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THE REAGAN LEGACY PROJECT
By David Podvin
Conservative activist Grover
Norquist is leading a campaign to honor Ronald Reagan by putting the former
president’s name on as many public buildings as possible. Thus far, the Reagan
Legacy Project has succeeded in renaming Washington National Airport after the
man who resisted pressure to obsess about passenger safety and wisely fired the
country’s most capable air traffic controllers. It has also been successful in
putting his name on hundreds of schools and government offices nationwide, with
the stated intention of having him become the most honored president ever. Soon,
Reagan tributes will eclipse those that are dedicated to his less important
predecessors, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
And the Reagan Legacy Project has
only just begun. The ambitious Mr. Norquist has big plans:
Erecting a President Reagan Monument on the national mall in
Putting President Reagan’s face on Mount Rushmore.
Replacing Alexander Hamilton on the ten dollar bill with President Reagan.
All of this is doubtlessly well
But it is totally inadequate.
If we are going to honor our
fortieth president, whose legendary charm still makes nostalgic mainstream
reporters get flushed and start swooning, then let’s pay proper tribute to his
many considerable accomplishments.
It is a miscarriage of justice that
every freeway underpass in America is not named the “Ronald Reagan Homeless
Shelter”. As governor of California, Dutch was in the vanguard of paying for
tax cuts by emptying state run mental hospitals. Patients who had families were
sent home. Patients who did not have families were thrown out alone onto the
streets, which conservative experts have determined is the best place for
mentally disturbed people who are not self-sufficient. And don’t allow liberal
revisionist historians to underplay the former president’s crucial roll in
dramatically reducing the size of the social safety net in order to cut the top
marginal tax rate. With just one mighty stroke of the pen, he created more
homeless people and he created more yachts for Republican
financiers. Who says life requires tradeoffs? We must memorialize these
accomplishments so that future generations will never forget that none of it
could have happened without America’s finest actor at the helm.
Another practical tribute to the great man would be to kill every tree in
America by coating them with nonstick synthetic resin. This will create an
eternal monument to the pivotal role in the Reagan Administration that the media
played by closing their eyes to any and all imperfections of the man that they
turned into our beloved Teflon President. Additionally, it will allow our
descendants to breathe air that is completely free of smog. In this way, future
generations will always appreciate President Reagan for his cutting edge
scientific research into the previously uninvestigated scandal of
Rather than insulting the former
president by putting his likeness on the ten dollar bill, we should trumpet the
magnitude of his economic accomplishments by creating a new denomination of
currency just for him. Listen to the majestic poetry of this, Grover – the six
trillion dollar I.O.U.
We should use tax dollars to
subsidize a private sector salute to President Reagan. My suggestion is to pay
the Heinz Corporation for the privilege of having them place his likeness on
every bottle of ketchup, so that we will never forget about his humane
commitment to provide a balanced diet to even the most humble of America’s
In order to honor President
Reagan’s many attempts to eliminate the National Endowment For The Arts, it
would be fitting to replace the outdated leftist paintings in America’s
museums with sparkling new conservative portraits. What true lover of art wants
to look at someone’s wrinkled old mother sitting in a rocking chair when they
could be admiring the champion of slashing Social Security benefits sitting
astride a horse?
There are statues of Ulysses S.
Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman all over the place. Well, maybe not in the
South. After all, what did these two guys really accomplish? They militarily
brought an end to slavery. Let’s see how many standing ovations that gets them
at the next Republican National Convention. We should knock down all of those
undeserved monuments and replace them with gleaming bronze likenesses of a true
military hero - the Liberator Of Grenada.
Cemeteries in San Francisco and
other urban areas should contain large effigies of President Reagan’s hearing
aids, turned to the off position. This will set the historical record
straight, clarifying that he really was unable to hear the desperate pleas for
help that came from the gay community during the height of the AIDS crisis.
President Reagan’s legacy has been
shortchanged in the area of human rights. He boldly supported authoritarian
dictators on every continent except Antarctica, which was too leftist to have
any authoritarian dictators. He refused on principle to take the trendy route of
opposing apartheid. He thrilled real Americans when he thumbed his nose at the
liberal crybabies by kicking off his 1984 reelection campaign in Philadelphia,
Mississippi, a town that symbolized the euthanasia of three carpet bagging civil
rights agitators. If President Kennedy is entitled to the eternal flame in
Arlington National Cemetery, then President Reagan certainly has certainly
earned the eternal burning cross.
Of course, there has to be a grand
tribute to honor the greatness of President Reagan’s most magnificent
accomplishment; single handedly bringing the Soviet Union to its knees. There is
only one appropriate way to honor the man who destroyed the Evil Empire by
proposing the Strategic Defense Initiative. That is to implement the ultimate in
security programs – the Personal Defense Initiative. Like SDI, it will be
prohibitively expensive. And, like SDI, it will be scientifically unworkable.
However, consider what a wonderful salute it will be to the former president
when every American is surrounded by their own personal system of orbiting
satellites that will be equipped with sophisticated laser technology designed to
shoot down anything from incoming missiles to hungry mosquitoes. As with SDI,
the concept is so comforting, and so effectively redistributes wealth from
middle class taxpayers to Republican contributors in the aerospace industry,
that whether the system actually works is totally beside the point.
We should rename the nation of
Guatemala “Reagan Country”. This will honor the former president for
patriotically embezzling our tax dollars in order to finance the assassination
squads that taught tens of thousands of peasants the true meaning of “better
dead than red”. If Guatemala stubbornly rejects our right to rename
“their” country, then we can subtly remind them that the College Of The
Americas is still using the same curriculum that it was teaching in the 1980s.
Finally, the ultimate homage to our
most admirable leader should be the inclusion of the words “I don’t
remember” in the presidential oath of office (“Did you trade arms for
hostages?” “I don’t remember.” “Did you lie to the American people
about it?” “I don’t remember.” “Did you violate the constitution that
you had sworn to uphold?” “I don’t remember?” “Did you commit multiple
felonies by illegally using taxpayer money to finance your private genocidal war
in Central America?” “I don’t remember.”).
Great men deserve great tributes.
Grover Norquist’s group is doing
America a disservice by failing to properly honor President Ronald Wilson
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