Ronald Feinman: The Trivialization Of Ronald Reagan On His 100th BirthdayRoundup: Historians' Take
[Feinman is professor of American History, Government and Politics, as well as a lecturer on modern American topics.]
President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday will be celebrated this coming Sunday, and the government will be giving extra attention to the historical significance of the 40th President over the next year.
It is understandable that such recognition would be given, as Reagan, for good and for bad, was indeed a very significant President in the years from 1981-1989.
But, unfortunately, much misinformation is being spread as to the record of the Reagan Presidency, which is indeed much more complex and often contradictory than the supporters of Reagan want to believe!
The dispute between his two sons from different marriages–Michael and Ron, Jr.–are telling, as they see their dad in different ways, but historians already see the complexity of Reagan, that not everything conservatives, Republicans and even Tea Party people say about Reagan, is the true and complete story!
So in the midst of debate about the legacy of Ronald Reagan, the Young America’s Foundation, is sponsoring two days of festivities at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California this Friday and Saturday, February 4 and 5.
That is all fine and good, but the decision of this organization to invite former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to give the keynote speech on February 4 is a true distortion of the whole concept of Ronald Reagan!
Her presence, with the thin, unaccomplished record she possesses in public life, and her constant display of lack of knowledge or insights on ANY topic, makes one wonder about the political motivations of the group. Do they REALLY believe that Sarah Palin is the true successor to the man they love and admire? Would Reagan look at Sarah Palin as his heir apparent?
To make Sarah Palin a star of this event this coming weekend is to trivialize Ronald Reagan and to embarrass anyone who has any knowledge about Reagan and the conservative movement in America, as it is clear “Sarah Palin ain’t no Ronald Reagan!”
It can also be said that Sarah Palin “ain’t no Barry Goldwater” and that she “ain’t no Robert Taft”, earlier icons of the conservative movement! One wonders if she even knows of their contributions to the Republican Party and conservatism in America!
Sarah Palin could not walk in the shoes of Reagan, Goldwater or Taft, or really anyone else of substance, and it is a shame that Reagan’s memory, for good and for bad of his record, is being sullied by the involvement of this woman who proves that one does not need qualifications or education or intelligence to be a public figure!
The Founding Fathers are crying loudly in mourning, and the author suspects, so is Ronald Reagan in the after life!
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