There is no turning back now.
We've lost the war against Communism. Here is part of the story on how #NeoComs have risen to claim the "Right Side of History (TM)." Part One of Two
I used to be optimistic about America. I'm a Reagan kid, having spent my formative childhood in the 1980's, so of course, with such a great role model, I'd love America and the dream and promise of Americanism.
What the hell happened to us?
How did we get to the point in our history where Bernie Sanders, a famously avowed "Democrat socialist," is out drawing and closing in on the polls with an un-avowed socialist, un-indicted felon, and admitted alcoholic, Hillary Clinton at campaign events?
How did we get to the point in our history where only three members of the US Supreme Court still base their decisions on what is and what is not Constitutional?
How did we come to the point where dozens of Communists and Communist-raised sympathizers got elected to serve in office and then appoint their friends to positions of power and influence which trickled down into the unaccountable Fourth Branch of Government (The Bureaucracy)?
How did we get from people like Reagan--and hell, Democrats like Zell "'I challenged Chris Mathews to a duel on television" Miller?
|A Younger, Very Handsome Sally Kohn (TM) as Ivan Drago|
|"In Soviet Union, toilet paper wipes yoooo."|
"You’ve probably heard the name Ronald Reagan--after all, it adorns schools, highways, airports, buildings, and lots of other places. But since you were probably born after he left office, you might not know a lot about the life and legacy of America’s 40th President.
Never fear--in this BrainPOP movie, Tim and Moby will fill you in on the story of how this lifelong fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt became one of the most successful Republicans of all time. You’ll hear about his early career as a Hollywood movie actor, and how it taught him the communication skills he’d later put to use in his political career.
You’ll discover how he helped move conservative principles like low taxes and increased military spending from the fringe into the mainstream. And you’ll see how he contributed to the end of the Cold War. You’ll also learn about the downside of his presidential administration, too--from the way he ran up the national debt to the scandal that threatened his presidency. Whether you love the 80s or not, you’ll be sure to learn something from this movie!"Did you spot the #NeoCommunism in the text? No? Well, hey, kids! Let's discover it together!
1." ...this lifelong fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt became one of the most successful Republicans of all time."
Yes, it's true Ronnie was a very big fan of FDR, and understandably so for his time period. Say what you will about the tremendous damage a Progressive four-term President can have on a Constitutional Republic, but for 12 years (he died early in his 4th term, NTTIAWTT), FDR chatted with people inside their homes on the radio and guided a frightened nation through World War 2 and is given credit for fixing the Great Depression (even though his policies prolonged it in hindsight). Ronnie started out life as a Democrat--back when Democrats weren't the freaks they are today--and converted to become severely conservative DESPITE his FDR fandom.
The second part of the sentence is a remarkable backhanded compliment and begs a lot of questions: A "successful" Republican what?!
Is the answer "President", maybe?
But no, you avoided that word, didn't you, BrainPop? Did you avoid putting those two words together to avoid instant associations with another "successful" Republican President, Abraham Lincoln?
I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that this was an unintentional bias on your part, that even saying the word "Republican" causes you to vomit in your mouth and the only reason you agreed to take this project on is that a) you had to because you need a resume builder so you can eventually leave this $37,000/year job--your first since graduating from the Art Institute, b) you could "set the record straight" to impressionable children who are just a little more than ten years your junior. You were duty bound, dammit.
2. "You’ll discover how he helped move conservative principles like low taxes and increased military spending from the fringe into the mainstream."
Your hackles should be raised high at this moment. The person, described above, writing the cartoon script probably believes that these are "fringe" ideas better placed into the "wrong-side" history dustbin.
You have to realize, dear reader, that the script writer isn't intentionally fucking up. She totes believes that the principles the country was founded on, like the primary role of a limited government is to spend money on defense--and at any amount required to ensure the Constitution is preserved--so the country can protect the individual citizen's inherent rights.
Reagan had to increase American military spending because of two highly inter-related reasons:
a) the Soviet Union--our existential enemy since 1945--had just invaded Afghanistan and was active in conducting proxy revolutions in Central America. Iran had just underwent a radical transformation that resulted in 52 Americans being held hostage for 444 days under President Carter, who launched a failed special operations rescue.
b) The post-Vietnam malaise and military draw down had created an obsolete military too weak to be able to adequately protect America's interests (like Americans, for instance--see Desert One). The American military had to be modernized.
See, historical context matters. Progressives--especially young ones who focus obsessively on the future--don't like inconvenient history, and don't care to try to frame, evaluate, or test their ideas in a historical context.
None of this matters, though, because in just two sentences, the script writer has already started to anchor your child into these following beliefs (just has she, too, was taught them just a few years earlier):
1. Even Reagan, thought FDR was a hero, as should you.
2. Reagan was a President, but is seen as a more successful "Republican." Success to Republicans means implementing fringe ideas like excessive military spending and the incongruity of lower taxes. (I can just see her eyes rolling at the cognitive dissonance created as she tries to circle the square on increasing military spending while simultaneous reducing revenues to pay for it).
3. "And you’ll see how he contributed to the end of the Cold War."
Ah, yes. Where to go with this one?
There is an obvious bias to minimize two concepts. First, Reagan's role in defeating the Soviet Union and ending the Cold War, and second what the Cold War really was about.
The first is more significant. It's passive. It suggests the Cold War was ending already--as all wars do naturally, right*--and that Reagan simply "contributed."
There is obviously an inherent danger in attributing too much credit where it doesn't belong.
The second, is that the Soviet Union was sick and ailing; the internal demographics of the nation where horrendous. Communism as an economic system is practice will tend toward failure, and more quickly when you're trying to compete with the less bridled economic engine of the United States on a global scale.
Throw in a crippling Afghan insurgency...
What role did Reagan actually have in bringing down the USSR? Rest assured, it was significant, even if somewhat intangible, outside of simply bullying the USSR and bolstering the world against it. He certainly had help, and credit for supporting the Afghan mujihideen goes to a lot of patriotic lawmakers such as Democrat Texan Charlie Wilson, and a whole host of other awesome supporting characters.
Let's just say that Reagan had more to do with the Soviet downfall than Obama did killing Osama Bin Laden--an interesting thread of history that connects the two Presidents, btw.
4. "You’ll also learn about the downside of his presidential administration, too--from the way he ran up the national debt to the scandal that threatened his presidency. Whether you love the 80s or not, you’ll be sure to learn something from this movie!"
Ah, the dark side of Reagan. The Debt! The Scandals!
We've already talked about it a little. When you cut taxes and increase military spending, these things could happen. The debt went from about 1 to 3 trillion during the 1980's and annual deficits were pretty high. It's important to remember, though that Congress writes the checks, ultimately, and Reagan was denied a line-item veto to cut programs he didn't like (which is probably best in the long run, anyway). Economics are complicated things, and Reagan was fighting against Carter's stagflation, which screwed with actual revenues as inflation fluctuated.
Of course, both the deficit and total debt a little higher today. Since 2009, US debt has gone up 70% to 18.3 trillion. "What about a inflation and all that?!", you say.
"I could buy a 1989 Fiero GT for $12,000 back then! A high-quality Detroit-imported car like that today would run me at least $16,500!," you say.
Here is Reagan's debt buried in a chart, measured versus GDP. Let me know when you see it.
Iran-Contra was a scandal, alright. I watched the hearings as a child, and even without a Fox News or Limbaugh to cheerlead and provide me my opinions, recognized that Oliver North was a very powerful Lieutenant Colonel. I supported what he did. I wanted America to do whatever it took to defeat our enemies and protect Americans. So American was going to SELL some arms to Iran so they could fight SADDAM HUSSIEN for the purpose of rescuing AMERICAN hostages held in Lebanon (by Iran-backed militants) and also send residual funds to he Contras to fight COMMUNISTS in Central America.
Contrast this "scandal" with trading five high-level Taliban executives straight up for a PFC deserter. Throw into it this week's nuke deal that prompted me to create this meme.
Iran's nuke deal even worse for world than we could have imagined - The Washington Post - http://t.co/nfQ7Iu0Cqq pic.twitter.com/F76uCChwQW— Peter S. Dee (@PeeteySDee) July 17, 2015
OK, so you're thinking, Peetey, Peetey, Peetey. I bet BrainPop covers all Presidents equally--the good and the bad.
Well, I looked. And hey, you're right! They mentioned Bill Clinton's impeachment to lying to Congress about NOT getting blowjobs and diddling interns private parts with cigars, without mentioning "blowjob," although they did use a common synonym, "Lewinsky."
They didn’t call him the Comeback Kid for nothing! In this BrainPOP movie, Tim and Moby describe the triumphs and tribulations of Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States. Follow Clinton’s rise from a poor childhood in Arkansas to the highest office in the land. Discover his successes: laws designed to help the underprivileged; the revamping of America’s welfare policy; a sweeping North American trade agreement (NAFTA); and a booming economy. Analyze his failures: the defeat of healthcare reform; the military disaster in Somalia; and the Whitewater / Lewinsky scandal that led to his impeachment. And explore the circumstances that helped Clinton overcome these obstacles with his legacy intact!Gee, the "Comeback Kid!11!!!1" and "Mr. Intact Legacy!!!1!!!1!"
Life's pretty good when you're king and about 89% of the media vote for you and thuggish teachers unions endorse you to their compliant drones and college faculty donate money to you in spades.
But, hey. Let's give BrainPop another chance. Let's take a look at their artwork. Surely there are no #NeoCommunist messages in there, right? Too obvious, right?
In the left Ronnie photo, you've got jolly ol' Ron cuttin up those taxes, yuk yuk! What a fringe kook--that's sooooo 1980's! On the right, you've got an oil rig in a national park.
You may not know this, kid, but ol' Ron, like all Republicans, likes to bathe in pollution, and in the early 1980's opened portions of Federally owned land for oil exploration, which of course, ruined them all. Old Faithful actually spurts out oil, not boiling water propelled by steam.
Context matters, and despite the current administrations totally contrary policies, American is a global, fossil fuel power house. In the early 1980's, with Iran and Iraq gassing each other over oil fields along the border, and the 1973 oil embargo was quite fresh on the minds of America, some people were looking for some solutions other than Jimmy Carter's cardigan sweater energy conservation plans.
I'm an environmental biologist myself (even get paid to do it!), and no Progressive I've heard vomit #GreenWashing talking points ever seems to consider that if it weren't for fossil fuels we'd have to use all of our trees for energy. We wouldn't actually have enough trees, and the country would look a lot like Pennsylvania did in the 1800's. Man-caused erosion and change in hydrogeography would have a catastrophic effect on our surface water supplies.
|Susquehanna River Log Boom, circa 1880. Entire mountains were deforested.|
In Part Two, I'm going to tie this all into a nice neat bow and show you something that will totally blow you mind and make you feel utterly defeated and demoralized--if you weren't already.
Until then, have a great weekend! If you have children, start to talk to them about America if you haven't been.