Thursday, January 26, 2012
This video discusses Reagans presidency in a critical manner, suggesting that his presidency was the beggining of many of the United States current problems. Also addressed is whether Reagan deserves the praise he recieves on issues such as the cold war and economics: "a strong case can be made that the Cold War was won well before Reagan arrived in the White House. Indeed, in the 1970s, it was a common perception in the U.S. intelligence community that the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was winding down, in large part because the Soviet economic model had failed in the technological race with the West." Current political and military issues such as the war in Iraq are argued to be traced back to Reagan and his decisions during his time in office.
The video was a response to an article published by journalist Robert Parry about Reagan as 'the worst president ever' here. He takes the same tact in the video as he has in the article: "there’s a growing realization that the starting point for many of the catastrophes confronting the United States today can be traced to Reagan’s presidency. There’s also a grudging reassessment that the
“failed” presidents of the 1970s – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter – may deserve more credit for trying to grapple with the problems that now beset the country. Nixon, Ford and Carter won scant praise for addressing the systemic challenges of America’s oil dependence, environmental degradation, the arms race, and nuclear proliferation – all issues that Reagan
essentially ignored and that now threaten America’s future."
I think the argument is slightly extreme in its linkings, but I would not entirely dismiss the view that Reagan, like many other presidents, ignored issues that have led to current political, economic and social problems. The policies and stratergies that Reagan implimented I do agree had an effect on the current situation, more so than possibly than the issues it as argued he ignored. "To marginalize dissent, Reagan and his subordinates stoked anger toward anyone who challenged the era’s feel-good optimism. Skeptics were not just honorable critics, they were un-American defeatists or – in Jeane Kirkpatrick’s memorable attack line – they would “blame America first.”" I think that sentiment was brought back by George W Bush, most noteably in his ''you're with us or with the terrorists' speech. I think that much of the new criticism and hatred directed at Reagan stems from the fact that his presidency caused substantial changes and because people are currently looking for answers about Americas 'decline'. Under Reagan... there were attack groups that went after mainstream journalists who dared disclose information that poked holes in Reagan’s propaganda themes. In effect, Reagan’s team created a faux reality for the American public."