One can only marvel at this ‘review’ of H.W. Brand’s Reagan:The Life, after all, public relations ruled this man’s career from the movies to politics, and even in death, he relies on his hagiographers to homogenize his politics, into line with the Reagan Mythology: in that Mr. Brands is the perfect biographer. Reagan’s strengths were that he knew his lines and he hit his marks. He only stumbled when he extemporized, deviating from the script was the cardinal sin of the contract player.
Look at Reagan’s poll numbers from his years in office, not particularly impressive, in fact, they seem to be all over the map:
Should I even quote Mr. Reagan’s notorious speech at the Nashoba County Fair? It is quite explicit in his support of States Rights, and by inference in support of Nixon’s notorious Southern Strategy, not many miles from the sight where three Civil Rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner ,were murdered in 1964. In a politics ruled by symbolism and rhetoric, the very life blood of the practice of public relations, the intent of the Reagan speech is completely clear, except for the willfully myopic ideologues!
I believe in state’s rights; I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. And I believe that we’ve distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the constitution to that federal establishment. And if I do get the job I’m looking for, I’m going to devote myself to trying to reorder those priorities and to restore to the states and local communities those functions which properly belong there.
This is just one example of the politics of Ronald Reagan, in his eight years in office. Lew Cannon wrote what some might call the definitive biography, aptly titled President Reagan The Role of a Lifetime. The title captures all the melodrama of a television miniseries, except that in real life Reagan was the harbinger of a poisonous Neo-Liberalism, that is still reeking havoc in 2015.