Sunday, June 06, 2004

Ronald Reagan is dead...

Last night I was enjoying a great day off from our rigorous training calendar when I saw the newscast that told of President Reagan's passing. Immediately I was bothered by it, and I wasn't sure why. Of course I think that any person's passing should be observed with respect, it seemed like I felt his death on a personal level. Of course, I am a registered Democrat, and an ideological and political moderate. I did like Reagan's stance on the military, though.

After I thought about it, I realized that I literally grew up with Ronald Reagan in the White house. I vaguely remember some of my father's complaint's about Jimmy Carter. I also vaguely remember the remarks that people used to make about him being a "peanut farmer." But, I became more aware of the world around me, and world events when Reagan was in office. He is the first President that I can remember observing. I can remember being in 3rd or 4th grade when he was shot. I remember him sending troops into Grenada, I remember Iran-Contra and Oliver North. I remember him bombing Khadafy into the stone age. (That guy has been quiet for a looooong time hasn't he?"

So in effect, Reagan was in the White House when I first began to grasp the concept that things that happened in all of these far off places still had an effect on us here. Reagan was called the "Great Communicator", and indeed he was. Many people hated his trickle-down theory, and the purported "Reaganomics". Nobody thought that Reagan was very concerned about civil rights, but I don't think that he was an enemy of minorities. I think he had a particular view that stated that the federal government could not do anything for the underpriveleged, only individual states could. Therefore he would not entertain federal intervention into social programs.

In short, Ronald Reagan is gone, and I am very sad. Although he has been out of the public eye for a great while, hearing of his passing serves as a painful reminder of his slow battle with Alzheimers. Rest in peace, President Reagan.

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