“”Impressive facade, but mediocre presidency behind.
If you want to know why the United States has become an international laughingstock in recent years, here's a pretty good place to start.
 Acting career
His most famous roles include violating the "never play across from an animal" dictum in Bedtime for Bonzo, acting in Army promotional films during World War II, his part as "The Gipper" in some dumb football movie, and playing President of the United States for eight years in the 1980s.
He also played the President of the Screen Actor's Guild, and did a stint appearing as the Governor of the state of California (but who hasn't?). Oddly enough, despite being SAG president, he was a zealous union buster, who de-fanged American organized labour, cast them as lazy pinko thugs and sent them into a downward spiral that continues to this day, tearing apart wages as it went. Apparently, the noble and hard working actor needs a union, whereas the miner, factory worker and air traffic controller do not.
 War hero?
 Assassination attempt
In 1981, John Hinckley shot Reagan in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to impress Jodie Foster and Hinckley has spent his time since then in the booby hatch. Foster has not visited him.
 A sterling record of fiscal conservatism
When it came to government spending, Reagan held the record for most spending by a conservative until everyone's favourite chimpanzee came along. He ran up the debt to a height unseen since World War II, blowing an especially large load of dough on the SDI program. Reagan also founded the Church of Tax Cuts by accident. In the early '80s, he implemented his trickle-down scheme with a massive tax cut, much of which went to those poor ol' rich folk. However, he raised taxes later in his administration a number of times. The current Republican Party has erased that last part from memory...as well as all those record deficits.banking crisis. Following deregulation of the S&Ls earlier in the decade, new S&Ls popped up like crazy and created a mini-housing bubble. In 1987, Reagan replaced the retiring Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, one of the more sane and level-headed chairs in Fed history, with Alan Greenspan, now remembered as one of the biggest airheads in Fed history.
Greenspan promptly swooped in to save failing thrifts with easy money in conjunction with Reagan's big bailout after a wave of S&L failures. This managed to prop up enough zombie institutions to create a ticking time bomb that Reagan pawned off on George H. W. Bush. The S&L industry exploded again under Bush after an oil shock and market crash. Ultimately, the S&L scandals led to over 1,000 indictments by the time it all blew over. Economist JK Galbraith said of it:
“”In its shortest form, the scandal has been the extensive looting of the savings and loan associations, the looting being effectively that of government-supplied money. The total take is not yet known; it will certainly be upward of $200 billion, maybe much more, or several thousand dollars for every tax-paying American family. The golden misadventures of General and President Ulysses S. Grant and the greatly celebrated Teapot Dome peculations of Harry F. Sinclair and Albert B. Fall, duly adjusted for changing currency values, are microscopic in comparison.
 Foreign policy switcheroo
In reality, despite his "evil empire" rhetoric and attempts to heat up a new arms race, Reagan actually worked closely with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...which Republicans at the time blasted him for. We don't negotiate with
terr'ists commies. The Soviet Union was already collapsing[wp] under its own weight and the death of Leonid Brezhnev opened up the way for reform after transitional leaders like Andropov and Chernenko were dumped. Gorbachev was something of a Hail Mary attempt to keep the USSR together who started a new era of reform through glasnost and perestroika. Reagan managed to find himself in the right place at the right time and take advantage of this situation. One speech about a wall and voila, instant hero of the galaxy.
There was also the whole Lebanon debacle, which Republicans accused him of cutting-and-running from.
 Other tomfoolery
With 138 officials implicated, the Reagan administration was one of the most scandal-filled in history. The stuff that never stuck to Teflon Ron include:
- Rigging HUD loans, for which 16 members of the White House and the Department of Housing and Urban Development were convicted.
- St. Ronnie's Chief of Staff and Press Secretary were fined and probated for illegal lobbying activities.
- "Sewergate," which funneled EPA money into Republican campaigns. Twenty EPA higher-ups were removed from office.
- Inslaw Affair in which the Department of Justice was accused of pirating software. Never investigated.
- Playing pals with Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the militaries in El Salvador and Guatemala.
