Ronald Reagan, the Greatest President Of My Lifetime

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Jccarlton
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Ronald Reagan, the Greatest President Of My Lifetime

Postby Jccarlton » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:38 am

Ronald Reagan on our ruling class:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wusgcG4rfo

Diogenes
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Re: Ronald Reagan, the Greatest President Of My Lifetime

Postby Diogenes » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:58 pm

Jccarlton wrote:Ronald Reagan on our ruling class:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wusgcG4rfo


I would say that Ronald Reagan was the Greatest president of the 20th Century. (you're not that old are you? :) )

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Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:26 pm

Reagan the greatest of the 20th century? I voted for the guy, and loved him, but ...

My impression was he was not all that bright, and lived in a kind of fantasy world. Took a nap at midday. Tended to ignore most of what was going on around him, but would pick out one big issue that was important to him and pursue it. He typically won those selected battles. He seemed to make important decisions based on how a Hollywood character would. His response to the ATC strike was insane ... he crippled the air traffic system over a matter of principle, with no apparent regard for the impact on business. As a result, the Soviet Union knew he would do what he said he would and history took a major turn. He probably had a touch of Alzheimer's during at least his second term.

Compare him to Jimmy Carter, a very nice man who was supposed to be very bright. I did not vote for him and he made me lose my taste for peanut butter for a while. Had no business being President. Could not make a decision. Tended to run ideas up the flagpole to see if anyone shot at them, then back down. Got pushed around a lot. We're still seeing echos of the Iran crisis.

There is a lesson in this, I think. Maybe a President needs to be laid-back enough to decide what is important without worrying about what people think, and to make decisions the way a Hollywood President would, based on what is right instead of what is popular. Play that role, and see what history thinks.

For the greatest President of the 20th century, I'm rather fond of Eisenhower, but I include his military career as making him a great man rather than just judging him as a great President.

I also happen to think Jerry Ford is unfairly ignored. The only appointed President of the 20th century, he seemed to have more genuine respect for the office than any other President of the century, and performed as a public servant. Imagine him instead of Carter.

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Postby Diogenes » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:56 pm

Tom Ligon wrote:Reagan the greatest of the 20th century? I voted for the guy, and loved him, but ...

My impression was he was not all that bright, and lived in a kind of fantasy world. Took a nap at midday. Tended to ignore most of what was going on around him, but would pick out one big issue that was important to him and pursue it. He typically won those selected battles. He seemed to make important decisions based on how a Hollywood character would. His response to the ATC strike was insane ... he crippled the air traffic system over a matter of principle, with no apparent regard for the impact on business. As a result, the Soviet Union knew he would do what he said he would and history took a major turn.


Standing on the question of Principle without regard to the consequences would have avoided a lot of the misery we and the world are currently facing. When there are no consequences for standing on principle, it is easy to do it. The test of a great person is that they will do it when the consequences are dire. The reward for doing so is great, if the principles are sound and worth defending.

The ATC's signed an agreement with the government that they would not strike. They gave their word. They lied. Reagan gave them what they deserved. It may have cost the country in the short term, but it yielded incredible benefits in the long term.




Tom Ligon wrote: He probably had a touch of Alzheimer's during at least his second term.



Possibly true, but I put it in the category of lies told by people who detested him. They were not spreading this (and other lies as well) because of a concern for the nation. They just wanted to discredit him and everything he stood for.


Tom Ligon wrote:Compare him to Jimmy Carter, a very nice man who was supposed to be very bright. I did not vote for him and he made me lose my taste for peanut butter for a while. Had no business being President. Could not make a decision. Tended to run ideas up the flagpole to see if anyone shot at them, then back down. Got pushed around a lot. We're still seeing echos of the Iran crisis.



You barely touch upon this. It is widely perceived that Jimmy Carter was the motivating force behind the overthrow of the Shah of Iran. Jimmy Carter was a big "Human rights" advocate, and was very hostile to the shah for his perceived human rights abuses. What simple minded jimmy didn't understand was that when dealing with religious fanatics, you have to be ruthless, because reason doesn't work with them.

