Tear Down This Myth
Last week didn’t only mark the inauguration of Barack Obama. January 20, 2009, was also a less noticed anniversary – marking 20 years to the day that the 40th president, Ronald Reagan, said his final goodbye to the Oval Office. During those two decades since, the world evolved, and the man who some called a Great Communicator and others called a “Teflon president” passed away – yet, watching last year’s presidential race unfold, you might have been excused if you’d thought Reagan was somehow on the ballot. In debates and in countless TV ads – mainly but not exclusively on the GOP side – a return to Reagan-era orthodoxy in tax cuts or building up the military remained on the front burner of US politics. This, even as the American economy was collapsing from the weight of rising debt, unfettered greed on Wall Street and shortsighted energy policies – all of which trace back to the 1980s and Reagan’s toxic legacy.
The fact that the myth of Ronald Reagan – promoted and perverted by a modern generation of neoconservatives – persists even with the start of the Obama administration, makes it clear that this warped legend won’t die – unless we work to combat it, That’s why I wrote “Tear Down This Myth: How the Reagan Legacy Has Distorted Our Politics and Haunts Our Future.” The book has just been released by Free Press and one can receive news by joining the official Facebook group here.