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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Political Pearls: Why Not Assail The Reagan "Legacy Presidency???" Why Not Invoke Abe Lincoln And Claim Him For Ourselves?

"The Great Communicator."   "The Winner Of The Cold War."  "The Conservative's Conservative."  "The Man Who Put Government In It's Place."  And so on,--to utilize another typical Republican's(VP Spiro T. Agnew--what country is he hiding in today?*) popularized slogan--ad nauseum.
Republicans have succeeded in getting the "Bedtime for Bonzo" star elevated to a pedestal that even Democrats won't touch in 2010.  Let's look at Reagan briefly.  The "Great Communicator?"  Here are a few of my favorite Reagan Quotes:
"I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm at a cabinet meeting."
"People don't start wars, governments do."
"All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk."
"Government does not solve problems, it subisidizes them."
"My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever.  The bombing begins in 5 minutes."
"You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans."**

"The winner of the Cold War???"  Modern right-wing revisionists credit his massive defense spending and caving in to the "Military Industrial Complex" his Republican predecessor, President/General Dwight D. Eisenhower, warned us about, and purchasing every ludicrous weapon system ever contrived, enriching Defense Contractor CEO's and totally absurd and ultimately discredited concepts like "Star Wars"(he actually did spend too much time in his life influenced by Hollywood trash, imagining Earth to be the "Starship Enterprise" and himself patterned after Captain Kirk rather than the "founding fathers").  The Soviets were so bogged down by trying to keep up with the Reagan arms race that they had to step down.  What an absurd and comical notion.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn.  Andrei Sakharov.  Lech Walesa.  Leonid Brezhnev.  Pope John Paul II.  Mikhail Gorbachev.  And yes, even good 'ol Boris Yeltsin.  These are the names that any sound historian associates with the fall of the Soviet Union and it's beleagered Warsaw Pact.  Not the man who co-starred with monkeys in low-budget Hollywood comedies.
All Reagan's unilateral and historically unprecedented nuclear and convential arms race with no one in particular accomplished was to create the massive, record breaking deficit that required Bill Clinton and his Democratic team 8 years to restore to surplus(which George W. turned back into deficit the very next year).
"The Conservative's Conservative Who Put Government In It's Place?"  Reagan was the "Conservative" who grew government and created deficits at a rate previously unheard of!  He gave Boeing, General Dynamics, and Sikorsky Executives huge contracts, bonuses and salaries, and decided to cut corners on hot school lunches for our nation's children by categorizing ketchup as a vegetable so we wouldn't have to give them green beans or spinach.  Those darned evil "entitled" kindergartners!
The Democratic Party has rightly taken up the mantle of the only truly great American Republican President and arguably the greatest American President and political leader of all time, Abraham Lincoln.  The Republican Party that the modern-day Republicans, the Tea "Party," and the Libertarians have divorced; and the principles of Lincoln's Republican Party for which the Democratic Party now stands; we should usurp and shout loudly and proudly about from every mountain, rooftop, soapbox or Congressional Well today!
Instead of "Tricky", or "Great Communicator", Abe had Nicknames like "Honest Abe" and "The Great Emancipater."
A self-educated attorney born into poverty, not a "B" actor as his resume qualifying him for high office.  Please compare the "communicator's" quotes with the "Emancipater's" quotes:
"The resources, advantages, and powers of the American people are very great, and they have, consequently succeeded to equally great responsibilities.  It seems to have devolved upon them to test whether a government established on the principles of human freedom can be maintained against an effort to build upon the exclusive foundation of human bondage."
or
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal!"

Five score and four years after this Great Emancipater uttered these words, another remarkable emancipater inspired by the courageous President Lincoln(who, like King, knew the personal risk of assassination was almost inevitable because of his bold commitment to justice), the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., chose the shadow of the monument in our nation's capital dedicated to Lincoln's life, legacy and inspiration, to reiterate Lincoln's words at Gettysburg by proclaiming in such a way that the entire world heard:
"I have a dream, today!  That one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it's creed:  That all men are created equal!" 
The absurd, almost existential, comedy that will be Beck's "I have a scheme" speech at the same location on the anniversary of that speech would actually be funny if his notions of racial hatred and class warfare didn't actually appeal to a pathetic minority of people who mostly reside within the very narrow confines of the tent that is the so-called Tea Party(the likes of whom threatened and took violence to members of congress following the health care vote-remember?).
And while Reagan only complicated and made much more difficult the efforts of great statesmen, labor leaders, religious icons and political dissidents to bring about an end to the tyrrany in Moscow and end the Cold War instead of setting it ablaze with more, bigger and more expensive killing machines and people; Abraham Lincoln motivated the populace, gave the Abolition of slavery as it's central goal, in addition to preserving the Union and the Constitution, and rode herd over the military to unilaterally effect victory in America's deadliest war--the Civil War.
And then following the successful conclusion of the war, Lincoln as a leader, once again rallied the American people to forgive the secessionist leaders, and invested federal cash to launch an economic revival--particularly geared for the devastated South!  Clemency, mercy, reconciliation, pardon and reconstruction was his primary goal in the short time he served following victory before being killed by a glory-seeking former secessionist.
The modern day Republican Party under the "leadership" of Chairman Michael Steele and the likes of Sharrron Angle, Palin, Boehner, Gingrige, Romney, and the Pauls(Rand and Ron) and Huckabees of this world have clearly abandoned the roots of the party renamed and reinvented by Honest Abraham Lincoln.  We Democrats should loudly and proudly give them Reagan and Proclaim our inheritance of The Great Emancipater's legacy. 
WE HAVE A GREAT MESSAGE TO TAKE INTO THIS NOVEMBER AT THE BALLOT BOX!  WE NEED NOT BE ASHAMED AT ALL!  OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS SINCE JANUARY 20TH, 2008 ARE AMAZING UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA'S LEADERSHIP.  LET'S WAKE UP AND BE UNABASHED ABOUT OUR PRINCIPLES, PROUD OF OUR INHERITANCE AND BE NOT ASHAMED TO STAND UP PUBLICLY FOR THE DISADVANTAGED, THE POOR, THE DEPRIVED--AS WELL AS FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS!!!  LET'S STOP TALKING ABOUT HOW MANY SEATS WE'RE GOING TO LOSE.  LET'S START TALKING ABOUT HOW MANY SEATS WE'LL PICK UP AND WHETHER WE CAN INCREASE OUR MAJORITIES HUGELY!!!  WHY TALK DEFEATISM, WHY NOT TALK VICTORY!!!  THE GENERAL ELECTION IS HERE.  LET'S GET TO WORK AND WIN, AND WIN HUGE!!!  WE CAN DO THIS, AND UNABASHEDLY IS THE ONLY WAY!  :)  PEACE, AND I'LL SEE YOU ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL....

*As an aside, let's think momentarily of the legacy of the currently living Republican ex-Vice Presidents. Dan Quayle. "Dick" Cheney(those Republican "Dicks" in the White House get us every time, don't they!)..  I'll take Fritz Mondale and Al Gore any day!

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