The ghost of Ronald Reagan
Now, I was just starting to become "politically aware" during Reagan's terms, but from my stand point at the time, I didn't think too highly of him.
Especially of his budget director David Stockman.
The fact that the name of the president's budget director can become etched into the memory of a 12 year old must mean something.
In my case, Stockman, and Reagan by proxy, was the guy that wanted to put my father's farming operation out business. He was the one that basically said we were not needed anymore.
I remember going to the National Farm Crisis Rally in Ames in January 1985 and seeing a fake coffin that said "Drive a nail into David Stockman's coffin." That stuck with me.
I remember Reagan saying "Maybe we should keep the grain and export the farmers." That stuck with me.
So, maybe the rest of the world was better off because of Ronald Reagan, but I didn't think so at the time.
Of course, he did help bring down the Soviet Union, and I think that was a good thing. Too bad we decided to keep our bloated military structure, instead of reconfiguring it to meet different threats.
And he did get inflation under control. That was a good thing, too. But we spent ourselves into the red with budget deficits that we still have today.
So, Ronaldus Magnus, as Rush Limbaugh would like to say, isn't atop my most favorite president list. I can't stand by and agree with other conservatives that he is the standard by which today's conservatives must be measured. Not with what has been etched in my memory.