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Monday, June 07, 2004

I THOUGHT RONALD REAGAN WAS ALREADY DEAD! 

MAYBE I WAS CONFUSING HIM WITH JOHN AGAR ...

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging. There has been so much to write about, so many odd stories, underreported skullduggery by the Bush people, more atrocities in Iraq and the world at large. But I haven't had time! I am working at California State University, Northridge, in the San Fernando Valley, as a teaching assistant (for two classes) and working on a project about slavery. I enjoy my educational duties and I get paid for them. And I have to get through the summer while I finish my master's thesis.

But I couldn't let Ronald Reagan's death pass by without some comment. I'm not mourning his passing. Death comes to us all and many people who are much more deserving of tribute have died largely uncelebrated. Reagan is an icon to conservatives who lionize him far beyond his actual achievements. I have avoided watching the news because I can imagine that it is a nauseating sight to view all the Republican leaders falling all over themselves to see who can praise him the most and use his death to further their agendas in Iraq and in their decimation of the middle class.

I'm not rejoicing either. Reagan spent the last years of his life in an eternal fog, suffering from Alzheimer's. A tragic way to go. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, no matter how awful they might be. And Reagan, who I used to think was a particularly bad president, don't look too bad after three years of George W. Bush. Reagan was a puppet for the same people who pull George W. Bush's strings. But at least he wasn't an idiotic puppet.

To vilify Reagan would be misguided. Our anger should be aimed at the real culprits, the people who control the corporations and the mainstream media as they subtly shape our thoughts until we believe that day is night and night is day. And anyone who tries to say, No, day is day, and night is night, that person is a TRAITOR! And the terrorists have won!

So, Reagan was just a man, a man who was a particularly effective tool for the Republican Party. Unworthy of our praise, unworthy of our scorn.

But if I knew one of the Marines who was killed in Lebanon, or if I was Nicaraguan and my children had been killed by the contras, or if I was from El Salvador and my wife had been raped and killed by a government death squad, or if my mother or father had been killed in the Challenger explosion ...

I might feel differently.

Good night, Dutch. May your reward in the afterlife be gentler than any of us deserve.

Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911 - 2004)

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