Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 8 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/5/10

Ronald Reagan-An American Myth

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   7 comments
Message Marvin Rosenfeld

On Sunday, March 21, 2010, President Obama signed historic health-care legislation ending a 100-year effort, started by Teddy Roosevelt, to bring some sort of universal health care to The United States. The effort, through the years, was bipartisan, consisting of desires by both Republican and Democratic presidents.

The momentous achievement was met by some of our citizens with anger, which promoted violent attacks against Congressmen and women who voted for the bill. Office windows have been broken, a gas line to a home was severed and both telephone and e-mail death threats are frightening.

Why are these people so angry? Is it the prospect of 30 million more people receiving health-care insurance, or do they want insurance companies to continue rejecting people with pre-conditions? I don't think any of these reasons are in play, and I believe it is the culmination of a movement and a state of mind that has grown in this country since Ronald Reagan uttered his famous words, "Government is not the solution, government is the problem."

The Republicans opposed to the bill adopted the slogan, "A government takeover of health care." They didn't have to explain anything. Those words were enough. Your mean spirited, unscrupulous, inefficient government is so ingrained that no explanation was necessary.

Why in the world did these people run for office in the government that they loathe?

Recently, I began to hear about the extensive plans in the works to celebrate the 100th birthday of our country's second worst president. Needless to say, Reagan held the undisputed title until the arrival of George W. Bush. We need a truth revelation before we are drowned in praise of the man who started this country on this path to government mistrust, criminal deregulation, greed and an uncharitable view of our needy. Does that sound like 2010? If so, you can thank "the great communicator."

Starting during Teddy Roosevelt's administration there was a movement in this country to bring about social justice and a progressive era. The objective was to apply strong government regulation to business on behalf of labor and farmers and to provide them with security, opportunity and social benefits.

The government's role in the lives of the common citizens of The United States increased dramatically for the first 64 years of the 20th century. Roosevelt's New Deal, Truman's Fair Deal and Kennedy's New Frontier were milestones on the road to progressivism.

Perhaps the most progressive president of that time was Lyndon Johnson. His contribution has been muted by the debacle of the Vietnam War. However, he should also be remembered for his efforts on behalf of all Americans. His Great Society had the most impact on the progressive movement in the century. Medicare and Medicaid; the Voting Rights Act; immigration laws; pollution control and other social legislation awoke the sleeping Conservative giants.

It seemed as if, with the exception of universal health care, everything was accomplished. We were at the top of the mountain and the only road left was down. It is often said that Reagan started his political career as a New Deal, liberal Democrat. He may have, but it did not take much to change his stripes. As President of The Actors Guild he developed suspicions that Communists were among the Hollywood moguls and the Guild itself. It seems strange that he drew this conclusion when both groups consisted of people who had benefited greatly from a capitalist society. And then he became spokesperson for GE and convinced himself that the conservative approach of his employer was something to be admired and adopted.

In 1964, while Goldwater demonstrated his angry, mean-spirited attitude, Reagan made a supportive speech that demonstrated the ingratiating style that we would come to know in the years ahead. It was little noted during the Goldwater disaster except for a group of Californians who were plotting the emergence of a new conservatism dedicated to privatizing the government as much as possible and concentrating wealth in the hands of the privileged few.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 2   News 1   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Marvin Rosenfeld Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Publisher of a medical journal entitled Practical Pain Management. previously headed a company that I created publishing six alternative medicine product magazines.
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Ronald Reagan-An American Myth

Knickers and Wigs

Don't Celebrate This Birthday

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend