So I watched a PBS a show called "TURMOIL AND TRIUMPH: THE GEORGE SHULTZ YEARS" which was actually pretty good. Regan was President during my non-attention years. I didn't like him, but did not really know why. Most likely It was because he was a Republican, but some of it had to do with this conservative nonsense that was starting to swell.
I don't know what exactly bothers me so much with the term "conservative". I think a lot has to do with the attitude of those who wrap themselves in it. Also, I think there are more than two types of view points out there which is how people who subscribe to this dogma seem to believe. But mostly it is the fervent adherence to a view of the world that is misguided, narrow-minded, and in most cases wrong. Still they hold to their rhetoric unwilling to see the world for what it really is.
Regan is given a lot of credit for ending the cold war with the Soviets. I was told, and believed, that he did this by outspending them on a military buildup. This is somewhat true, but I heard recently, and this PBS show has now confirmed, that the end of the Cold War had more to do with Mikhail Gorbachev and George Shultz then the gipper himself. Make no mistake that Regan's ability to trust Gorbachev and listen to his "triumverate" was key to the success.
So the question I have is "are we better off now because of what Regan did with the Soviets?
I went searching for the George Will comment that was made on the show and in my search I found this on another blog called fabiusmaximus:
On 8 December 1987, at Reagan’s third summit with Mikhail Gorbachev, they signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (Wikipedia). This marked the beginning of the end to the cold war, a major step to lifting the threat of global annihilation that had existed for 3 decades. How did conservatives react to this bold step by their leader?
Excerpt from “The Treaty: Another Sellout”, Howard Phillips (Chairman of The Conservative Caucus; see his bio at Wikipedia), op-ed in the New York Times, 11 December 1987: America has never been in more danger than now, during the final 13 months of the Reagan administration. Although neither Ronald Reagan nor George Bush could have come to power without strong conservative support, conservative influence is absent from the top decision-making councils of the executive branch, and conservative policies have been comprehensively abandoned. President Reagan is little more than the speech reader-in-chief for the pro-appeasement triumverate of Howard Baker, George Shultz and Frank Carlucci.
The center of the administration’s policy is the president’s unfounded assertion that Mikhail S. Gorbachev is “a new kind of Soviet leader” who no longer seeks world conquests. The summit meetings and so-called arms-control treaties are a cover for the treasonous greed of those who manipulate the administration.And from another.........
Excerpt from George Will’s 1988 book The New Season: “Historians may conclude that it was during this administration that the United States conclusively lost the Cold War.”So they were wrong, Regan was right to trust Gorbachev. That's why this conservative nonsense is so wrong. It leaves no room for anything other than a strict concurrence of ideology, dogma, and orthodoxy to one - and only one - view of the world.
If you tell me we are not better off because of what these men did, then I have a wall I'd like to show you, but i can't, cause it's no longer there.