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The selfishness of politics

Reading around the blogs has been interesting, to say the least, the past 24 hours. The talking point for yesterday: Reagan is dead, commence pissing. And they all pulled down their flies and let go. From the look of things, they had been holding that in for years, doing a child's pee-pee dance in front of the Reagan Library, just waiting for the right moment to relieve their poisoned bladders. The sub-talking point: Reagan caused 9/11. What's funny about this is for the two and half years, all these people were saying that Bush I and Bush II caused 9/11. I don't recall Reagan making an appearance in too many of those screeds on how Americans defeated themselves. Also, Blame must be some strange, mutated disease that flows through presidencies but skips right over Democrats. Both Bushes caught the Blame. Now Reagan has caught it posthumously. Skipped right over Clinton, it did. Interesting, because he showed a lot of the symptoms. Looks like I caught some disease as well. One former friend calls it selfishness. An email received from an irate lefty last night contained the phrase self-centered. For some reason, they think my politics should define them and not me. How's that for selfishness? They ask me to defend my "hero worship" of Reagan in light of his response to the AIDS crisis. They are some of the same people who ask me to defend my support of Bush in light of his views on gay marriage. The question I ask is this: Why do I have to defend my political views to your beliefs? When I was growing up, I was taught that politics was a very personal thing. You didn't ask people who they voted for. You didn't talk about politics in front of people who were known to combust at the slightest provocation. You didn't ask people why they were pro this or against that. My parents considered it rude to ask people to defend their choices because each choice made by a voter or constituent was personal. While I no longer subscribe to the idea that politics are not for debating (obviously), I still believe that politics are personal. Most people vote with themselves and their families in mind. I suppose they hero-worship the same way. What one man considers greatness, another considers a failing. And even if your hero has some failings, the fact that he saved those seven kids from an overturned school bus makes those failings fade into the background. The life saver may, in his spare time, run a sweatshop, but if he saved your child, that sweatshop will matter not. Well, that analogy is going nowhere. Let's try being honest. Reagan saved me from fear. Reagan delivered me from evil. Reagan made the nightmare of the Russians go away. That changed my life, changed my views and forever altered my perception of America, the world and my future. So of course I honor the man. Of course I look back at his presidency as one that gave me hope and promise. I don't agree with everything he did or said, just as I don't agree with everything Bush does or says. But the things I do agree with, they are big. Huge. Looming. They are the things that are important to me and impact my life and future. Political views are inherently selfish. To claim that your vote is cast with the good of every single human being in mind is dishonest. Your bottom line is gay marriage. Mine is war. At least I'm open about being the center of my own universe when it comes time to vote. You can cloak your vote in the "good for mankind" mantra, but when you pull that lever, it's all about you. Once you realize there's nothing wrong with that, you'll learn to be honest about it. I can't base my politics and beliefs around what is right for you. To expect me to do so is real selfishness. Thanking someone for putting a stop the cold war and loving them for doing that is not being self absorbed. However, expecting me to join you in pissing on my own heros because they don't live up to your expectations is the height of self absorption. Everyone has their needs, wants and beliefs. If mine do not coincide with yours, so be it. That's what makes the world a varied place. Learn to live with the difference in views rather than bully people into seeing the world through your eyes. That said, I admit that I can't fault people for their beliefs. I can, however, fault the way they choose to make those beliefs known. A nation mourns a president and the left pulls down their flies in a giddy pissing contest to see who can release the most venom. This is a triumph for them. The "devil" is dead and he died early enough so as not really impact the election! And they call me selfish.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The selfishness of politics:

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I like how people blame Reagan for AIDS as if he were going around personally putting bananas in people's talipipes.

People seem to forget the real Reagan response to AIDS. Anyone remember C. Everett Koop? And what administration he was part of? Billons went into AIDS research in the 80s - in places one might not expect it. IIRC, in 1985, the US Army was spending more on it than anyone else in the world combined.

Very well said. We can all use a little reminder now and again.


Once again, spot on......it will only make them madder, and that's the best part!

Yesterday's NYT led the pissing parade. Shameful.

And remember that the 'warmonger' signed one of the more meaningful nuclear arms reduction treaties up until that time.

As horrible as he might have been, the Iranians knew all too well that Reagan wasn't kidding around. They didn't hold onto the hostages for more than a few minutes on the day he took office. Maybe some others took notice that this guy might actually be restoring a backbone to this country.

RIP, Mr. President.


Yep. I admit I was in a pissy mood yesterday. But I'd be a hypocrite if I sat around telling everyone how wonderful I thought Reagan was just because he died--just like you would have been if you had given glowing praise to Strom Thurmond.

However, if "I hated Reagan" somehow equates to "I hate Michele" in someone's mind, then they are horribly mistaken. If it's in yours, then I am incredibly sorry. But I'm pretty sure you feel the same as I do. Politics are not a litmus test for friendship (which is an increasingly rare attitude in the world).

Apparently, the AIDS crisis is the talking point that is going to get all the ink in the left-wing, since that's about the only thing they've got left.

All of which just serves as a reminder that Bush hatred is just warmed over hatred for Reagan. Don't psychologists call that "projection"?

