Reagan’s Place in History
President Reagan worries about his place in history, reportedly. In his shoes, so would I!
This explains why he positioned his Labor Day speech in the shadow of Harry S. Truman’s giant statue in Independence, Mo., and compared himself during his second-term campaign with Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.
He must foresee the relentless whip of history battering his political carcass later when he is not protected by the phalanx of fawning public relations and media types.
He must see his remnants in the pit with past Republican Presidents who were his ideological progenitors--Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.
History will judge his legacy from his acts not his cutesy speeches. If he doesn’t drag us into nuclear annihilation it will take America years to cleanse itself of the creeping debris of Reaganism, the mire of racism at home and abroad, the relentless war buildup against the Third World that could split the Americas asunder in a fratricidal conflict between the English and Latin parts.
He must realize the recent fragile prosperity based on massive debt will vanish like the pumpkin coach at midnight when borrowing exceeds our ability to repay. His glitter will become poison as toxins creep into our life-support systems, and the coddled rich play the game of leveraged buy-outs while the smoke dies in the stacks of basic industry.
The sooner this is generally understood the less traumatic the readjustment, and we will realize that from presidency to city councils good caring Americans are available and will be elected to go on with the cleanup and to build the bright future this country deserves.
LLOYD W. LEHMANN