Thursday, November 13, 2003

David Greenberg writes a sharp examination of the deification of Ronald Reagan:

    For most of his career, Reagan took bold and provocative (and often wrongheaded) positions. For that boldness, he elicited affection but also distrust and even hatred, and not just from a small band of liberals in Hollywood. By airbrushing out those qualities that made Reagan controversial, by trying to turn him into a beloved George Washington-like icon, his boosters are doing him a disservice. In forsaking insight into the antipathy he often engendered, they seek to render him a sunny, universally adored, wholly benign, and two-dimensional figurehead—a portrait that, even more than this idiotic docudrama, would utterly conceal for posterity the reasons that Ronald Reagan mattered.

The whole piece is worth reading. Reagan was a complicated figure; he should, at least, be remembered and explored as such. That's a hell of a lot more interesting than reading about St. Ronald of Eureka.

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