Reagan over-rated?

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Reagan over-rated?
By Ocliberal (Ocliberal) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 11:29 pm: Edit

Anyone think, yeah, that's sad, poor old guy died, but he was 93 and look what a mess he made of things! Giant debt (although not like today!!!), huge increase in homeless and underemployment, cut out services for the mentally ill, let them out of hospitals to wander the streets, Iran Contra, deals with dictators, anything else?

By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 11:42 pm: Edit

"cut out services for the mentally ill, let them out of hospitals to wander the streets"

I think Arnold Schwarzeneggar (spelling?) is having that same problem in California. Apparently there are crazy homeless people in SF that follow you around.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 01:26 am: Edit

No, reagan was not overrated. He is one of the best presidents in history.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 07:42 am: Edit

Yes. So were Kennedy, FDR.

Under-rated: Nixon, Ike.

By Flquaker (Flquaker) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 10:51 pm: Edit

NO! ROnald Reagan gave america the most important gift he could-- our self respect again- after years of beng told america is wrong and doubting the system and wondering if our great nation was spialing into permenent decline he restored our greatests hope and optimism. also he was the best speaker te oval office has ever known and as a student of debate i take great notice of that.

By Neo (Neo) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 10:55 pm: Edit

Didn't he tell public schools ketchup could be served as a vegetable?

By Jblackboy05 (Jblackboy05) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 11:31 pm: Edit

Regan is soooooo overated
Come on he cut social welfare spending with his reganomics, destroyed Jimmy Carters, LBJs, and JFKs social programs, used that money plus defecit spending for stupid defense programs like star wars or used it to fight ("communism"---yeah right communism my ass, it's called development and keeping every developing country in check with u.s for economic gains) in latin america along with making deals with Iran to fight iraq and using money from selling arms to Iran to aid contras to fight "communist" sandanistas. aka Iran-contra...everybody was oooh he created good relations w/the U.S.S.R, but lets be truthful if it wasn't for JFK and Nixon's detente those relations maybe wouldent have come along for another decade.

By Jblackboy05 (Jblackboy05) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 11:32 pm: Edit

My bad, this is addressed to all Regan lovers

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 11:48 pm: Edit

Iran-Contra scandal will go down in history like Watergate -- it was actually worse, but he didn't get caught.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:16 am: Edit

Just because Reagan didn't focus on liberal social programs doesn't make him a bad president.

There is nothing objectively bad about what he did, it's like me saying pre-WWII FDR was a bad Pres because he only focused on social programs. There are times when one kind of policy is better.

People need to stop associating disagreement with being wrong.

The point is whether you agreed with the programs or not, Reagan fought for what he believed in against an opposition Congress, and got things done. He finished what "Truman, Ike, etc." started/continued and sped up the collapse of communism. He brought dignity back to the White House, despite Iran-Contra, which he "got out of" because he knew not to fall into the trap of Nixon and later Clinton.

He stuck to his Conservative policies and got things done. Just because he wasn't a liberal doesn't make him wrong, he fought for what he thought was right. Maybe you don't think it was what he should have focused on, but that doesn't make it wrong.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 02:09 pm: Edit

His administration broke the law man in its duties -- that has nothing to do with what I believe and is pretty straight forward.

Oh, and disagreement means thinking the other side is wrong so i don't get what you're trying to say. And I can call Reagan a bad president because of a shift to defense spending away from social spending. I am allowed to have that opinion. If I believe Reagan was wrong to focus on the crazy SDI system instead of the gradual shrink of the middle class then I can say that he was wrong.

By the way, Reagan did not end the Cold War -- he just happened to be president when it did end. In other circumstances it would've actually heated up during his presidency.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 02:53 pm: Edit

"His administration broke the law man in its duties -- that has nothing to do with what I believe and is pretty straight forward. "

So did FDR's economic policies..

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 04:04 pm: Edit

"I am allowed to have that opinion"

Sorry, game over "man." Anytime you use the "Well it's my opinion" to justify your claims you're done. Argument over, you lose.

But to further debunk you, Reagan ended the cold war in the same way FDR ended the Depression. He put in place policies to speed up it's end, but he also had outside help (FDR had WWII, Reagan had Gorby). The argument that he was just president when it happened is ridiculous, he obviously helped end the Cold War, or it wouldn't have ended. That's like saying Lincoln really didn't end the Civil War, he just happened to be Prez when it ended.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 05:11 pm: Edit

We can dispute whether Reagan ended the Cold War, etc. and I understand that you have different opinions. That's fine. But you said "People need to stop associating disagreement with being wrong," and I stated that these two are not different and I can hold the belief that Reagan was wrong for some of the things he did. I didn't say "Well it's my opinion" -- I just said that I am allowed to say he was wrong for some of the things he did while you said I was not for some reason. I would never use that as my argument as I know it's bogus and I am sorry if you misinterpreted what I said. If you want to get in an argument over this, that's fine, but we both know it's not going to go anywhere because we hold different views.

