tagged w/ Reagan
Another fun and haywire day in history.
That pungent stench of familiarity.
President Bill Clinton spoke recently about the debt, how he handled it and what he thinks Pres. Obama should do. Maybe it is time to change the phasing and put the burden squarely on the RIPublicans by stating that the debt has been incurred by the two unfunded wars and the Medicare benefits that RIPublicans passed.
“The reason that raising the debt limit is so unpopular is that people think you’re voting to keep [increasing] deficit spending, instead of voting to honor obligations that were already incurred,” he said. “I think [the Gingrich Republicans] figured I’d be smart enough to explain to the American people that they were refusing to pay for the expenses they had voted for when Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were president. And that would make ‘em look bad.”
Obama could offer precisely the same explanation in the present circumstances, where most of the current debt can be traced to the profligate military spending and tax cuts of the last Bush administration. Just as the nation’s debt had tripled or quadrupled between 1981 and 1993, in the dozen years of Republican rule before Clinton’s first inauguration, as he points out, so the second Bush administration plunged the budget from surplus to deep deficit before Obama spent one penny on economic stimulus or anything else.
Although Clinton says that if he were in Obama’s place he would raise the debt ceiling without legislation – “if it came to that” -- he believes the crisis will be resolved before August 2. “It looks to me like they’re going to make an agreement, and that’s smart.”
http://www.nationalmemo.com/article/exclusive-former-president-bill-clinton-says-he-would-use-constitutional-option-raise-debtPresident Bill Clinton spoke recently about the debt, how he handled it and what he... more
By Paul Rosenberg
During Reagan's presidency, the US went from a creditor to debtor nation and marked a take-off for financial inequality.
As things stand today, the US is hurtling toward a budget showdown in less than a month. Either President Obama will once again capitulate to extreme Republican budget-slashing demands, making Democrats seem as much of a threat to Medicare as Republicans, and virtually ensuring a GOP electoral sweep in 2012, or the US will default on its debt for the first time in its history, most likely plunging the world economy back into another five-continent recession, also costing Democrats the 2012 elections. These are the options left for a president and a political class completely divorced both from reality, and its own history of how one of the three greatest US presidents of all time steered the country from the brink of collapse eight decades ago.
Entirely forgetting the real history of how Franklin D Roosevelt used activist government to save American capitalism from itself, the entire US political establishment is instead hypnotised by the false history woven around its most over-hyped president of all time: Ronald Reagan. Idolatry of Reagan's supposed tax-cutting wonders propels the now widespread economic belief that up is down, that cutting government spending is the way out of - rather than into - a severe recession. At the same time, idolatry of Reagan's supposed political wonders propels GOP extremists to ignore all other considerations.
Because of this hypnotism, America's political establishment has barely even begun to notice two unconventional possible ways out that remain, neither of which require anything from Congress, but both of which need bold presidential leadership ala FDR.
The first is to ignore the debt ceiling, relying directly on the 14th Amendment's statement that: "the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned". The second is a proposal from maverick Republican Ron Paul to have the Federal Reserve Board destroy the $1.6 trillion in government bonds that it currently holds, which progressive economist Dean Baker recently wrote, "actually makes a great deal of sense". It might take some arm-twisting on Obama's part, but Congress has no say over the Fed, and central bankers have no great love of spreading financial panic.
In anything close to a sane world, either one of these two bold strokes would be widely hailed for avoiding a reckless threat to the still-fragile world economy. But we do not live in a sane world, and the idolatry of Ronald Reagan is one of the principle reasons why. This is why it behoves us to review some of the principle lies involved with Ronald Reagan's record, focusing specifically on the economy. What follows is but a brief rundown.
http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/07/2011771074476381.htmlBy Paul Rosenberg Al Jazeera During Reagan's presidency, the US went from a... more
IN "AGE OF GREED", AUTHOR JEFF MADRICK WRITES HOW WALL STREET'S FINANCING AND AGGRESSIVE MARKETING OF LEVERAGED BUYOUTS CRIPPLED AMERICAN BUSINESS, SABOTAGED COMMERCE, AND ULTIMATELY CORRUPTED GOVERNMENT AND THE POLITICAL PROCESS. CITING EXAMPLES OF HOW REAGAN, GREENSPAN, AND SPECIFIC OTHERS FACILITATED WALL STREET'S SLASH AND BURN BUSINESS PRACTICES, HE REVEALS HOW THE AMERICAN TAX PAYER CONTINUES TO PAY FOR THE DAMAGES WALL STREET CONTINUES TO WREAK UPON THE PUBLIC'S AND THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMY.
