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Remembering Reagan

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

Today, 23 years after leaving office, almost seven years after his death and 100 years after his birth, Reagan is a legitimate American icon. While all of the elements of his legacy, including winning the Cold War, bringing about morning in America and restoring America to its greatness, can, and indeed must, be challenged, it remains true that in death, Reagan is above reproach. Democrats understand that Reagan's enduring popularity means that Reagan can never be criticized and that the rather obvious point that the roots of many of today's problems lie in the Reagan presidency cannot be mentioned, without incurring significant political consequences. The scandals that dogged the last two years of Reagan's time in office, the massive deficits that Reaganomics occurred, his complete failure to even recognize issues such as the AIDS epidemic, as well as the lasting impacts of his spending cuts on the social fabric of the US, are as much part of his legacy as his role in bringing the Cold War. The importance of Reagan's presidency cannot be denied, but all of the many problems and scandals of his presidency should not be overlooked. In this context, his political skills are even more impressive.

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Academic Units
Harriman Institute
Published Here
May 17, 2012
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