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« Fusion funding: A Proposal | Main | History Trivia »

Requiescat In Pacem

Ronald Reagan has died, a day before the sixtieth anniversary of the Normandy landing. It looks like Andrew Lloyd's sources were right a few days ago. Given this weekend's somber remembrances, it might be appropriate to replay his D-Day speech from twenty years ago (though that would put a lot of pressure on President Bush to deliver a real humdinger tomorrow if it's not to be overshadowed).

I never voted for him (I voted Libertarian), but he was one of the great presidents of the twentieth century, and I'm glad he won both times (and was at the time, considering the alternatives). The Soviet Union may have collapsed eventually, but there's zero doubt in my mind that he accelerated the process, and broke us out of the failed policy of containment. He was a man of great vision, and in that, we haven't had a president since, including the present one, that was his match.

Of course, in my mind he's been dead for years, and it's sad that we give so much reverence to the body and too little to the mind. I don't know if he was suffering toward the end, but this has to be a sorrow tinctured with relief for his long-suffering family.

Posted by Rand Simberg at June 05, 2004 02:16 PM
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Glad you said that. I've also considered him dead for years. But now he's dead and gone. People could hope for a miracle while his body functioned. I know, I've been through it, my grandmother died of the same disease. I considered her dead for years before she died but I was still sad when she was gone. (Or maybe I should switch the terms 'dead' and 'gone' -- they were both gone before they were physically dead.)

This may be an odd thing to say, but I think it's good that America can now officially mourn his loss.

Posted by Kathy K at June 5, 2004 04:14 PM

Rest in peace, Mr. President.


Posted by Jon Acheson at June 5, 2004 06:12 PM

God Bless Ronald Wilson Reagan! May you find your Heaven everthing you dreamed and much more.

It seems the Sub-Human filth over at Democratic Underground are having an orgy of schadenfreude today. May the Hypocracy Fairy give them crotch-rot!

Posted by Mike Puckett at June 5, 2004 08:24 PM

Rhetorically: The last great conservative president

In practice: A pretty good liberal president

I'm glad he (and his wife) have been released from the prison of Alzheimer's.

And I hope the Republican party observes the standards they demanded of those celebrating Paul Wellstone's life.

Posted by Duncan Young at June 5, 2004 10:35 PM

Duncan, do you seriously believe that President Reagan's funeral has any chance of turning into anything resembling the obscene campaign rally that Senator Wellstone's became? I find this kind of preemptive commentary (which has already appeared at CNN and other places) offensive.

While I'm not a Republican, my general observation is that they have a little more class than that, not being quite as obsessed with political power as the Donkeys (a trait all the more emphasized by the fact that the latter feel that they've been unjustly deprived of it for years now).

Posted by Rand Simberg at June 5, 2004 10:42 PM

Well, my apologies,

...and we will see.

The timing makes it a certainly lot less likely (and the man always had timing).

I just hope the Grover Norquist perpetual campaign for canonization doesn't hijack the funeral. I think Nancy (who does have class) should be able to prevent that.

And before I say anything else, best I hold my tougue.

Posted by Duncan Young at June 5, 2004 10:58 PM

I expect it to be a combination of a solemn ceremony and a wake, rejoicing in his life, and celebrating his accomplishments, with no mention of the opposite political party, other than those members of it who were his friends. It will be a state funeral, and I can't imagine it remotely resembling the Wellstone circus. Karl Rove is no Terry McAuliffe.

Posted by Rand Simberg at June 6, 2004 12:08 PM

I worked for McGovern in 1972.

I voted for Reagan in 1980 and 1984.

Even when I disagreed with him I saw him as a good and great man.

His line "Tear down this wall!" will, I hope, be remembered as long as humans are free -- which I hope will be always.

He did far more than his fair share in destroying Western totalitarianism. We all owe him a huge debt. Especially since the collapse of communism did not unleash a nuclear holocaust.

Posted by Chuck Divine at June 6, 2004 05:40 PM

Rand, you and your readers seem to be under some seriously mistaken impressions about the Wellstone memorial.

One paragraph of one speaker's eulogy was a call to win the election for Paul--that was the extent of the partisanship out of the four-hour event. It was hardly a circus, and Terry McAuliffe and the DNC/ DSCC had nothing to do with its planning or execution. In fact, only one elected Democrat spoke (Iowa Senator Tom Harkin), and he did not say anything partisan. The other speakers were all family and friends of all the victims, not just Wellstone.

The families have made the video available here; feel free to tell me I'm wrong after you've seen the whole thing.

Posted by folkbum at June 12, 2004 10:01 AM

My impression of the Wellstone memorial is based on my watching it in real time, at the time. It struck me then as a campaign rally, and I needed no others' opinions to reach this conclusion. I doubt if rewatching will change my mind. Your mileage may vary, but it's certainly not worth my time.

Posted by Rand Simberg at June 12, 2004 10:09 AM

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