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6972http://rt.com/on-air/IN "AGE OF GREED", AUTHOR JEFF MADRICK WRITES HOW WALL STREET'S... more
News of the day for May 24, 1976 - when the Wayne Hays-Elizabeth Ray Sex Scandal broke over Capitol Hill like a Thousand Year Old egg.News of the day for May 24, 1976 - when the Wayne Hays-Elizabeth Ray Sex Scandal broke... more
President Obama and PM Cameron liken themselves to Reagan and Thatcher as far as their personal efforts to bring peace to the middle east.
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2011/05/Obama-Cameron-liken-Arab-spring-to-Cold-War-171548/1President Obama and PM Cameron liken themselves to Reagan and Thatcher as far as their... more
April 1, 1983 - earthquakes, gas price hikes and unemployment - oh my.
One thing I have never understood in America is the way that people who lose their jobs become pariahs in the job market. We’ve now had a spate of commentary on the fact that official unemployment figures are looking a tad less dreadful by dint of the fact that increasing numbers of the long term unemployed have dropped out of the job market entirely. Even the conservative Washington Post woke up last week, Rip Van Winkle like, to take note of the growing number of long-term unemployed. Bizarrely, or perhaps as a fit illustration of the spirit of the day, the article was titled: “Hidden workforce challenges domestic economic recovery.” In other words, they are Bad People because if the economy ever picks up, they might come out of the woodwork and start looking for jobs!
Many pundits, such as Paul Krugman in his latest New York Times op-ed, have decried the lack of anything remotely resembling adequate responses to the unemployment problem, particularly that of the long-term unemployed. Ronald Reagan, hero of the right, was concerned when unemployment rose over 8% and took a series of corrective measures, including the Plaza Accord, which was a G-5 currency intervention to drive up the value of the yen. So why do we have a nominally Democratic president sitting on his hands in the face of much worse unemployment?
I’d argue that the roots lie in a fundamental change in policy that took place around 1980. The lesson that economists drew from the stagflation of the 1970s was that labor had too much bargaining power. The excessive fiscal stimulus of the later 1960s and the oil price shocks of the 1970s had been amplified by the fact that workers had enough clout to demand and get wage increases when they faces sustained price increases. That of course led to more price increases since higher wages led to higher production costs which led business owners to increase prices of their goods and servicer, thus accelerating the inflation already under way.
The solution, per neoclassical economists, was to use unemployment to keep wage demands in check. Thus having a lower level of employment even in good times and taking other measures, like weakening unions, was key to keeping those pesky workers from ever serving to create a reinforcing inflationary dynamic.
As an aside, there were other convenient (to the capital-owning classes) side effects of this policy. Before, there had been an explicit agreement between unions and employers embodied in the so-called Treaty of Detroit, which was that workers were to share in productivity gains. President Kennedy even warned major corporations that if they did not adhere to this understanding, he’d push through legislation to make sure they did. Since wage growth and productivity growth marched in near lockstep from 1950 to just after 1980, it appears white collar worker benefited from blue collar bargaining successes.
Mike Konczal points to a recent paper by Daniel J.B. Mitchell and Christopher L. Erickson that goes through twenty years of Fed transcripts. The Fed was clearly obsessed with unions; it saw them as actively bargaining for higher wages, which in a central bank that kept fighting the last war of runaway inflation, was to be discouraged. And let us not forget that that viewpoint turned traditional growth models on their head: rising worked incomes had been seen as the driver of prosperity.
Yet as much as I’d love to take a few more notches out of Greenspan’s reputation, I’m not a believer that the non-existent growth in real worker wages can be laid at this feet. Both the wage stagnation and the cessation of workers sharing in productivity gains dates started before Greenspan took the helm. As much as he has been sanctified for breaking the back of inflation (and putting banks through a lot of pain to do so), he was also explicit about seeing weaker worker wages as a sign of success (he carried a card in his pocket in which he was logging construction worker wages; he wanted to see them fall before he was prepared to declare victory). The Volcker Fed was no friend to the ordinary worker; Volcker was simply willing to put the banks through a lot of short term pain for their own long-term benefit.
Konczal asks for falsifiable hypotheses on this idea that the Fed was a big culprit in the fallen standing of labor. I don’t think they can be constructed, since monetary policy is a blunt instrument, and even though Greenspan began to break with the Fed’s traditional stance re independence, he was not an active player in the Administration’s policy setting. Moreover, the Greenspan put, which took hold in the 1990s (starting with the derivatives wipeout of 1994-5) meant if anything that Fed policy was overly loose.
The reason that that didn’t lead to firmer employment, as former Fed economist Richard Alford argues, was inattention to persistent trade deficits, and that was due to policy measures outside the Fed’s purview. The Fed failed to factor that in fully due to its reliance on macro models that assumed any trade deficits were transitory and hence could be ignored. But older-school economists would have recognized that sustained trade deficits meant that US stimulus, including monetary policy measures, would leak into foreign demand.
I think there have been significant second-order effects as a result of a restructuring of the American workplace by employer who like to claim that “employees are our most important asset”: but really treat them as expenses to be minimized, ruthlessly. One is the way unemployment quickly becomes a barrier to getting a job again. There has always been bit of a stigma surrounding unemployment, since the concern is that the individual lost his job for performance reasons, as opposed to bad luck (his company being acquired, say).
But I’ve seen the bias become far more ingrained over time, reinforced and rationalized by the bizarre way that companies now spec jobs. Whereas in the stone ages they’d hire a competent-seeming individual with some relevant experience, they now look for people who have done exactly the same job at a similar company. This overly narrow hiring spec then leads to absurd, widespread complaint that companies can’t find people with the right skills. That’s bunk. As Dean Baker has pointed out repeatedly, it means they need to pay more, or as I’d suggest, they need to broaden their horizon a tad. The idea that people need a lot of costly training is in most cases grossly exaggerated, a convenient “whocoulddanode” for manager who are quick to fire people and then discover when they want to gear back up that there are costs of brining new workers on, no matter how hard they try to minimize them.
This bias against those out of work is long-standing, although it has gotten worse over time. Talented people over 40 who have lost a corporate perch are pretty much unemployable; I cannot tell you over the last 15 years how many people I’ve seen retire early (and at a modest standard of living) who’d much rather be working. They are the high class version of this problem. And from what I can tell, a significant portion of new business formation is out of necessity: people who cannot find a job setting up their own single instead.
So this “skills” meme is basically an excuse for bad policy and lazy management. It allows for the rationalization of outcomes that would have been seen as unacceptable in the Reagan era. And it’s hard to pin this development on the Fed. This weakening of the position of workers is the result of both deliberate action and misguided economics frameworks. It’s time to take aim at the ideology, not just some of its key followers(more at link &sources)One thing I have never understood in America is the way that people who lose their... more
Ali Ahmida: After battling Reagan in the cold war, Gaddafi makes a deal with Bush and Blair and becomes more alienated from Libyan people.
Ali Ahmida is a professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. His specialty is political theory, comparative politics, and historical sociology of power, agency and anti-colonial resistance in North Africa, especially modern Libya. He is the author of The Making of Modern Libya: State Formation, Colonization and Resistance (1994) in addition to numerous articles. He is editor of Beyond Colonialism and Nationalism in the Maghrib: History, Culture and Politics (2000).
Click on the link to watch the video.Ali Ahmida: After battling Reagan in the cold war, Gaddafi makes a deal with Bush and... more
Dean Baker. co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), writes that President Obama has failed to bring the truth to the public about the source of the current budget crisis, and has virtually embraced the right-wing goals of cutting public spending for programs aiding the needy in a pitch to woo independent voters. At the same time, the principle causes of the socioeconomic crisis for millions of economically less-advantaged persons and families are minimized or ignored.
Baker writes: "There are a number of programs focused on helping low-income people that even collectively don't amount to a hill of beans in terms of the total budget. We can stop paying for nutrition for poor children or buying heating oil for low-income seniors, but even zeroing out these programs entirely barely makes a dent in the budget.
Then we have the universal programs, like Social Security and Medicare. These programs cost a lot of money, but people are willing to pay for them. Furthermore, the story of exploding growth in these "entitlements" stems entirely from our broken health care system.
If per person health care costs in the United States were the same as in any other wealthy country, we would be looking at enormous budget surpluses, not deficits. Everyone in Washington knows this, but they are scared of the drug companies, the insurance companies, the doctors' lobbies and other powerful interest groups, so instead they push for cutting these essential programs.
In short, the center-right story's can easily be shown to be nonsense. However, President Obama has put up nothing to counter it. He has backed away from telling the public the truth: The country faces an enormous economic hole right now because the financial industry ran wild over the last decade and the Fed and other government regulators let them.
Read the entire essay at the link above.Dean Baker. co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), writes... more
Busting unions gave Calvin Coolidge the White House, but it gave America the Great Depression. After College-Coolidge went on to become a small town Massachusetts attorney representing banks, while Morrow became a senior partner in House of Morgan. When Morrow(a Carl Rowe type) saw his pal Coolidge attracting attention in the Boston Police Strike, he wrote to everyone he knew and launched a national campaign to make a legend out of the uncharismatic Coolidge. Morrow and fellow Morgan partner Thomas Cochran lobbied tirelessly for Coolidge at the Chicago Republican Convention in 1920, and their lobbying paid off. Coolidge, first as vice president and then as president in 1923 when Harding died, became a valuable partner for the House of Morgan. Famously declaring that “the business of America is business,” Coolidge stocked his administration with enough Morgan men to fill a banking convention. Historian Murray N. Rothbard notes that
the year 1924 indeed saw the House of Morgan(J.P. Morgan) at the pinnacle of political power in the United States. President Calvin Coolidge, friend and protégé of Morgan partner Dwight Morrow, was deeply admired by J.P. “Jack” Morgan, Jr. Jack Morgan saw the president, perhaps uniquely, as a rare blend of deep thinker and moralist. Morgan wrote a friend: ‘I have never seen any president who gives me just the feeling of confidence in the country and its institutions, and the working out of our problems, that Mr. Coolidge does.’
Coolidge got to the White House for crushing unions, where he slept ten hours a day and hopped on and off a mechanical horse in his underpants and a cowboy hat.
Here’s what America got: the Great Depression.
Coolidge’s real legacy was a huge upward shift of income during the “roaring twenties” away from ordinary people to the rich and powerful, who got even richer and more powerful thanks to his regulatory and policy inactivity. The best Average Joe could hope for under Coolidge was for his income to hold steady. The profits from that wondrous innovation and growth that send Shlaes into rhapsodies went to fatcats who turned the country into a casino and smashed the economy.
Reagan’s history is better known – or so you would think. His firing of 13,000 striking workers was, as Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson put it, “an unambiguous signal that employers need feel little or no obligation to their workers.” After Reagan, employers were emboldened to illegally ditch workers who sought to unionize, replace permanent employees who could collect benefits with temps, and ship factories and jobs abroad. Ever-smiling with his friendly cowboy image, Reagan tried to lower the minimum wage for younger workers, weaken child labor, job safety and anti-sweatshop laws, and do away with training programs for the jobless. He also did his best to replace thousands of federal employees with temps without civil service or union protections. Under his watch, the share of the nation’s wealth held by the richest 1 percent of Americans went up 5 percent richer. Guess whose declined?
At the time, Americans were supportive, by slim margins, of Reagan’s stance against the air traffic controllers, who went on strike to win benefit concessions from the federal government. However, the comparison with Wisconsin workers is not exactly apples to apples. These workers have agreed to concessions, and only fight to maintain their right to collective bargaining. Intuiting correctly that the public may not be on their side in this battle, conservatives have relentlessly pushed the deceptive idea that public employees enjoy higher salaries and better benefits than their private-sector counterparts. But this has been widely debunked. Careful research has shown that when you adjust for skill levels, public sector workers are not overpaid relative to private sector pay scales.
After the Great Crash, Coolidge’s bank-friendly, union-bashing policies didn’t seem like such a great gift to America. And just like in the twenties, Reagan’s signal that it was open season on unions energized a much bolder effort to hold down wages by corporate America: Over the next few years, workers by the thousands were let go, found their pay slashed, and turned into poorly paid part time employees. US income inequality reached Himalayan levels as people’s share of the benefits from increased productivity took a sharp nosedive. Today, after the Great Recession, Reagan’s anti-union attitude and enthusiasm for deregulation has also proven to be a dubious legacy.
Governor Walker says he’s fighting for ordinary Americans. So why does he want to require unions to re-certify every year, but we don’t hear a peep about corporations being required to renew their charters every year? Why does he want to control the salaries of public employees, but doesn’t have any interest in controlling the salaries of grossly overcompensated corporate CEOs? Why does he call for sacrifices from hard-working people who have been screwed by the economy through no fault of their own, and none from the financiers who caused the crisis?
Maybe it’s because he has quite a bit in common with Coolidge and Reagan after all. In Reagan’s case, as in Coolidge’s, union-busting led to some of the biggest peacetime income re-distributions in modern history. Democracy got weaker, oligopolies got stronger, the rich got richer, and the rest of us got left behind.( more and sources at link)Busting unions gave Calvin Coolidge the White House, but it gave America the Great... more
Thirty years ago this day - another walk in the woods, another day in the park - a few more gray hairs in the process.Thirty years ago this day - another walk in the woods, another day in the park - a few... more
" Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy " - John Pierpont Morgan
"Everything predicted by the enemies of banks, in the beginning, is now coming to pass. We are to be ruined now by the deluge of bank paper. It is cruel that such revolutions in private fortunes should be at the mercy of avaricious adventurers, who, instead of employing their capital, if any they have, in manufactures, commerce, and other useful pursuits, make it an instrument to burden all the interchanges of property with their swindling profits, profits which are the price of no useful industry of theirs." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1814
"Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with a flick of the pen they will create enough money to buy it back again. However, take away from them the power to create money, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for a better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost for your own slavery, let them continue to create money." - Sir Jostah Stamp, President of the Bank of England in the 1920's, the second richest man in Britain
''This great and powerful force-the accumulated wealth of the United States-has taken over all the functions of Government, Congress, the issue of money, and banking and the army and navy in order to have a band of mercenaries to do their bidding and protect their stolen property.'' - Senator Richard Pettigrew - Triumphant Plutocracy - Published, January 1, 1922
"A banker is a man who loans you umbrellas when the sun is shining and demands it back the moment it looks like rain." - Mark Twain" Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny... more
Reagan Says Being In A Union Is A Basic Right
With the Republican uproar in America over unions, it seems they’ve conveniently forgotten that Ronald Reagan, their Conservative hero, was also pro-union, in fact, he was the President of a Labor Union.
While Conservatives applauded the former President on his 100th birthday — most were in denial of historical facts.
Reagan was for unions, for raising taxes (11 times), for giving complete amnesty to illegals, for negotiating with terrorists (Iran), and was responsible for exploding the budget by nearly 150%, and for empowering Saddam and Bin Laden.
Today, the same Republicans that pretend Reagan was their savior, would roast him on a stake if he were alive and running for GOP Nomination in 2012.
Considering Reagan’s stance on unions, it rather negates the pretense of Governor Walker’s claim that the upset in Wisconsin is about the budget, after all, Reagan was his hero. Budgets can be cut by compromise which is a word unknown to Gov. Walker. The unions have agreed to compromises, but Walker is not in compliance with the people who voted him in.
It’s preconceived Republican obfuscation, muddying the waters of reality without their real intent showing. Throwing unions under the bus is merely a tactic to eradicate the Democrat vote.
Oddly, Reagan is known as a tax cutter by Republicans — he raised taxes 11 times after his initial 1981 tax cut. He presided over a ballooning budget deficit, with new military spending outstripping the savings from cuts to social programs. Again, Reagan is Walker’s hero and he claims his strong union opposition is about the budget.
Now they want to strip the unions of collective bargaining, which gives them a voice to negotiate with their employers.
They were for it, before they were against it — just like heath care.
A big hat tip and thank you to Michael Pinto. (http://twitter.com/michaelpinto)Reagan Says Being In A Union Is A Basic Right From:... more
As you ponder whether or not you're better off than you were four (or two) years ago, remember the good times by picking up a Reaganite-approved book featuring the perfect blend of facts and nostalgia.
Link : http://www.toponlinecolleges.com/blog/2011/10-books-every-true-reaganite-should-read/As you ponder whether or not you're better off than you were four (or two) years... more
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On the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth, read what LGBT rights activist and playwright Larry Kramer had to say about Reagan shortly after his death in 2004.
By Larry Kramer
COMMENTARY: The following piece was originally published in The Advocate issue dated July 6th, 2004.
Our murderer is dead. The man who murdered more gay people than anyone in the entire history of the world, is dead. More people than Hitler even. In all the tributes to his passing, as I write this two days after his death, not one that I have seen has mentioned this. The hateful New York Times (“all the news that’s fit to print”) of course said nothing about this. We still are not fit to write about with total honesty in their pages. Not really. Just as we were not fit for Ronald Reagan to talk about us. What kind of president is that?