I mentioned this yesterday as well:


you can remove the link if you wish.


Even if you feel you have legitimate reasons to dislike Reagan, the appropriate thing to do when he dies is just shut up and let the people who liked him remember him. I think Carter was the worst US president of the 20th century, but I'm not going to rain on the parade of those who think he's the bee's knees when he dies.

If you ask me, 9/11 is the culmination of CARTER's failures.

From the look of things, they had been holding that in for years, doing a child's pee-pee dance in front of the Reagan Library

ROFLMAO! Golly, Michele, you should put up a warning or something before writing lines like that... it's hell wiping orange juice off the monitor and keyboard... ;-)

Watch the rhetoric trashing Reagan increase as the week goes on; especially the canard about Reagan ignoring AIDS because he was this evil hearted homophobic Repuke (you know, the kind of people a Village Voice theater critic wants rounded up and exterminated). Reality is that at the beginning of the AIDS crisis, no one even knew what the hell they were dealing with. It wasn't even called AIDS!! As this AIDS hospice worker relates, it was called GRID.

And, I added later in that thread that I remembered many thought it a DRUG induced syndrome due to the heavy use of poppers by the aflicted.

But the contemporary American Left refuses to engage in reality and facts when it runs contradictory to their political goals. They've learned well from the Soviets, and the soviet collapse is something they truly will never forgive Reagan for.

Ronald Reagan was an optimist, the type of person to look up to, to wish to be like. He made me feel safe in a world that was gunning for us.

You do not want to read Democratic Underground, one poster wrote "what has happened to my party?" meaning the democrat party.

I'm with Darlene--that bit about them doing the child's pee-pee dance while waiting for Reagan to die was priceless.

It's a tragic fact, but gay activists did far more to exacerbate the AIDS crisis than Ronald Reagan. They fought bitterly against any efforts to control the disease, from contact tracing to closing the bathhouses. That's why Randy Shilts called his book, "And the Band Played On".

Yesterday, I told my two harvard-attending nephews that I didn't believe in gay-marriage. They stared at me like I was an alien. So I then told them that I didn't think a sexual relationship held the same moral significance as a reproductive relationship. They looked even more shocked, and one turned to the other and said,
"I never knew our Uncle was homophobic"


Blogosbiten, that's not something you want to get into here. Not with me, not on this blog. Can. Of. Worms.

Let's not forget that while Reagan was in charge thousands died of suicides, drunk drivers hit trees and people died of drug overdoses.

The blame for these also lies squarely not on the victims but on Evil Reagan. Damn him for not controlling them like the Soviets did!


I'm also quite sure there were a number of hurricanes and floods and crop failures and earthquakes on Reagan's watch. Where is the accountability, I ask you!?

Frankly, I don't subscribe to the theory that you should not speak ill of the dead. I believe you should say what you think. If people think Reagan was an asshole, they should say it.

Doesn't matter if you think they're right or wrong.

And trust me, when Carter goes, I'll be saying what an asshole I think he was.

I wrote on my blog that I hated nearly all of Reagan's domestic policies. But he was right about the Russians, and he knew who the enemy was.

He was also dead wrong about his response to Arab terrorism. But so were Carter, Bush 41, and Clinton. You have to blame 9/11 on decades of ignoring and appeasing terrorism. There's plenty of blame to go around.

And for any liberal who is reading this blog..... Reagan didn't cause the deficits.

How much the federal government spends is controlled by the Congress. Reagan can only "propose" and Congress is the one who creates the legislation. The president can only veto or sign. Reagan did veto and tried to get Congress to pass bills with less pork (if you remember the State of the Union Addresses back then he made one an example).

The tax rate reductions did not cause the deficit. Revenue into the federal goverment went from 550 Billion in 1981 to 990 Billion in 1989. That's almost a doubling of revenue into the government. The reason that deficits soared is because the Democrat controlled House of Representatives (where all appropriations bills start) was spending us into deficits.

Reagan may not have made the deficits, but he sure didn't do much to stop them from being formed. As for AIDS, the reaction from EVERYONE was poor (the left, right, center, front, and especially the rear). But, my goodness, to bring up the hostages? It wasn't fear that made Iran release them, it was a deal. Something about planes for hostages via help through some Central American country? Can anyone help here? I believe it involved a liar Colonel, some Bush 41 pardons, a few CIA deals, something like that.

But he was a great guy. That much I can remember.

Oh, and for a frightening tale, I was a 4th grader in a Minneapolis suburban school when he got shot. Minnesota's a pretty die-hard Democrat place, but even at the age of ten I was disgusted that some of my fellow students were excited that he got shot. Nine and ten. I guess I was lucky to have been raised to see politics as opposing viewpoints for how to change the world, not opposing sides in some sort of war. I'm quite often disgusted by the antics of each side's extremists, but I think back to when I was disgusted at the age of ten and remember that it's just politics.

One former friend calls it selfishness. An email received from an irate lefty last night contained the phrase self-centered.

Hmmm, sounds like the Euro disease, projecting.

And, well, DUH, you're a reptilian republicanish-type on occasion, you're supposed to be selfish. Didn't you read the handbook? Or did they just send you the decoder ring?

