Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 7, 2004
POLITICS: Reagan and Carter

I've been a bit short on Reagan hagiography compared to some other people around the blogosphere, but then I don't have the luxury of time, so I generally write only a fraction of what's on my mind. I should note that, while there's a good deal of bickering about Reagan's legacy from the usual sources of bickery, I have to confess that there are two presidents I'm not really able to discuss entirely rationally: Carter and Reagan. The reason is obvious: I was 5 years old when Carter was inaugurated and 18 when Reagan left office, and my perceptions of both men were heavily filtered through the prism of youth. It's one thing to go back and revisit your youthful convictions in light of later experience, as I've done and as most people do (I have changed my mind over the years on a few issues). It's another to revisit the incidents of your youth themeselves. I've had a similar experience in trying to come to grips with the idea that maybe Jim Rice never really was a superstar . . . the mind doesn't grasp it.

Not that I have a lot of doubts, mind you, but I'm really in no mood to argue the details, that's all. Suffice it to say that, after the drear of the Seventies, I found Reagan to be a deeply inspiring figure, one who left a permanent mark on my notions of leadership and the goals of the American enterprise.

Still, it wasn't just my childhood; Carter really was, as Dave Barry put it, a colossal weenie. Just re-read the famous "crisis of confidence" speech, and contrast it with the tone Reagan set throughout his presidency. (Link via the MinuteMan).

Bonus observation: I hadn't realized how much of the Clinton "feel your pain" and "listening tour" stuff came from Carter.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:52 PM | Politics 2004 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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