There are numerous issues and hypocrisies abound in the current field of Republican candidates vying for the parties nomination. No matter which side you find yourself aligned with one thing is certain – they weave a tangled web.
On one hand these candidates seem to want to align themselves with Ronald Reagan, they seem to want to tout his presidency as some golden age for the country.
There are plenty of things that Reagan did that were good and plenty that left this country worse off than ever and I can’t quite piece together which policies they are looking for a return to.
Is it the fiscally sound Reagan who raided the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for the safety net that this country would need due to his economic bust of his policies? His war on Unions and the middle class? His complete lack of leadership in dealing with the AIDS and HIV crisis? It took him 7 years into his presidency to gather the strength to even say the term AIDS, it is possible with adequate leadership the tide in which the disease spread may have been altered somewhat. Education and research could have leaped forward with actual leadership and policy in place.
With regard to unemployment, the rate leaped from 7.5% to 11% under Reagan and while the number did slowly drop on Reagan’s watch later, he also raised taxes on the middle class and cut them for the wealthy. Jobs were shipped overseas at a much higher rate and, yes, jobs were created but low wage jobs, the middle class and lower class saw no increase in salaries. The highest earners saw an increase.
Perhaps Reagan’s funding of terrorists that eventually led to the attacks on 9/11? Al-Qaeda and the Taliban both reaped billions and billions of U.S. money for training and weapons during the Reagan years.
Under Reagan the CIA trained the mujahideen in the very tactics Al Qaeda is using today including car bombs, assassinations etc.
In addition, the so-called fiscally responsible party under Ronald Reagan inherited a national debt that was $900 billion, by the time he left the national debt had tripled to $2.8 trillion.
The things that the present GOP seem to have omitted from their idolization an adulation of Reagan are his views on climate change. Ronald Reagan believed scientists, trusted their account of our mark on the climate and acted on it. He proposed and signed several bills into law – bills that designated more than 10 million acres of wilderness, the highest level of protection available, that pushed to phase out ozone-layer-depleting, climate change-promoting chlorofluorocarbons (the Montreal Protocol).
Some Republicans also seem to forget that Reagan also gave nearly 3 million undocumented workers amnesty, which is in direct contrast to the current GOP and their wall-building, hate rhetoric touting candidates.
I’m not quite clear on which of these things the current Republican Party is choosing to embrace in regard to the late former president but perhaps they need a history lesson.