Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

Ten Dollar Reagan

Ronald Reagan supporters are pushing to have his likeness on some cash, among other places. Current discussion includes putting Reagan on the $10 or $20 bill, though both proposals would require an act of Congress. Another option is to put Reagan on the dime, or possibly on half the dimes produced (leaving FDR on the other half of all dimes produced), something the Treasury can do without approval from Congress.

All of which causes me further speculation about what made Ronald Reagan so great. Speculation that, by the way, is thoroughly honest, innocent, and not malicious, as some seem to think.

It seems especially ironic to consider putting Reagan on our money considering the divided feelings over Reaganomics. According to that CNN/Money article, the idea behind Reagan’s economic policies were to lower taxes, decrease government regulations, and increase military spending. The result was 20 million jobs, a huge drop in interest rates, and a $3 trillion debt by the end of the decade. The opposite approach seems to be Bill Clinton, who balanced the budget and didn’t cut taxes. I’m no economist and I don’t really know how to compare the two, but I do know that the mid-to-late 1990s had quite an economic boom as well. An NPR commentator pointed out that the economic growth in the 1990s was more evenly spread throughout society.

Interesting points to ponder.

At any rate, I find it especially peculiar that there’s a Ronald Reagan Legacy Project with a goal of “seeing a Reagan commemoration in every American county” (Star Trib). Furthermore, they’d like to add Reagan to Mt. Rushmore (though they might have to settle for the road that leads to Rushmore). Apparently there are only some 54 memorials to Reagan across the country, compared to more than 600 for John F. Kennedy and more than 800 for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Apparently it’s a race.

But seriously, it makes me wonder about who we honor and why we honor them. Why are there 600 memorials for JFK? Was his shortened presidency that great? Was averting a nuclear war in the Cuban Missile Crisis that much of an accomplishment? Or was he just a popular guy and we feel bad he was shot?

I understand that it’s important to remember the past and honor national heroes, but all the rangling over who’s a better hero or a more worthy hero is really odd. And at one point is one hero better than another? When can Reagan, hero of the Cold War, replace Alexander Hamilton, hero of the Revolutionary War? Because there’s only so much space for memorial. I can imagine a park absolutely cluttered with bronze statues to hundreds of years of American presidents. You’d be walking on the George H.W. Bush Memorial Sidewalk reading your Official Gerald Ford Map and sucking away on your large Bill Clinton Sodapop.

All the while no one can remember what any of them did.

Bedtime for Bonzo

Ronald Reagan and BonzoDespite the goofball picture, I really don’t mean any disrespect in this posting. I just couldn’t resist. This is Monkey Outta Nowhere after all.

I’m going to come across as a completely uneducated bafoon, but what was so great about Ronald Reagan’s presidency? He passed away yesterday and the homage has been thick and deep. I know I’m a bit biased with my anti-Republican comments in the past, but I’d honestly like to know why people are saying he was one of the greatest presidents.

I blame a lot of my naivete on the school system that never covered anything after World War II, leaving me with a pitiful understanding of modern world history.

On a theoretical level, I know Reagan’s presidency came at a time when things weren’t looking good for the country. There was the energy crisis of the 1970s, the hostage thing in the Middle East, and recovering from a lot of 1970s muck like Watergate and Vietnam. And a lot happened during Reagan’s presidency. There were nuclear arms treaties with the Soviets, that whole Star Wars thing (I was always pissed when the news talked about the Star Wars program because I thought they were talking about the movie and I’d watch to see more about the movie, but they never had anything), and the merging of conservative Christians and the Republican party.

But I know a lot of messed up stuff happened during Reagan’s presidency. There was the whole Iran-Contra scandal. There was El Salvador and other conflicts where we were supporting war and bloodshed for dubious reasons. There’s the fact that Reagan was all about smaller government, yet he also created the biggest deficit in history.

There’s also the whole go-go 80s. The 1980s were really a big business era, and part of me wonders if that’s why Reagan seems so great. The economy was booming and whether or not he had anything to do with it, he gets the credit.

I was born in 1979, so Reagan is the first president I remember seeing. You tend to idolize a world leader when you’re that young, and you don’t know a lot of the facts.

Some of this is probably over-generalizing from what little I know (or think I know) about Reagan, so feel free to correct me. I know there are certain leadership qualities that stand out and would make a good leader, regardless of how you feel about their politics. I’m eager to know if that’s part of what made Reagan such a great president.