Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reagan Love him or hate him, the remarkable man

Lou Cannon was a Washington Post correspondant for the White House during the Reagan presidency, he writes "Why Reagan was the great ommunicator" this obituary style piece in commemoration of the late president in an article days after his passing in 2004.

Now Im not a fan of Reagan for his policies, whats more Im not much of a republican fan. However I admire him for his ability to gain the confidence of voters and their respect. The former president is so highly regarded by Americans' that By California Law there is now, as of 2010 on Febuary 6th, a Ronald Reagan day. See below.

At the top the pro Reagan article Touches on his success in confrontation with Gorbachev over the Berlin wall. But mainly this article focuses on the part of Ronald Reagan that I admire, for his effort that earned him the nickname the "Great Communicator".

Reaganomics was not economically sound. Reagan legislation gambled with the American economy, legislature that encouraged large companies to buy or merge with other stale but valued bussinesses. Furthermore these purchases were funded by gambling in bonds, potentially high return bonds that are sold at cheap prices.
Low taxes that created a short lived economic recovery on top of a spiraling deficit. Finaly there was the embarrasing saga that was the Iran-Contra.

However Cannon uses this article to remember the Ronald Reagan character, a B rated Hollywood actor who entered politics and became renouned for a warming spirit and optomistic and contagious outlook on tomorrow. The notion of the great communicator who dumbed down politics to explain it in simple terms that voters could understand, capturing the Imagination of the voters' and showing an interest in them. Cannon pays a wonderful tribute to a former president, known for his annecdotes and humour. The article looks back at these examples of How Reagan captured the attention of a nation for a decade, and who left behind the image of being a people's president, the tone & style of his speeches made him seem to the voter/audience, as one of them.

This link is the website of the same titled book, The clothes have no emperor by Paul Slansky published in 1989. Slansky has been a regular writer for The New Yorker and co-author of My Bad: The Apology Anthology.
The websites home page gives a brief overview on the book being reissued as an E-book for the anniversary of what would be Reagan's 100th birthday, and why.

Now I havent read this book of which we can apparently read the first chapter, (not entirely sure, as there was a security download error when i tried), but I will be investigating with scepticism to see how good a read it is. However you only need to read this quick overview to notice that there is a scathing attack launched at the highly thought of former president. I know Paul Slansky is a satirist, but he is quite heavy handed in his choice of words and this is only in provoking you into reading.

The overview claims that the book (if you havent read) is for those critics of the time who stood by & gritted their teeth or weathered the storm of excitement that surrounded Reagan's presidency. But it also claims to be for the younger generation who can learn about Reagan and his presidency without being sucked in by the status quo, and "to save them from buying into a myth". However the overview does start by warning us that the book is not for republican fans in general, fans of Sarah Palin or of Reagan himself.

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