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  • franktruth418 franktruth418 Nov 2, 2013 4:37 PM Flag

    The Enduring Lies of Ronald Reagan

     

    Though the GOP continues to canonize the fortieth president, we can’t forget his legacy as a liar and a foreign policy flop
    Ronald Reagan was a saint, a commanding leader, the gold standard of principled conservatism against whom all current and future Republicans should be measured. This is the new mantra coming out of the Republican race for the presidency as the current crop of candidates scramble, quite understandably, to distance themselves from the walking disaster that is George W. Bush.

    In the Fox News-hosted “debate” among the Republican hopefuls, Ron Paul, Rudi Giuliani and others were quick to wrap themselves in the Reagan mantle. When Fred Thompson–actor turned politician–entered the race, he evoked huge sighs of relief among Republicans, who see him as the one best able to recapture the Gipper’s magic. Coincidentally, Reagan’s diaries, edited by Douglas Brinkley, have just been published and also seek to cast him as “a true American leader”.

    While much of the neocon agenda is in tatters right now, certainly one of its most successful achievements has been the canonization of Ronald Reagan, which rests crucially on one thing Reagan himself did so well: forgetting the facts. So it’s time to exhume a few.

    First to go is the myth that Reagan was the most popular president since FDR. Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting reminds us, “During the first two years of Reagan’s presidency, the public was giving President Reagan the lowest level of approval of all modern elected presidents. Reagan’s average first-year approval rating was 58 percent–lower than Dwight Eisenhower’s 69 percent, Jack Kennedy’s 75 percent, Richard Nixon’s 61 percent and Jimmy Carter’s 62 percent.” At the end of his second year, (remember the Reagan recession?) Reagan’s approval rating was 41 percent; after the Iran-Contra scandal was revealed, Reagan’s approval rating stood at 46 percent. His approval rating for his entire presidency was lower than Kennedy’s, Eisenhower’s and even Johnson

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