Republicans always want to point to Ronald Reagan as the patron saint of the Republican party. They quote him endlessly and want to invoke his memory when ever they need to rally support in the party. My own opinion not withstanding, they point to Reagan as the model of a modern major political leader. I now hear those same Republicans bitching about their party’s nominee for President. To those Republicans I say you reap what you sow. The rise of Donald Trump is exactly what the GOP has fostered since their last great hero sat in the Oval Office. I don’t hear anyone extolling the virtues of “43”. Or “41” for that matter and if you discount them, Reagan is all you are left with. Unless, of course, you like Ike. I blame Reagan for the state the Republican party is in currently and if you follow my reasoning, you will understand why.
According to the US Department of the Treasury’s national debt figures, we see an ebb and flow to our national debt since the Washington administration. The first interesting thing I noted was when Andrew Jackson became President, the national debt was 67 billion dollars. When he left office our national debt was just over 37 thousand. (not a typo). But I digress. Lincoln exploded the debt but he had a civil war to fight. Wilson and FDR also exploded the debt but they had world wars and a depression to contend with. Truman and Eisenhower paid a fraction of the debt off but since World War II, the debt has been climbing steadily. Never more so than the 1980’s when Reaganomics ruled. When Reagan took office, the debt was 907 billion dollars and by the time he left office that figure was 2.6 trillion. Ronald Reagan increased the national debt by 186% during his administration during a time of relative peace in this country. So what did we get for our 1.69 trillion dollars of additional debt? I guess you could make a case for spending the Eastern Bloc into oblivion but then you might have to wonder if we might not have been better off for all those years with a true “balance of power” and ignore the problems and strife that has existed in the Balkans, the Ukraine, Chechnya and Crimea since the Soviet Union fell. Now, what else did Reagan use that money for? Oh yes, let’s not forget the massive 25% tax cut he gave to those in the upper income brackets. According to Reagan, the additional wealth he bestowed on the top few percent of earners was supposed to “trickle down” to the rest of us but in actuality, it started a 30 year long expansion of income inequality in this country. The rich got richer and the poor or average schmucks stayed poor and average.
Fast forward to today and the Republican elite who have believed for a generation that the path to happiness is lowering taxes and increasing defense spending all the while not paying attention to what is really going on in this country. Average Americans are sick and tired of watching the “ruling class” get richer, corporate greed running rampant while shipping US jobs overseas and not really caring about the “social issues” so important to a minority of the Republican establishment. Americans want to be safe in their own country and a chance to better themselves through hard work and loyalty. Unfortunately the loyalty flowed from the bottom up but not from the top down. Republicans have survived for many years by people voting against their interests so when you get a slick reality TV star who is able to tap into their fears and insecurities and convince them only he can fix the problems, again, they will vote against their interests to try anything to “right the ship”. What they don’t realize is that a vote for Donald Trump is for Trump’s sake not theirs.
So the next time I hear a Republican bitching about Donald Trump while praising Reagan, I say you get what you deserve.