June 14, 2004
Enough with Reagan Already
OK, we've been doing this for more than a week now. We've had the big national funeral, and the guy's been laid to rest in California. Can we give it a rest, please?
Look, I'm kind of nostalgic over the guy too. He's the first president I remember being in office (I was about a week and a half old when Carter was elected, and had just turned four when Reagan was; I vaguely remember Reagan getting shot in 1981) so he always seems a little more larger-than-life than the men who followed him.
What I don't have a clear memory of is what happened during his two terms. I remember hearing about Iran-Contra, but I didn't quite understand what it was about. I'm pretty sure the massive layoffs at Goodyear happened while he was president (though it may have happened after George H.W. Bush was elected). That was because Goodyear had to preserve money to keep from being bought and dismantled by some British billionaire, but the dropping value of the dollar from the deficits may have had a hand in it.
Anyway, I know the Republicans have a damp spot in their shorts over the guy, but this is getting to be out of control. They've named an airport after the guy, and a business/trade center in DC. Now they want to put him on money?
Look, there are some people who don't deserve to be immortalized on cash, like the Indian-killer on the twenty. But is Reagan really the best choice? Is there nobody in the last two hundred years who should be placed there? Oh well, the money's in desparate need of a revamp anyway (can the penny, maybe the nickel too) but putting Ronnie on the ten or the dime ain't the answer.
But the basic gist of this, which I seem to have wandered from a little bit, is that the guy's dead. For a week. We've seen the same recap of his life and presidential administration dozens of times. I know it's not every day that a president cacks it, but it's time to move on.
And don't screw around with the money any more.