Some “local yokels” would make Ronnie roll over in his grave

I’m old enough to remember the tenure of Ronald Reagan.

My mom escorted him around her school at University High in Westwood when he was California’s governor. Later, when I was in journalism graduate school at Northwestern University in Washington D.C., I interviewed his Administration regularly for reports for the Rapid City, S.D., newspaper (a bigger circulation than The Union, no less). At CNET, Reagan’s son Ron Jr. was one of the network’s first television anchors. We chatted about family matters, including some very sensitive ones.

So it gripes me to read regular commentators on George Rebane’s/Russ Steele’s “troglodyte” blogs in our little county, such as “Mikey McD” (not an “avatar”- at least I think so – for a politically like-minded guy whom I used to know nicknamed Mikey), suggest that he somehow knew Reagan.

“The question is will we have a Bush Republican party or a Reagan Republican party… I am a Libertarian,” Mikey writes on Russ’ blog. Please. When did you hear George, Russ or Mikey bashing Bush during his presidency?

What Mikey forgot was that Reagan was the “great communicator” who over the term of his administration could unite, not divide, even if you disagreed with him. I have yet to hear that approach from the “in your face” conservatives in this extreme right-wing camp.

People are misinterpreting history to revive the local Republican party, which is in decline. Good luck with the revisionist history. Some people have longer memories than Mikey. We’re onto you.

Obama is a “great communicator” too and delivering some tangible results. So get over it and don’t be afraid to “cross over” once in a while. Scary, huh?

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About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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6 Responses to Some “local yokels” would make Ronnie roll over in his grave

  1. Don Pelton says:

    My most vivid memory of Reagan is that while driving to my polling place after work in Palo Alto to vote against him, I heard on the car radio that he had been declared a winner of California’s electoral vote.

    I notice that since then, his administration is used to mark the beginning of America’s economic decline in a number of ways .. . he launched the war on unions and on the middle class (leading to the excessive inequality we see today), he stopped enforcing anti-trust laws (leading to our many “too big to fail banks”), etc, etc.

    In short, his was the most disastrous administration in U.S. history, until Bush out-Reaganed him.

    The myth of his greatness has grown so absurd that there is actually an organization that wants to erect a monument to him in every county in the United States!

    The Great Uniter? Not really. Unless the millions of us wage-earners don’t count.

  2. Steve Frisch says:

    Reading and commenting on Georges blog recently I have become convinced that they all believe Ron would have supported succession.

    Of course Don is right. History will show that the great decline began in the Reagan administration, and we are still struggling to reverse it.

  3. Chris Howard says:

    You are implying that Jimmy Carter was successful . . . 20 percent interest rates, high unemployment, etc. So much hope, so little results.

    Each of our former presidents have had their strengths and weaknesses. No one rises to greatness; no one.

  4. Pat Wynne says:

    Another anti-Reagan voice: from his 2 terms in California as Governor when all the mental institutions were closed and the sick people put on the street, creating the mass of the homeless population (community treatment centers supposed to care for them but didn’t happen) to his Presidency when among other serious errors the energy policies put in place under Carter, which might have averted coming hard years of adjustment while we try to switch from a fossil fuels dependent economy and develop alternate energy sources, were abandoned or reversed, absolutely the most incompetent, flawed leader in U S history, with the possible exception of the younger Bush.

  5. Peter Barry says:

    But what about the resounding success that was the Invasion of Grenada?

  6. Steve Enos says:

    Reagan was the President that almost completley shut down the American effort for alternative and clean energy.

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