Monday, June 07, 2004

See ya, Ronnie

I'm not a person who believes in exalting the dead simply because we're breathing and they aren't. If I hated you in life, the absence of same will not change that.

So it will come as no surprise that, while I did not wish the man ill, I'm not even a little sorry to see Ronald Reagan die.

Why?

First of all, he was 93 years old. Was it a case of being "cut down in his prime?" Only if you expected him to live to 193.

He had a nice long life surrounded by comforts so many others didn't have. Some of those "others" were have-nots due to Ronald Reagan's policies.

He did not die, at 42, of AIDS. He couldn't. You cannot die from something you refuse to acknowledge exists. You can, however, ensure many others (who will never have a week-long national mourning) die from a disease if you're president and refuse to support finding a cure for an epidemic. Ronald Reagan proved that.

In his later years, he was never without a warm, inviting home and nursing care as he suffered from Alzheimers.

The same cannot be said of the many mentally ill people cast out into the streets in the 1980's as a direct result of Reagan's policies.

They were denied care. They were denied a roof over their heads. Who mourned them? Certainly not Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan, first as an actor, later a governor and finally as President, always had employment and retirement. The same cannot be said for many people living under "Reaganomics" and de-regulation. Both, of course, Reagan policies. The former was partially to blame for the huge disparity between the have's and have-nots. The latter? Well, time has proven wrong his theory that "companies can regulate and police themselves." Yeah, and the wolf can guard the henhouse with a modicum of responsiblity.

The have-nots and those who've lost their for more information about due to corporate decisions to outsource -- will we be seeing their funerals on television? Hardly.

While we're encouraged to mourn the loss of a President, we need to look honestly, unblinkingly, at that leader's legacy. We continue to suffer from many of the policies implemented under his reign. His death, will certainly sad for his family, friends and those who knew him, does not render him blameless and perfect. It does not change his very flawed record and those of us who do not share in the media's deification of the man are not being disrespectful or terrible.

Just like he should have done under oath during the Iran Contra Affair but didn't, we're telling the truth.
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