No, I am not just being contrary…

So, today is apparently Ronald Wilson Reagan’s 102nd birthday, and all over the Facebook are posts and memes dumping on the guy.  Best as I can figure for no better reason than the posters of said junk are Democrats and Reagan was a Republican.

See, I didn’t care for Reagan when he was President (or Governor of California), but the kind of knee jerk bashing of his record going on here is sort of simple-minded and pathetic.  For one thing, compared to the current crop of Republican politicians in Washington, Reagan was decidedly moderate.  I dare say if we had more Republicans like Ronnie in D.C. (and in the state houses) we’d have a much more functional government than we have today.

The other thing about Ronald Reagan is that he wasn’t a failed President in the way George W. Bush was, or even an exercise in mediocrity like his successor, Bush the Elder, was.  Reagan’s tenure in the White House had its share of low points, but he didn’t preside over an economic slump like Bush I did, nor did his administration seem to take all of its domestic policy cues from the US Chamber of Commerce or its foreign policy cues from talk radio like Bush the Younger did.

But one thing that every American, and perhaps every citizen of the world, ought to thank Ronald Reagan for, and should be remembered as the greatest achievement of his Presidency was his relentless pursuit of genuine peace between the United States and the Soviet Union. Rather than follow the advice of his own Secretary of Defense and many members of his own party, Reagan chose to engage genuinely with Mikhail Gorbachev in serious negotiations that effectively brought the Cold War between the two countries to an end.

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