Jimmy's criticism of the Shah caused the Shah to rein in his oppression of the religious nut fringe, and the consequences became ever more dire as a result. Jimmy did other things as well to undermine the Shah, but i'd rather not get into them again. Suffice it to say, I regard Jimmy Carter as being mostly responsible for the Deaths of the Iranians and the Iraqis during the Iraq\Iran war, and all subsequent fallout from Theocratized Iran. If Israel get's nuked, it will be Jimmy's fault in my mind.

Jimmy Carter = WORST PRESIDENT of the 20th Century.

Tom Ligon wrote:There is a lesson in this, I think. Maybe a President needs to be laid-back enough to decide what is important without worrying about what people think, and to make decisions the way a Hollywood President would, based on what is right instead of what is popular. Play that role, and see what history thinks.

For the greatest President of the 20th century, I'm rather fond of Eisenhower, but I include his military career as making him a great man rather than just judging him as a great President.



Eisenhower was a great man, but I'm not sure I'd call him a great President. Some of what he was TRYING to do was noble and worthy of Greatness, but he flubbed up a bunch of stuff. He apparently had no trouble with Assassin teams taking out foreign leaders, and likewise didn't seem to understand that Curtis Le May was seriously undermining his diplomatic efforts to Russia. Not a bad President though.



Tom Ligon wrote:I also happen to think Jerry Ford is unfairly ignored. The only appointed President of the 20th century, he seemed to have more genuine respect for the office than any other President of the century, and performed as a public servant. Imagine him instead of Carter.



Almost anyone would have been better than Carter. Hell, Tip O'Neal would probably have made a better President, and I hated him. As for Ford, I never really liked him. The only thing he did right was veto so many bills that Congress tried to pass.

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Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:59 pm

My point was that it is possible for a President to be smart and a disaster, or to take a simplistic but principled approach and be excellent. And that's the lesson Reagan gave us.

Worry about all possible consequences is paralyzing. The great leaders of history did a pretty fair analysis of the situation, then acted on it.

There have been many who acted and things turned out wrong, too.

I do fault Reagan for lack of fiscal responsibility. He really turned on the deficit taps, and it was counter to his prior principles.

For those who think Obama is the worst President ever, I wonder if they lived thru Carter. Even Millard Filmore can't touch him. I understand he's off for North Korea to make nice this week. I shudder to think of the consequences. As far as I'm concerned, he should have stuck to building homes ... Habitat for Humanity is a good program, but that's about the limit of what he was good at. You characterize him as a "motivating force" in the Iran mess ... you give him too much credit. "Force" does not describe the man. I would think some term that describes weakness and collapse would be closer.

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Postby Diogenes » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:03 pm

Tom Ligon wrote:My point was that it is possible for a President to be smart and a disaster, or to take a simplistic but principled approach and be excellent. And that's the lesson Reagan gave us.

Worry about all possible consequences is paralyzing. The great leaders of history did a pretty fair analysis of the situation, then acted on it.

There have been many who acted and things turned out wrong, too.

I do fault Reagan for lack of fiscal responsibility. He really turned on the deficit taps, and it was counter to his prior principles.



I wish to dispute this point. I recall this period of history clearly, and I was paying extremely close attention to what was going on at this time. Reagan Campaigned on building up the defense forces and promoting a real countervailing force to the Soviet Union. He called for a 600 ship navy, SDI and other programs which eventually led to the belief among the Soviets that they simply couldn't compete with us. These buildups yielded real concrete results, unlike all of the years we spent money on detente.

The Democrats in Congress however, (With Tip O'Neal being their speaker.) refused to exercise any fiscal restraint. Their feeling was that if Reagan could spend money on Defense, they could throw money at domestic programs, notwithstanding that the defense spending actually produced something useful to the country while their "pork barrel" spending did not.

When Reagan Cut taxes, the incoming budget increased dramatically. The Democrats managed to spend all of the Gains, and more beside, so the deficit started creeping upward. Don't you recall Reagan's Vetoes of various budget bills and threats of Vetoing the Entire Budget?

Reagan was CONSTANTLY demanding that the Democrats stop their spending, but they simply wouldn't do it. When Grahm Rudman passed, everyone thought that would solve the problem, but Nope, the Democrats just DECLARED that they had met the requirements, and went on spending anyway.

