It was the worst of times, but they made it seem like the best. Ron and Nancy Reagan are being remembered on the event of Nancy’s passing, and it seems fitting to remember the presidency that Republicans practically worship to this day.
The most telling image of that election was the sight of old people helping each other into voting precincts. They came out of the woodwork to vote for Ronald Reagan. They had had enough of liberal jive bullshit, and were intent on taking this country to the right. Boy, did they ever.
When he stood on the steps of the capitol and told America that it was ‘morning in
America’, Ronald Reagan represented to many a victory over the forces of liberalism that had infested a bloated Washington with disco, and drugs, and out-of-wedlock babies. The dark night of liberalism was over. The Carter malaise was done. Ron and Nancy were in charge.
And it was truly a tag-team. Nancy protecting Ron from memos that were too long, aides in need of face-time, and people she deemed unworthy. Ron took on big government. Nancy ruled the White House with an iron fist. A team of non-rivals. It can be said that Ron slept with his Chief of Staff. She ran what he didn’t.
They did astounding things. Ron built a 600 ship navy, and then he dismantled it. He stared down just about everyone, in Hollywood cowboy fashion. Nancy started a war on drugs that we are only now just beginning to realize was a catastrophic mistake. Ron went after welfare queens, the scourge of democracy. He ignored the AIDS epidemic, sadly. He ended the cold war. Well, in truth, the other side went broke before we did.
Ron’s best minds talked about a new morning in economics, where the rich paid less taxes, so money would trickle down to the poor. Then Ron raised taxes, and for some strange reason the economy rebounded. No worries, pretty much everyone who was rich made a lot more money. Not much trickled down to the poor, but these things take time. Forty years, so far.
There was glitz and glamour, as Washington and Hollywood, two of most narcissistic sectors of America, came together in one star-studded presidency. Ball-gowns were never like this. The parties were the stuff of dreams. The rich and famous were living large. And Ron and Nancy were to thank for it.
Ron and Nancy would hardly recognize the party of Reagan today. Ted Cruz? Ron would not believe it. Gridlock? The Reagan’s were never those kind of people. Say what you want about them, Ronald and Nancy knew how to lead. Ron did not need partisan rancor; he had star-power. How he would govern in these divisive times is anyone’s guess, but surely he would not be the kind of president that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz make themselves out to be.