Reagan was a particular favourite trope of celebrated futurist author J.G. Ballard. A chapter in his 1969 modernist novel The Atrocity Exhibition was entitled Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan, and saw Ballard successfully prosecuted for obscenity in a UK court. The chapter was written as a kind bizarre public relations study from some crackpot think tank, and Ballard once had copies of it distributed to delegates at a Republican conference, who did not seem to realise it was a piece of satire.
 Guilt and shame
Reagan arguably indirectly caused the deaths of tens of thousands of American citizens, and tens — if not hundreds — of millions of people worldwide, by vehemently ignoring the growth of a new epidemic that occurred during his time in office: AIDS. He also saw it perfectly acceptable to support bloodthirsty, murdering dictators, so long as they were fighting against those evil commies. He authorized billions in cash and weapons to a fellow named bin Laden, all to further his childish vendetta against the Soviets.
Murder — it has many faces, and is most ugly when its face is power.
 Ascent to God's side
Upon his death, a weeklong period of worldwide mourning occurred. All non-essential activities were curtailed so The People could weep for their fallen idol. In addition, any taxes due on income earned (or unearned) during that period were waived. The processions as his open casket was brought around the countryside would often stretch for tens of miles as well-wishers offered St. Reagan one final "Godspeed."
He was canonized upon the instant of his death, by popular acclamation.
Many conservatives have a massive hard on for Reagan and his policies. Since Reagan was the neoconservative savior, anything he did was infallible, and his supporters sought to mimic his every move (a similar attitude these people have towards this guy). As a result every high-ranking Republican politician will always claim that they are Reagan's successor, and plead that he would either endorse or support their positions.
There's only one minor flaw with this strategy: Reagan won the presidency 30 years ago. Although he would agree with some issues that modern conservatives have taken a stance on (e.g. abortion or gay rights), the fact remains that the world in 1980 was not the same as it is today (like the Soviet Union not existing). Nonetheless, this minor temporal detail has not stopped various Republicans from claiming the mantle of being the Second Coming of Reagan.
 Reagan and astrology
Reagan's wife Nancy was obsessed with astrology, and this brand of woo played a large role in the Reagan White House, even affecting the scheduling of the Reykjavik summit between Reagan and Gorbachev. Strangely enough, this doesn't seem to have affected his support from the fundie base one jot or tittle.
 Reagan's policies today
Hilariously, if Ronald Reagan were to run today he would probably be considered a RINO given his willingness to raise the capital gains tax to 28%, pull out of Lebanon rather than 'stay the course', and engage in negotiations with the Soviets. He also supported, of all things, limited gun control.
"Facts are stupid things."
"All great change in America begins at the dinner table."
"You can tell a lot about a fella's character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful." -- explaining why he liked to have a jar of jelly beans on hand for important meetings
"My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
"Don't be afraid to see what you see."
"What would this country be without this great land of ours?"
"You don't bury someone for five days...I thought that maybe they were burying him with spoons." -- Lewis Black on Reagan's funeral procession.
 See also
- C. Everett Koop
- The Iron
- Tricky Dick, who inadvertently ensured the bastard got to power with the Southern strategy.
- Plausible deniability
- Trees cause pollution
- ↑ http://ronald-reagan.urbanup.com/3252049
- ↑ http://www.salon.com/2010/05/20/bushreagan/
- ↑ In fairness, false memories are not uncommon...
- ↑ Graph source: Government Printing Office numbers
- ↑ The Ultimate Scandal, JK Galbraith
- ↑ Reagan sleepy...
- ↑ See the Wikipedia article on Reagan administration scandals.
- ↑ Reagan dramatically increased military aid to El Salvador as the country's regular security forces and officially sanctioned government death squads killed thousands annually. Reagan also circumvented a 1977 arms embargo to send material support to the government in Guatemala, which was committing atrocities similar to those in neighboring El Salvador. Famously immortalized in a U2 song.
- ↑ Tax Ronald Reagan!
- ↑ For another good example of crap like this (pay careful attention to Mitt Romney).
- ↑ Barrett Seaman, Good Heavens!, Time, May 16, 1988.
- ↑ His own words