It wasn't until Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 that anyone tried to do anything about spending. Even then, when Bill Clinton Vetoed the Budget for not spending enough money on his pet projects, the Media Proclaimed all the horrors that would result from not having a budget, and that it was the fault of the Republican Congress, but When Reagan Threatened to Veto The budget, the Media Did horror stories about how people would suffer, and they All blamed Reagan!

Don't forget that the media twisted a lot of what happened between 1980 and 1989. (Who am I kidding? They have yet to STOP twisting what is happening in this nation.)

Tom Ligon wrote:For those who think Obama is the worst President ever, I wonder if they lived thru Carter. Even Millard Filmore can't touch him. I understand he's off for North Korea to make nice this week. I shudder to think of the consequences. As far as I'm concerned, he should have stuck to building homes ... Habitat for Humanity is a good program, but that's about the limit of what he was good at.



Carter was horrible. The Worst of the 20th Century. Even so, Obama is FAR worse than Carter. Inexperienced, incompetent, and disdainful of Americans and everything they stand for. I predict Obama will be regarded by History as the Worst President ever. I actually predicted this over a year ago. I started a thread entitled "The Second Worst President in History" referring to Jimmy Carter. It actually started as a result of Joe Strout (This Website's owner) expressing some anger at how the General Section had been turned into a Right Wing propaganda crusade, (thanks, I did my part. :) ) and I think he suggested that George W. Bush was the worst President, at which time I drug up Jimmy Carter and listed all of the Brain Dead stupid things he did, and how many people likely died and will die as a result of his Presidency.

But Obama beats Carter hands down.

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Postby choff » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:42 am

I loved the joke Reagan pulled during the candidates debate where the age issue was brought up and he responded by saying, "I refuse to take advantage of my opponents youth and inexperience."
My impression of Jimmy Carter was that he tried to govern by opinion poll, problematic because the public is often in favour of mutually exclusive goals. Ford was a level headed guy, Nixon got a bad rap.
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Postby Tom Ligon » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:43 am

Re Nixon, I will cite an unusual source that I personally heard say Nixon got a bad rap: Abbie Hoffman.

While on the run from authorities in the mid-70's, Hoffman showed up at the Virginia Tech coffee house one evening, causing a flurry of excitement on the floor. I slipped over to hear him answer questions from the audience.

One questioner asked a question blasting Nixon, and Hoffman said, while he hated to admit it, what Nixon was accused of was essentially protecting his friends, and Hoffman knew he was free because of friends covering up for him. He was actually forced to admire Nixon for his role in Watergate!

I think history will decide Nixon was hounded out of office by Watergate, for having done nothing but what Hoffman noted. History will forget Nixon's darker side, the enemies list and the Ellsburg breakin. He did have major achievements.

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Postby JLawson » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:31 pm

Diogenes wrote:
Tom Ligon wrote:My point was that it is possible for a President to be smart and a disaster, or to take a simplistic but principled approach and be excellent. And that's the lesson Reagan gave us.

Worry about all possible consequences is paralyzing. The great leaders of history did a pretty fair analysis of the situation, then acted on it.

There have been many who acted and things turned out wrong, too.

I do fault Reagan for lack of fiscal responsibility. He really turned on the deficit taps, and it was counter to his prior principles.



I wish to dispute this point. I recall this period of history clearly, and I was paying extremely close attention to what was going on at this time. Reagan Campaigned on building up the defense forces and promoting a real countervailing force to the Soviet Union. He called for a 600 ship navy, SDI and other programs which eventually led to the belief among the Soviets that they simply couldn't compete with us. These buildups yielded real concrete results, unlike all of the years we spent money on detente.

The Democrats in Congress however, (With Tip O'Neal being their speaker.) refused to exercise any fiscal restraint. Their feeling was that if Reagan could spend money on Defense, they could throw money at domestic programs, notwithstanding that the defense spending actually produced something useful to the country while their "pork barrel" spending did not.

If I recall correctly, at the time Congress made a deal with Reagan to approve his defense buildup, if they could increase their spending - $1.50 for every $1 he increased the defense budget.

If those clowns hadn't done that - things might be considerably different now.
Carter was horrible. The Worst of the 20th Century. Even so, Obama is FAR worse than Carter. Inexperienced, incompetent, and disdainful of Americans and everything they stand for. I predict Obama will be regarded by History as the Worst President ever. I actually predicted this over a year ago. I started a thread entitled "The Second Worst President in History" referring to Jimmy Carter. It actually started as a result of Joe Strout (This Website's owner) expressing some anger at how the General Section had been turned into a Right Wing propaganda crusade, (thanks, I did my part. ) and I think he suggested that George W. Bush was the worst President, at which time I drug up Jimmy Carter and listed all of the Brain Dead stupid things he did, and how many people likely died and will die as a result of his Presidency.

But Obama beats Carter hands down.

I think Obama's finding the job to be a lot more than he thought it was - and the folks who have invested a lot of time and effort into getting him to this point are feeling decidedly cheated. They thought he was so charismatic and capable! They thought his leadership :lol: skills were so amazingly wonderful that he'd be able to get anything done with no dissent.

They mistook charisma for competence. Charisma's effect fades as the people get used to it, and you really need something more (such as intelligence and competence) which Obama doesn't have. I think he may have tried to make it up in his staff - but a second-rate politician isn't likely to choose first-rate assistants.
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Postby MSimon » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:33 pm

choff wrote:I loved the joke Reagan pulled during the candidates debate where the age issue was brought up and he responded by saying, "I refuse to take advantage of my opponents youth and inexperience."
My impression of Jimmy Carter was that he tried to govern by opinion poll, problematic because the public is often in favour of mutually exclusive goals. Ford was a level headed guy, Nixon got a bad rap.


Except if you were one of the hippies Nixon started a war on. I was at the time and I still hate the man.

Nixon deserved what he got. Maybe not for the crimes he committed. But for sure for the ones he got away with.
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Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:23 pm

The one good thing Nixon did was prove wage - price control doesn't work by trying it and having it flop. That will save a lot of future misery. Funny how bonehead ideas have to be tried before they are rejected (of course we are still trying even more boneheaded things like prohibition and denying their failure).
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Postby Diogenes » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:12 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:The one good thing Nixon did was prove wage - price control doesn't work by trying it and having it flop. That will save a lot of future misery. Funny how bonehead ideas have to be tried before they are rejected (of course we are still trying even more boneheaded things like prohibition and denying their failure).


Did prohibition of Opium work in China? Last I heard, it worked pretty well. How about prohibition of Slavery? Seems to be working in this country, except for the fact the government is trying to make us all slaves to it, but the old version is pretty much prohibited.

Prohibition as a concept is sound. It sometimes requires a LOT of violence to get the message through to some people though. Prohibition works if you only apply enough violence.

Duct tape is also like violence. If it isn't working, you aren't using enough!

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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:41 pm

Lol this thread is turning back into the war on drugs discussion.

Last year General was the "right-wing propaganda forum," this year it's the war on drugs/prohibition forum! I think we're all obsessive-compulsive :lol:

Defense buildup under Reagan was good, it probably finished the Soviets a decade or two sooner than they would otherwise have gone. The Soviet Union was rotting from the inside anyway, because many of its "citizens" and the citizens of its Warsaw Pact "allies" hated it. Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians never forget that they had been invaded, forcibly annexed and terrorized. De facto, the same had been done to Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc. Ukrainians never forgot that Stalin deliberately starved millions of them to death. Etc. But the 1980s defense buildup proved to the Politburo and apparatchiks that they couldn't hold on.

Worry about all possible consequences is paralyzing. The great leaders of history did a pretty fair analysis of the situation, then acted on it.


This produced the image in my head of Alexander the Great looking at the Gordian knot, pulling out his sword, and chopping it in two.

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Postby Tom Ligon » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:15 pm

I like to say that the Third World War was indeed fought. It was an economic war between two economic theories. The proponents of one theory woke up one morning and realized their theory was doomed, so they switched sides.

Reagan's weapons were part of it, but so was the Soviet morass in Afghanistan, which they were having trouble with both politically and economically. But never forget that at the same time, the Pope was Polish. It took ten years, but Poland wiggled free. It took two years for East Germany to wiggle free. After that, pieces fell away every few months.

Our parents suspected Rock and Roll, or at least Folk, was a Communist Plot designed to degrade the morals of their kids (us). No doubt we were degraded. However, if this was a Communist Plot it backfired, because kids in the Soviet Union were obsessed with Rock and Roll and blue jeans. Western music brought in seditious ideas the Soviet Union was ill-prepared to weather. Our system has always tolerated a degree of sedition ... we were born in that there briar patch. Rather than the music making us decadent, we became exporters of that commodity. Our Vietnam-era war protest songs affected their youth, facing Afghanistan, just as deeply, maybe more.

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Postby IntLibber » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:26 pm

I came of age during Reagan's time in office. He was why I became a Young Republican. I totally supported his facing down the Soviet Union and credit him with the triumph of winning the cold war.

Yet, with regards to his rhetoric on shrinking government and cutting taxes, balancing the budget and expanding gun rights, he failed completely to follow through on these, usually making a compromise with a democrat controlled congress that looked like a win on the surface but was a loss to the democrats when you looked at the fine print.

His promise of two dollars of budget cuts for every dollar of tax increases, the dems screwed him and he got two dollars of tax increases for every dollar of budget cuts. Their "cuts" were also fake in that they only cut off from a planned growth, so they'd report a "3% cut in the budget" which was really a 3% reduction off a 10% increase, so the budget still went up by 7%.

The tax cut of 1981 was reversed in 1983.

The "Gun Ownership Act of 1986" shut down any new production of class III weapons for civillians, banned the import of preban automatics, and instituted a lot of other controls, while doing nothing to protect 2nd amendment rights or create interstate CCW reciprocity as had been promised.

The number of federal employees, not counting the military, expanded significantly under Reagan.

On the plus side, he got the B-1 bomber back in production, as well as the M-1A1 tank, and fully funded the stealth fighter and bomber programs, the Trident submarine program, and insisted on returning the Navy to 600 ships strong. He took the Missouri class battleships out of mothballs, modernized them, and made them potent symbols of American power, and weapons to be feared (they were used in Lebanon to good effect against Hezbollah and the Syrians).

He also got the Space Shuttle program going again, and promoted the NASP as a successor to it. His promotion of SDI was essential to forcing the capitulation of the USSR and its economic implosion (along with a little skullduggery, the Soviet Polyus space battlestation's launch software was sabotaged, causing it to fail to make orbit when instead of pitching over 180 degrees, it pitched 360 degrees and its orbital stage caused it to deorbit with reverse thrust.)

Philosphically he changed how Americans thought and helped kill the New Deal and Great Society boondoggles.

The ATC strike, aka the PATCO strike, was essential to reigning in the overweaning power of the unions in America at the time. Unions were killing the country. After PATCO was destroyed and the Teamsters were raided for mob infiltration, the only unions left that could seriously damage us was the UAW, and we now see with the nationalization of GM the result of UAW's resurgence.

Despite his failures, I'd say Reagan was the greatest primarily because he led us out of challenging times. I remember the mile long lines for gasoline, Carters gas rations. I remember how Iran gave up the hostages on the day Reagan was inaugurated, out of fear he would order an invasion.

Eisenhower, while he was a great general, really didn't have serious challenges to face, or rather, he failed to really face them, as president. He could have, if he had wanted, pursued a more aggressive stance against the soviets. He knew that Stalin and Kruschev didn't have the nukes they claimed that they had. They moved bombers around in a game of musical chairs to fake up false numbers, claiming thousands of bombers when the U-2 overflights proved they had less than 300. Stalin never had more than 30 nukes in his inventory. They built and tested increasingly large bombs simply to "prove" that they had powerful bombs. Ike failed to win Korea. He let a lot of dominos fall to the soviets, and failed to use the Venona intercepts to prosecute the soviet spies that the FBI knew were in our government then.

Calvin Coolidge was the last real Republican who walked the walk, and didn't con people with a lot of BS talk.


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