Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Random Reagan thoughts

Hi-De-Ho Rene!

I'm back to blogging now that the wedding and reception are recent history. Thanks for flying to Middle America for the festivities.

Since Saturday, I've talked to a bunch of people of all political stripes and backgrounds about their reactions to Ronald Reagan's death. More precisely, we've talked about his life and his legacy, and while some may dispute what's positive and what's negative, few disagree with the assessment of him as a giant of the 20th Century.

The blogosphere is also full of personal reactions, but I thought maybe we could just do some free-association reminiscing about the Reagan years. I'm too young to have voted in 1980 or 1984, except in classroom mock elections, so remember that as you read the following:

1. "There you go again..."
2. Airplanes DIDN'T collide midair, despite Reagan's tough stance with the air traffic controllers.
3. When Reagan was shot, I remember sitting on a tree stump in our yard and worrying about whether there would be a war (having just learned about the assasination of Archduke Ferdinand and the begining of World War I).
4. I remember Dan Rather reporting that Jim Brady had died, tearing up, then reading the White House statement correcting that rumor.
5. "Morning in America" -- a great ad because it captured the turnaround from 1980 to 1984
6. In high school, my English teacher (a favorite) ranted about how Reagan was a dangerous loon because of the famous "We begin bombing in 5 minutes" mic check.
7. "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
8. The first space shuttle launch was exciting -- we watched it live on TV. Five years later, a kid in my class who was not known as a reliable source told everybody in Band that the Challenger had exploded, and all the astronauts were dead. We didn't believe him. Later, we had to: "We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."
9. I got my first taste of liberal superiority in a college current events class I took the summer before my senior year in high school. Two grad students argued that the only reason Reagan was so popular was that uneducated people supported him. Earned my A in the class by interjecting that college graduates had been more likely to vote for Reagan.
10. Reagan's speech at the 1992 GOP convention reminded everybody of what were missing.



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