Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reagan's Sunshine

I've heard a few pundits likening likely GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's upbeat demeanor to that of President Ronald Reagan.

Yes, Reagan was noted for his sunshine, his sense of humor, his every-man image. I don't dispute any of that, and I admit that he did do some good things - he and Pope John Paul II helped to undermine communism in Eastern Europe, for example.

But I have other memories of the Reagan years.


Support for Central American right-wing dictators who murdered thousands.

Supplying aid and military materials to Saddam Hussein (helping him to get the chemical weapons he later used against civilians).

The incredible number of people from his administration accused of and convicted on corruption charges.

The homeless crisis (I helped to convert a room in our church to a homeless shelter and served as an overnight volunteer).

Corporate and Wall Street greed.

Huge deficits.

Environmental issues.

And so much more.

Again, he did some good things. But I think sometimes his "sunshine" blinded us to the darker aspects of his record.

So when they liken Ryan to Reagan, a part of me shudders.

Pax et bonum

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