Reagan and the Real Problem
Realizing years after his death and never being rich
enough to be one I've taken the wisdom of my father's advice. Son,
if you truly want to be rebellious in a New York Irish family, stay
sober and vote Republican. Yet I feel a sadness for the passing of
Ronald Reagan. Or to quote my father, 'Reagan was a union guy who
sold out to management. I won't vote for him but for a bullshitter
he's not a bad guy.'
Another Column from Jimmy Henry
Genetics have made me too thirsty and I've never been rich enough to be one so I've never taken my father's advice. 'Son, if you really want to be rebellious in a New York Irish family, stay sober and vote republican.'
So never even voting for him; actually campaigning against him, I do feel a loss at the death of Ronald Reagan, who was to quote my father, 'a union guy who sold out to management. I won't vote for him but, for a bullshitter at least he's good at it.'
Looking back, the presidency of Ronald 'Dutch' Reagan gave America what it loves more than anything else. As my father said in simpler terms, thoughtful delusion. America was ripe for the dynasty of Ronald Reagan. After the loss of it's political idealism and virginity in sinister Nixon's Watergate and the forgotten lesson of Vietnam followed by the dismal failure of Jimmy Carter's nice try, naive WWJD? Get crucified, America found it's solace in the B-grade script that Ronald Reagan performed so well. In his role as our national grandfather, it was OK if grandpa Ronnie forgot certain dates and stoopid facts because it was easier to be entertained and listen to some story he'd tell us about a blind crippled quarterback named Little Billy who, with only seconds left not only won the game but brought a big lump of coal home to his smiling mother.
Not only did Ronnie charm us but he hardened the heart of American politics. And we'd agree 'Gosh grandpa, you're right, Little Billy wouldn't have won that game if had had to stop and fill out a load of government paperwork'. It wasn't a bureaucrat that ran that ball, it was Little Billy. So what if Billy and his mom were living in a cardboard box because his father had been an air traffic controller and most days in Billy's school under Reagan the vegetable was ketchup? And at night the box got wet under the cold drip of trickle down economics. Who cared? Grandpa brought us a very thin piece of that white guy pie from the Greed is Good Bakery on Wall Street.
But looking back on the Reagan era, what endears him to legend and makes him the FDR of the right is his performance in the single most brilliant act in American political history; when Ronald 'No Crutch Dutch' Reagan got shot twice and walked in the hospital joking with the doctors, 'Jeez I hope you're all Republicans'. That put Ronald him so very high in that very expensive saddle when Marshal Reagan rode into town the Godless Commies just quit, gave it all up for Levis, had no choice.
Yep. I wonder what my father would say about today's feeble minded rich guys in charge. I'm sure it would be something he'd have to say out of earshot of my mother.
For so many little Billy's in the world the reckless actions of the current administration have caused that football to be replaced by a bomb. Why? Because to liberate them from the schoolyard bully they blew up the whole playground, the school, most of the neighborhood including Billy's family. Inevitable, acceptable civilian losses.
Compared to these space 'must destroy Earth' aliens your seven hours in Grenada made you the prince of peace. You may have been a puppet, Ronnie but at least your handlers were better.
So Goodbye President Ronald 'Dutch' Reagan and if you find yourself in the same place as my father he wouldn't buy but he'd drink a beer if you're buying.