The Free State
"Man, in a word, has no nature. What he has is - history."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A letter to Newsweek (Gipper)

This is a response to the Feb 8 article "The Gipper Lives On":

It is wrong to suggest that McCain’s poor relations with hardcore conservatives like Limbaugh and Coulter has anything to do with the Reagan legacy. There was a great deal of talk of this year about how Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory has been simplified. The same can be said of Ronald Reagan who, despite appearances, was a complex figure. The Cold Warrior who sponsored civil wars in Nicaragua and Angola was also the peacemaker who dreamed of a world without nuclear weapons (including American). Reagan’s simultaneous tax cuts and massive defense budget put him alongside Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush as one of the biggest deficit spenders (so much for 'fiscal conservatism'). A major policy issue on which Reagan and McCain agree is one which self-proclaimed conservatives revile the most: both supported a legal path to citizenship for illegal immigrants (in Reagan’s time it was unashamedly called “amnesty”). The thoughtless references to some sort of non-existent “Reagan consensus” prevents Republicans from deciding who they really are. It has made the movement pathetically schizophrenic: simultaneously a party of isolationists and crusaders, of fiscal conservatives and big spenders, of principled libertarians and xenophobic and homophobic social conservatives.


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