Amidst the huge celebrations in Los Angeles for Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday over the weekend, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention The eXiled‘s little tribute they posted on their site. And by “little tribute,” we’re really referring to former UC Berkley professor John Dolan’s penning of one of the most glorious character annihilations we’ve ever come across.
A small taste:
I’ve had Reagan all my life. In 1967, 13 years before the rest of you got President Reagan, he became governor of California. It was the terrarium in which Reagan’s tinkerers figured out how to stimulate the beasts in the tract houses to hatred and bathos, the tools with which they ruled and destroyed the nation.
Nixon usually gets the blame for that, but I’ve always found Nixon a rather sympathetic figure: wretched, ugly, and without much malice for either the forests or the ordinary American. Nixon didn’t even share the worship of “business” forced on us all in Reagan’s reign. Nixon’s dreams were old-fashioned Soviet machinations, full of maps and coups; he was willing enough to toss the rest of us a few bones if we’d let him play with his schemes undisturbed. And some of the bones he tossed us were rather significant. It was Nixon who created the EPA and OSHA. Reagan would have strangled both in the cradle.
Reagan did it often enough once he had power, in a thousand blunt, cruel mandates that no one ever mentions. The one I always remember is one of the more trivial: he vetoed the airbag requirement Carter planned to introduce for all 1980 cars sold in the US. Everyone who died in a head-on crash during the next decade can thank Reagan. And you know, they probably would thank him. There is no end to the groveling masochism of this nation where Reagan is concerned.
Worth the read in full for anyone curious about why they no longer have health insurance or any chance of home ownership.