I don't think blogosbiten is homophobic. It's kind of a nuance vibe I'm getting in what he wrote. And I don't think his nephews understood, either.

And to back up Pat, anyone remember Ross and his chart from the 92 campaign?

I cried today, and cried some more when Nancy put her head on the casket and I think she also said, "I can't believe it." She looked in a daze. And she knew it was coming more than anyone else. That's a lame statement, but not my first nor my last.


I had a similar experience in 8th grade; the principal came on the speaker to announce that Reagan had been shot, and the class cheered. My teacher looked shocked, both by the news and by our reaction.


Let me say this slowly..there was no "October surprise"; ie there was no "deal" with Iran done behind Carter's back to get the hostages held until after the election. Been thoroughly debunked except for the usual conspiracists who point to the abject lack of evidence as evidence.

Now, IIRC, it was Nixon who did have some pre-election forays with the North Vietnamese.

Nixon had demons that he fed and nurtured. Reagan, who had even a poorer beginning in life turned his room full of horse-sh*t into shining dreams of ponies. A man of great warmth and honor.

So I'm to believe that the only way the Administration could fund the Contras was by selling F-16s to Iran? I know the Democratic Congress could be cool toward Reagan's goals, but to suggest that arms deals with the Ayatollah's Iran were not extraordinary events is to stretch the bounds of plausibility just a leetle beet.

I don't have much to say about Reagan. When I was a kid, I worried about Dr. Strangelove craziness, but the Soviet Union seemed deterred by MAD. Unlike the Islamofacists, the Soviets were rationalists - hell that's the Godless part of "Godless Communists" after all. So, I feared accidents, and idiots on both sides equally. Anyway I didn't need Reagan to make me feel safe. Enough nukes to blow up the Soviets (and the world) an extra 50 times didn't make me feel a bit safer than being able to blow them up once.

But reading Michel's post reminds me that if I had been blogging when Nixon died, I would have written about my joy... These days I'm more respectful of the right and more suspicious of the left than I used to be, but I still haven't learned of any sufficient reasons for Vietnam, so if Nix had held on till last week, I'd probably still have felt like dancing on a grave.

I know that has nothing to do with Reagan, but I guess I'm looking at the grave dancers and saying, there but for the grace of etc. etc. etc.

Good grief, jon, did you even read what darleen said?

Darleen, I think you used too many big words for jon.

Okay, Ms. Harris. I get it now. After all, Darleen said nothing happened, so nothing happened. It's all clear. Thanks. It was all just a big coincidence. I guess TRW said Iran had a better credit rating than all the other nations like Chile and Argentina and North Korea or something, so that's why Iran was to get the sales. Nothing suspicious. Those pardons were unnecessary. Correlation doesn't equal causation, even when it most certainly does. Okay, sorry. My bad.

Reagan beat the evil of communism in Central America just like he beat it in Europe. Honduras and El Salvador have had peacefully elected, Jimmy Carter supervised elections ever since.

Sorry Jon, and everyone else who wants to whine about Ronald Reagan, you just sound silly. And bitter. You know, like you usually do. You pull a microscope to examine his flaws, and ignore his remarkable accomplishments. How small of you.

If that whole Iran-Contra thing was such a microscopic deal, I'd be with you, Texan. But it wasn't a small deal. Now, on to the remarkable accomplishments:

Reagan was a great cheerleader for America. There was great pride after the funk of Vietnam, Nixon, gas shortages, Carter getting attacked by a rabbit, the movie Tootsie, and whatever else ailed America before RR came along. The Soviet Union finally collapsed under its own mismanagement, but whether that was because the SDI was too much for them or because Gorbechev couldn't control Eastern Europe any longer is up for argument (The Wall went down after the Czechs made it useless.)

Maybe, in the end, the Politburo decided that it could steal more money under a quasi-capitalist system (see China, as it slowly morphs from a corrupt communist state to a corrupt semi-capitalist fascist state). Reagan was an agent in the demise, but to some degree (and not others), the threat was overblown. That's a bizarre thing to say about a nation that had hundreds of missiles pointed at us, but that's the dice history throws sometimes. If the Soviet collapse is the biggest accomplishment Reagan had, then he has to share it with all the dumb economists who told Lenin, Stalin, Krushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Theguyiamforgettingnev, and Gorbechev that Communism can defeat capitalism.

Ok jon, let's git it on. What was the average percentage of expenditure on defense to GDP for the two "great" powers from 1980 to 1989?

I've done business in China. And Kiev. The people in Shanghai are pragmatists. The ones in Kiev were true believers, and they went down with the rusty ship.

What you sneer at as "cheerleading" I call leadership. Who won?

We did. I don't sneer at his "cheerleading", but I don't say it's synonymous with leadership either. Reagan was a great leader, but not a great President. The USSR spent itself to bankruptcy; we didn't. That wasn't the result of the leadership of either system, but of the fact that their system sucked. It could not compete, especially once it became harder and harder to justify the lacks to the people who came to know how rich we were. It was an evil empire, but it was the mismanagement that did it in.

Then again, maybe the Ayatollah wanted Reagan to be elected.