By Jaug1 (Jaug1) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 07:59 pm: Edit

Reagan is highly overrated. As Craigk says its a matter of opinion.

Reagan Myths:
-He ended the Cold War
Fact: He did almost nothing to end the Cold War. Russia was already suffering through an economic collapse and total implosion was inevitable. The policies of perestrokia and glasnoff that were employed in Russia were detracting from the social well-being and pumping money into an almost dead military. The country soon collapsed and has never recovered. Reagan did almost nothing to cause the end to the Cold War.

-Reagan helped the economy
Wrong. Plain wrong. Supply-Side economics did not work under Reagan and has not worked under both Bush Presidencies. The myth is that with lower taxes the government is spending less. In fact, the government was not spending less at all. The funds typically reserved for social programs set up by Carter, LBJ and JFK were secretly moved to the military budgets. With this move, the production of SDI (Satellite Defense Initiative, also known as "Star Wars." Failed miserably.), and missile to missile defense (only successful after about 10 years of research. Most of which came after Reagan was in office). Since that time, more than 67% of every US tax dollar paid goes to the military. A bit unbalanced I would say.

Reagan was a very nice man, very genuine and very true to his positions. But the Iran-Contra affair, his military spending and failure to do much to end the Cold War will mar his Presidency. While he did restore America's confidence in itself by being and appearing as a strong leader, he did not do much for the general good and that is what makes a good President.

By Takiusproteus (Takiusproteus) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:32 pm: Edit

Reagan could have put an end to nuclear arms. He and the Russians met and tried to work out a way to dismantle the weapons that could destroy the world. He didn't want to give up his ridiculous 'Star Wars' project - so the meeting failed. Star Wars got scrapped anyway. And now, formerly Soviet nuclear weapons are out there for terrorists to grab. And then there are those nuclear submarines that are rusting away because Russia is too poor to take care of them since the USSR fell apart.

Shortsighted, narrowminded, and simply overrated.
I don't care if he was 'a nice man'. He was popular, sure. So were guys like Andrew Jackson and Coolidge and others - they were popular, but did they accomplish anything significant for the progress of America? No.

Lincoln was an immensely unpopular President. Today, we practically worship him as one of the greatest leaders ever known.

Did Reagan "get things done"? I can't really say so.

By Justice (Justice) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 10:49 pm: Edit

Reagan was a primary catalyst for the end of the Cold War. I think Hunter said some good things in this thread. It is true that the impact of his "Berlin speeches" is vastly overrated (the media always thinks itself more important than it actually is in the hearts of politicians), but Reagan's tough defense escalation was the reason that Gorbachev realized that the USSR couldn't keep up. Keep in mind that the Cold War had just experienced a reapproachment in 1979 after the Afghan invasion and the end of the Cold War was by no means predicted or inevitable when Reagan took office. Please don't make stuff up. Look at articles written by prominent outlets, even in the midst of the Kremlin incident. Jaug1 your understanding of the effects of perestroika and glasnost are simplistic (wrong). Glasnost was widely supported and considered a good idea by all except the old guard. The reason that it contributed to instability is in the opening that it gave Soviet satellites to voice their cries of oppression. And perestroika did not pump money anywhere. It was an effort to free up the Soviet marketplace and allow for pragmatic capitalism similar to that in China.

Reagan did help the economy. He ushered in the new age of American small-business ownership and centered the focus on productivity, the normal Americans. He was tired of normal American values being traded in for the welfare of the poorest and most needy.

Leftists say--"omg guys, stop it with the nukes. They blow stuff up." Let me say that Breznev was an evil man who would not have hesitated to use nuclear weapons had he thought he had an insurmountable advantage. The public and the world (except for scientists) thought Star Wars was viable at the time. It was a crushing blow to Soviet morale. And you definitely can't blame Reagan for nuclear proliferation. Blame that on Bush. Either one.

By Justice (Justice) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 10:54 pm: Edit

And if presidents followed the law, then this country would still be the 13 colonies. Other acts in US history that didn't follow the "law:"

Lousiana Purchase
Jacksonian expansionism (which is a good thing for the U.S.)
Bank of US
Suspension of habeas corpus by Lincoln on citizens of Maryland during Civil War (which literally saved the Union)
FDR's New Deal (as mentioned before)

Law is simply the codification of the policies of the present. Therefore you can sometimes look at presidents breaking the "law" or not following the constitution as simply the evolution of legal thought.

