Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
Myths can be harmful. And perhaps the most damaging myth in modern American history is this: Ronald Reagan was a great president.
The Reagan myth machine has been in high gear as we recently passed the centennial of the 40th president's birth. If you already are sick of hearing about Reagan, brace yourself because the real hosannas haven't even begun yet. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation will host official birthday celebrations and tours in Simi Valley, California on March 9, April 20, and May 19.
Reagan came to power largely on the strength of a question he asked of Americans, to great effect, during a debate with Jimmy Carter: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" (See video below.)
Perhaps it's time for Americans to ask this question: "Are we better off than we were 30 years ago, when Reagan took office?" The answer is a resounding no. And that question is particularly powerful when you consider that two of "The Gipper's" successors--George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush--practiced what might charitably be called "refried Reaganism."
In essence, America has been ruled by Reagan's ideas for 20 of the past 30 years--and even Democrats in the White House during that time have moved way to the right of genuine progressive ideas. Where has it gotten us? On a road to destruction, says veteran journalist Robert Parry, who broke many of the stories about the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s.
Numerous reports have been issued in recent months about negative U.S. trends that started roughly around 1980. That's not an accident, Parry says, because that's the year Reagan took office. Parry makes his case in a recent article at Consortium News titled "Ronald Reagan's 30-Year Time Bombs." Writes Parry: