and leveraged buy-outs that ruined many an everyday folk, or his "trickle down" economics that coincidentally never trickled to the citizens that actually needed a trickle. Gosh, that sounds ominously familiar.
There was no mention of his admiration and support for the Sandinista's, Osama Bin Laden, and the Mujaheddin, all of whom I recall quite vividly he referred to as "The moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers of America". Hmm, I wonder why not? But who can forget the "Just Say No" to drugs campaign?
No one spoke of our record deficit. But, then again, compared to our present-day president's deficit, Reagan's was a mere drop in the bucket. When President Bill Clinton was asked what he remembers most about President Reagan, he replied without missing a beat, "He was a lot a fun to be with." Dan Rather's explanation to why the populace connected so well with him was, "He epitomized the thin line between fantasy and reality."
There was no mention of the AIDS epidemic and the role he didn't play, or his poor handling of the air traffic controllers strike. No one credited him for his enterprising concept of free-trade, the nemesis of the nearly twenty-million unemployed American workers. Not a word about his position on the environment. Apparently, his dismissal of acid rain proposals as burdensome to industry was too trivial to recall.
Not a word of negativity, instead he will be remembered as a patriot, a scholar, a great communicator, the emancipator, and none of what he didn't do, or ignored, or allowed to happen under his watch. There will be no mention or recollection of anything that resonates poorly upon his image. That's what we do in this country. We sweep what we don't like under the carpet. We whitewash reality. Perhaps that's why we find ourselves repeating and repeating our same mistakes.
© Norma Sherry 2004
Norma Sherry is co-founder of TogetherForeverChanging.org, an organization devoted to educating, stimulating, and igniting personal responsibility particularly with regards to our diminishing civil liberties. She is also an award-winning writer/producer and host of television program, The Norma Sherry Show, on WQXT-TV, Florida.
Email Norma: firstname.lastname@example.org