Thank you for visiting our website

Featuring breaking political news and commentary on local, state, and national issues.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ronald Reagan has Left the Building

Ken Kerr Bio

After a successful career as Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, the former movie star, was a political star. Not quite bright enough to outshine the incumbent Gerald Ford for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination in 1976, Reagan later eclipsed all competition in 1980.

Soon after talking office in 1981, the movie star/political star went supernova. Reagan was the brightest object in the political sky.

In ancient times, when science was non-existent and myth and superstition ruled the human mind, such a supernova would be seen as an object of awe and mystery. The ancients would have worshiped it as a god. Much the same thing happened to Reagan.

Politicians and devotees sought to bask in the light of Reagan's supernova star. They evoked his name, repeated his words, and studied his teachings. Reagan took on mythic proportions. He ceased to be human. In fact, if Reagan the man were to run against Reagan the myth, he would not stand a chance. He would lose in a landslide.

In 1994, diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, he retreated to his Bel Air home-much like the Greek gods of Olympus—we knew he was there, but we could not reach him. But just knowing that he was there his star, though dimmed, continued to warm and reassure his devoted followers. In that same year, his false prophet, Newt Gingrich—full of Reagan power, authority, and sanctimony—engineered control of Congress. Later, a completely unprepared and unqualified Nero-like George W. Bush rode the Reagan wave to the White House. Bush's propaganda minister, Karl Rove, predicted a permanent Republican majority in American government. The Cult of Reagan was at its height, in full control of all branches of government: functionally, politically, and ideologically. And the United States of America is in crisis as a result.

Twenty-eight years later, Reagan's star has vanished. His supernova is now a black hole collapsed upon itself by its own weight and sucking in from around it the remnants of a Republican party in complete disarray—and the last remnants of his tattered legacy.

A few pathetic attempts to resurrect his power have been seen lately. Last week at the second debate, John McCain claimed Reagan as his personal hero—but only after he had already given that honor to Teddy Roosevelt. A week before, at the vice presidential debate, Sarah Palin's coaches gave her some Reagan scripture to quote in her closing comments. Curiously, it was from a speech that Governor Reagan gave in opposition to Medicare. So unaware of content and context are Palin's Republican handlers that they gave her lines to recite that were first spoken in an attempt to deny health care to old people.

The so-called Reagan Democrats, now awake and aware that Republican/Reagan ideology does not benefit them (and never really did) are returning to the Democrats. The party is over—the Republican Party that is. Democrats woke up and they are angry at being misled for a generation. The celebrity of Reagan no longer holds power over the American political firmament.

When Elvis Presley would give a concert, his devoted fans demanded encore after encore. They were hoping to hang on to the moment, to be in his presence a bit longer. Similarly, Reagan fans used to cheer at the mere mention of the name, Reagan. When Elvis was finally exhausted, his staff would make an announcement intended to send the adoring crowd home. It is now time to borrow that line from Elvis and send the Republican Party home:

Ronald Reagan has left the building.


To receive "Daily Updates" from Air-it-Out with George, by email or reader, click on "Subscribe to this feed" below.

No comments: