I am a mainstream Democrat and I can see FDR with ease! If you believe Reagan was anything but a puffed up Mad. Avenue creation then you are blind or a moron! The bottom line is that Ronald Reagan has fooled you along with the legions of sycophants and apologists who want to believe that he had a brain (the Straw man), heart (the Tin man), courage (The Cowardly Lion) or vision (The Wizard, a little man behind the curtain.). His only vision was that of the Medicare Fraud Queen of Detroit that never actually existed. rjg
Reagan and the real fall of the Soviet Union
In the wake of the public mourning of Ronald Reagan, our 40th President of the United States, his supporters made certain claims. One of these claims was that he was responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union. As an avid student of history and a witness to those events I must beg to disagree. The process that led to its welcomed collapse was in the works long before he was elected. In a sense it was a result of the confluence of disparate events and circumstances. In 1982 after 13 years of litigation against ATT by the Justice Department, the case was settled, and ATT agreed to give up their 22 Bell Systems and their subsequent monopoly over technology. This “breakup” began a “golden age” of communication that eventually resulted in fax machines, cable television, cell phones and the Internet. Meanwhile in Poland, after 2 months of labor turmoil at the Lenin Shipyards, Gdansk, in 1980 that had paralyzed the country, the Polish government gave into the demands of the workers. This of course was before Ronald Reagan was elected. Over the next few years, Poland, in need for “hard” foreign currency was starting to invite Polish-American retirees from the steel industry to come back and live in Poland. With their large union pensions they were able to buy “dachas”, or country houses and live like princes. This reality was not lost on Walesa, who saw his workers starving, as opposed to American steel workers who were “rich” and now “landed gentry.” Others soon became aware of this reality and eventually through the lowering of phone rates, and the development of the fax machines, etc, communication between citizens of the Eastern Bloc and the West opened up. Hungary started to liberalize in 1989 and a flow of East German citizens started to circumvent the Berlin Wall as they traveled through Hungary to West Germany. So the proverbial “flood-gate” was opened, and it could not be shut. By 1991 the old Warsaw Pact countries had removed their Communist bosses and Soviet troops finally went home. Without their client states, the Soviet system was finally exposed as the economic “basket case” it was, and they shut down the whole bankrupt operation. All in all, his real credit should be for the following; the useless and expensive 600 ship navy, the invasion of tiny Grenada, SDI, the Strategic Defense Imitative (Star Wars), Iran-Contra scandal, the death of 240+ Marines in Beirut, the stock market collapse of 1987, and the tripling of the National Debt, vetoing sanctions against South Africa, the speech at the SS cemetery in Bitburg, backing military dictatorships in Argentina, Chile, and the Philippines, arming Sadaam Hussein, voodoo economics (George Bush’s phrase), inaction against the AIDS epidemic, the nearly 200 members of his administration that faced indictment and prosecution, his appointment of Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court, the S & L scandal that stuck the taxpayers with a bill approaching a trillion dollars, his relentless attacks on affirmative action, his deregulation of broadcasting gave rise to today’s monopolistic media industry, and a host of other wonderful accomplishments. Ronald Reagan got the last laugh in the end. He is still fooling the impotent media with his “teflon” image that was carefully crafted by his handlers, apologists and sycophants.
Richard J. Garfunkel