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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ron Paul v. Ronald Reagan

Our chapter on the presidency discusses the symbolic role of individual chief executives, including Ronald Reagan. Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has sought to associate himself with Reagan:

But Paul said that Reagan was a failure.  And in his 1988 book Freedom Under Siege, he repeatedly attacked Reagan:
  • "American society is characterized by hopelessness and operates without a moral, constitutional, or monetary standard. The early Reagan years permitted a temporary reprieve by glossing over the problems of debt, inflation, and runaway government spending"
  • "Lie-detector tests and urine and blood tests are now common-place and have been strongly supported by the Reagan Administration -- an administration that championed limited government principles. Today the government sends out planes and helicopters to spy on farmlands and industrial plants, taking pictures while looking for information about drugs and violation of EPA regulations -- regulations which no one clearly understands."
  • "Worst of all, and typical of our tragic foreign policy-in the midst of the Grenada invasion designed to make the world safe for democracy by stopping the spread of communism-President Reagan, behind the scenes, was forcefully lobbying for specific aid to `Communist-dictators' through additional IMF funding."
  • "The U.S. policy toward Libya further confirms our irrational foreign policy. Under Reagan we have been determined to pick a fight with Khadafi, defying him with naval and air maneuvers in the Gulf of Sidra. As we try to emphasize our right to navigate in international waters near Libya, we totally reject the territorial waters of Nicaragua by mining their harbors. The World Court rulings against the U.S. were ignored by the Reagan Administration, yet the President insists that international law is legitimate in the Gulf of Sidra. The most important point, however, is that the Gulf of Sidra has nothing to do with U.S. security."
  • "We placed economic sanctions on South Africa at precisely the same time President Reagan approved subsidized wheat sales to the Soviets. The sanctions were a liberal political stunt; the subsidies to the Soviet Union were meant to help U.S. wheat farmers and secure the election of the Republican Senate-which it did not. While bombing Libya to deter terrorism, we negotiated with Syria and acted as partners with Israel in its massive ongoing arms trade"
  • "Taking the position that it is politically dangerous to criticize the federal deficit, the supply-siders must bear the responsibility for the massive deficits of the Reagan Administration. These deficits have prompted rapid inflation of the money supply in order to accommodate the spending."