The Therapy Sessions
Monday, June 14, 2004
The Reagan I never knew
From reading the editorials of liberal columnists over the last few days, it seems that the Reagan I remember has disappeared.
It's funny, but I remember the Reagan who built the MX missile, the B1 bomber, the stealth fighter, the Abrams tank, the Bradley fighting vehicle, new aircraft carriers and submarines. I remember $350 billion defense budgets and 500 ship navies. I remember Reagan trying to build Star Wars, putting intermediate nuclear missiles in Europe (over massive protests), and preparing US missiles to survive a Soviet first strike (aka "Densepack").
In my memory, Reagan rejected "no first strike" pledges and the nuclear freeze. He mined the harbors of Nicaragua, supported the Contras and the Afghan mujaheddin, and ignored the World Court and all the "human rights" groups. I remember the Reagan who broke off negiotiations rather than give ground. I remember a man who wouldn't trust anything the Soviets did unless it could be independantly verified. I remember a man who was characterized as a raving lunatic, a narcoleptic dullard with a silver tongue, and a dangerous, unilateral militarist.
All at the same time.
Liberal columnists have discovered a Reagan I don't recall. He worked with our allies, strengthened international institutions, bowed to the UN, and worked alongside Gorbachev to end the Cold War.
Funny, these things you learn.