Ronald Reagan is essentially the president for most Republicans – though I’ve never really understood why. In the minds of many Republicans, Reagan is a “fiscally conservative icon.” But the truth is, if Reagan were running for office today based on his record as president, the GOP would despise him. He raised taxes several times while in office; passed an actual amnesty bill in 1986; negotiated with terrorists; sold illegal arms to Iran; and he nearly tripled our national debt.
That last one being the one that baffles me the most. I’ve still never had a single Republican adequately explain to me how someone is considered a “fiscally conservative icon” after almost tripling our national debt in eight years. That makes absolutely no sense.
Republicans will never admit it, but the legend of Reagan is far different than the actual reality. They worship the legacy of a man that’s based mostly off myths rather than facts.
So it should come as no surprise that Reagan’s birthday is quite a big deal for the GOP. I would say just about every single Republican I follow on Twitter had some sort of “birthday tweet” yesterday concerning our 40th president’s birthday.
Well, I happened to notice one other non-Republican member of Congress who sent out a special birthday greeting honoring the late Reagan – none other than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Needless to say, his tweet was slightly different, but pretty freaking hilarious:
Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan: pic.twitter.com/nCmmFLfubn
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 6, 2015
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what many refer to as “trolling.” Nothing like using Reagan’s own words to contradict the economic propaganda of the party that often claims he’s the person on which they try to base their entire set of political beliefs.
Could you imagine if Reagan said such a quote today? Fox News would erupt in erratic hostility, the tea party would call him a socialist/communist and if he were currently an elected official he would be “primaried” the next time he was up for election. And that’s just from this one quote. That doesn’t even include the fact that he passed essentially the same immigration reform bill that President Obama supports. You know, the immigration bill most Republicans claim is appalling and un-American.
But it all goes back to the fact that conservatives worship a version of Reagan that really didn’t exist. While I agreed with very little that Reagan did while he was in office, I fully believe that if he tried to get elected today he wouldn’t stand a chance with the lunatics who’ve taken over his party.
So Republicans can gush on and on all they want about “Saint Reagan” and how he’s their “conservative hero” on which they base their entire party – but they’re just lying to themselves. Conservatives worship their the myth of Ronald Reagan instead of the reality of who he actually was.