Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 11, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

RONALD REAGAN....Some views of Ronald Reagan:

  • Alexander Gribanov, Soviet dissident who emigrated in 1987: "The '70s were a decade of unrelenting Soviet expansion that met virtually no resistance. Reagan signaled that the period of non-resistance was over, and this gave us hope."

  • Reagan on the apartheid regime in South Africa: "They have eliminated the segregation that we once had in our own country, the type of thing where hotels and restaurants and places of entertainment and so forth were segregated that has all been eliminated."

  • Samuel Wells, Cold War historian at the Woodrow Wilson Center: "His staff, for all of the first term and most of the second, kept this out of the press, but Reagan was terribly, deeply opposed to nuclear weapons he thought they were immoral."

  • Reagan on trading arms for hostages: "Mistakes were made."

  • From The Clothes Have No Emperor: "12/15/1985 60 Minutes interviews Berkeley professor Michael Rogin, who posits the theory that [Reagan] honestly can't tell the difference between movies and reality. The evolution of a Reagan anecdote is traced from the point where he credits it as a movie scene to the point where he tells it as if it really happened. Viewer response proves this to the one of the least popular segments in the program's 17-year history."

So which one was he? Inspirational cold warrior? Social neanderthal? Ex-liberal idealist? Corrupt ideologue? Delusional old man?

All of them, I guess.

Kevin Drum 1:18 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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