I have been writing a long work of history which I call The American People. I chose this title because in every speech he ever made, Reagan went on and on about “the American People.” We of course were never a part of his American People. And we knew it. Year after year of his hateful and endless reign we knew we were not a part of the American People he was President of. He would never talk about us, of course, or do anything for us except murder us. There were no social services for us. There was no research into our health. Even as we were dying like flies. How could he not have seen us dying? The answer is he did see us dying and he chose to do nothing. There was no representation in his government of us. There was never anything for us but his ignoble dismissal of us. All of Washington, indeed the world, knew that Reagan hated us. How could they not? Most of them did, too. And when Daddy doesn’t love you, who is there who will stand up to Daddy? This is a trick that Hitler used and which I believe the young Reagan learned from him. He never had to say much out loud himself about his hatreds; but everyone knew what they were. Gays were as hated under Reagan as Jews were under Hitler. It is a trick that both George Bushes have carbon-copied. We have not been included among their American people either.
I could never understand why Reagan’s hatred of us was so intense and manifest and never-ending. Some of Nancy Reagan’s best friends were gay, the self-loathing Jerry Zipkin, at one time her principle “walker,” chief among them. It is said he taught her how to dress. In my play, Just Say No, I dramatized my own theory of why she and her husband kept gays off their agenda as if we were the plague, which of course, as in some hideous self-fulfilling prophecy, we became. Ron Reagan, Jr. That is why. It was no secret in an ever-widening circle that Ron Reagan, Jr. was suspected of being gay. In his freshman year at Yale (I believe this was his only year there; perhaps there were two), I have been told he had numerous gay experiences. I am well known at Yale. Indeed, I have established the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale to document the evil acts that American “history” has performed on us.
And just as damning of the son’s reputation, of course, because it could not be hidden, was that Ron Reagan, Jr. was a ballet dancer. This did not look good and was obviously exceedingly embarrassing to a father who rode so many horses. So off with the tutu and on with a wedding ring. Junior was married off and sent to far-off places in positions of low visibility. I have gay friends in Hollywood, equally closeted, who knew him and know him and protect him. To know him is to be sworn to some sort of pact of secrecy. What a hideous life Ron, Jr. must have led all these years. To be denied a life and to have been so utterly gutless about fighting back. (Well, we know all about that.) While his own mother was gallivanting around with some of the biggest fairies in the world. What hateful parents to have had in the prime of your life, “the great communicator” of a father out there communicating how much he hated you and his wife out there going along with this. I suspect by now Ron Reagan, Jr. actually believes he is straight. By now he may very well be. He may well have been all along. He just looked so suspicious, and of course it was this perceived suspicion that, one way or the other, is what caused his father to murder so many of us. Why does history not recognize this monstrous and never-ending history of hatred and the inestimable number of deaths it continues to cause?
People magazine called me for a quote Reagan’s death. “I wish he had died before he was elected” is what I told them. I wonder what they will run.
It is remarkable that two of the so-called “greatest presidents” have also allowed the greatest perpetrations and perpetuations of mass murder. Franklin D. Roosevelt was shamefully inept in dealing with “the Jewish question,” (see my play The Normal Heart), most ironically since so many Jews were his most loyal supporters, the Jerry Zipkins of their day. No one really writes about this. Roosevelt is one of history’s great gods. Just as no one really writes about Reagan and “the gay question.” These two major murderers so far have gotten away with helping to cause the two major holocausts of modern history. Just as Jews are asked to never forget their Holocaust, I implore all gay people never to forget our holocaust and who caused it and why. Ronald Reagan did not even say the word “AIDS” out loud for the first seven years of his reign. Because of this, some 70 million people, so far, have become infected with HIV/AIDS. I wonder what it feels like to be the son and the wife of a man responsible for over 70 million people so far becoming infected with a virus that has killed over half of us so far. I wonder what it felt like while he was alive to ponder this. For surely he must have thought about it. How could he not? He has been called the consummate actor who came to believe all his lines. Does this not make his legacy even more grotesque? It should.
Hitler knew what he was doing. How could Ronald Reagan not have known what he was doing?
But of course, no one is writing about this. Reagan too is one of history's gods.
So far he has gotten away with murder.On the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth, read what LGBT rights activist... more