By Justice (Justice) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:00 pm: Edit

If you wanna talk overrated let's talk about JFK, Jefferson, and LBJ. Welfare != godly. Let me ask many of you can make a good argument for the future of social security. It is basically stealing money from individuals because the government makes the assumption that the people are not responsible enough to save up for themselves. And SS is always the first thing to get raided (by Dems too) whenever there's a deficit. It is ridiculous--you are better off putting your money in a 1% bank than SS at this rate.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:08 pm: Edit

The Iran-Contra Scandal was a little different -- it was hidden from everyone (at least there was an attempt). Last time I checked FDR wasn't hiding the New Deal.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:09 pm: Edit

I'm not even saying it was Reagan's fault personally necessarily, but something definitely went down that shouldn't have, and I really hope that you all agree on that at least.

By Mominterrupted (Mominterrupted) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:32 pm: Edit

I'm 48 years old & I can tell you that all the hoopla over this man is making me ill. He didn't do much for this country that I can recall. Charming, yes. People who stab others in the back are often charming. Nice, no. He didn't like women, labor, or ANYONE different. Iran-Contra scandal, cutting aid off to the starving, sick Nicaraguans. Firing the airtraffic controllers. He can not take credit for ending the cold war. He CAN take credit for cutting off much needed benefits for disabled people, kicking the mentally ill out of hospitals, and making ketchup a vegetable in school lunch programs. Sleeping through every cabinet meeting. He also incidentally had the lowest public approval rating of the 10 presidents that went before him. Man of the people? Hardly. I think the people of this country have selective memory and a case of amnesia. Get out a history book. He "was" a man with convictions alright--mean ones. The only worse president that I can think of in modern times is the one we have now.

By Calkidd (Calkidd) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:45 pm: Edit

Hey Justice,

I was just wondering, about that Afghan conflict you mentioned in your post above: under which president did we arm and train Osama Bin Laden and many of his leutenants? Oh, and on that Iran thing, during that era, I recall that under Reagan's watch (and with his blessing) we armed some guy from some Mideastern nation in order to help him fight Iran. Do you remember who that guy was?

I also remember Reagan as someone who hated "welfare queens." I wonder if he was talking about the welfare queens who own the oil companies and corporate farms who receive massive subsidies (which weren't curtailed during his administration).

By Muppetcoat (Muppetcoat) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 12:20 am: Edit

My only real problem with Reagan is that since he died, he's being touted and credited with actions that were the exact OPPOSITE of what actually happened. People who spent years denouncing his administration are now talking about the good-ol-days of Reagan. So my problem isn't with Reagan, per se (though I do disagree with most of his positions), so much as it is with the fickle public.

(For example- let's name an airport after the guy who d*cked around the air traffic controllers. Very suave.)

By Gottagetout (Gottagetout) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 03:16 am: Edit

About the air traffic controllers:

Reagan handled this perfectly. Would you have rather had a strike and no one be able to fly? An air traffic controller strike would have affected a tremendous economic loss.

Reagan finally stood up to unions and said "no". Since then, the country has seen fewer and fewer strikes.

Would you allow a union to hold the country hostage? No. Should we give in to union demands automatically when threatened with strike? No.

Reagan had a backbone which many presidents sorely lack (Clinton, Nixon, etc.).

By Muppetcoat (Muppetcoat) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 11:39 am: Edit

No we shouldn't immediately give in to a union's demands, but they should at least be heard. Not allowing a union to strike merely because they're "essential" is a crock. People don't *need* to fly. Yes, it would have been an inconvenience, but not a necessity. I could argue that an organized grocery store strike in which all of the chains in an area band together should not be allowed because people need to eat.

(For the record, I go to school in Philly- I'm not ignorant to the negative aspects of unions, I just disagree with Reagan's decision in that particular area- and either way, naming an airport after him is a crock)

By Justice (Justice) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 11:18 pm: Edit

Good point calkidd. I'm not a 100% Reaganite; I do think he did many good things for this country.

Unions in certain sectors that affect the public need to find other to get their message across. Maybe people don't "need" to fly, but many businesses, families, etc. depend on it. I think it's unfair to the general American people to suffer the consequences of disputes between labor and administration, and Reagan felt the same way.

By Mac87 (Mac87) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 12:05 am: Edit

first i would like to say that i think Reagan was a great president, and also the Cold War did not end during Reagan's Presidency (Bush's) however he was one of the biggest catalyst it the collapse of the USSR, his defensive spending forced the USSR to try to do the say and collapsed their economy

however the majoritity of the people on this website are too young (as am I) to remember the Cold War, which is why you (and me) don't understand how important it's ending was (peacefully), the Cold War was the single most important issue from the end of WWII to the collapse of the USSR

and not just any President could have done it, often Reagan's personality helped persuade Gorby to support less aggressive policies

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