The Curmudgeon


Monday, July 04, 2011

A Great American Hero

During the bad old days of the Cold War, the rulers of Soviet satellite states in central and eastern Europe were usually corrupt, authoritarian thugs who re-wrote history in the most ludicrous fashion, who pursued disastrous economic policies at the expense of their own people and the health of the environment, and who disfigured their cities with statues of mass murderers. Thankfully, nothing like that could happen in our blessed here and now. Instead, a statue of Ronald Reagan has been put up outside the American embassy in Grosvenor Square, and Willem den Haag has taken time off from saving Libya to relay an obsequious speech from Margaret Thatcher about how Reagan ended the Cold War, with no help at all from Andropov or Gorbachev or Oscar Romero, let alone from those rioters and anarchists in Berlin and elsewhere. A chunk of the Berlin Wall will be stuck in front of the statue; and, in a magnificent gesture of casual contempt, the US embassy will move away next year, leaving Grosvenor Square bathed in the effigy's benign fatuity.

Far be it from your humble correspondent, of course, to deny Reagan's historical importance. His main significance is that he played Alan Shepard to Brezhnev's Yuri Gagarin, pioneering the modern space-cadet style whereby a leader need be capable only of reading a script, and paving the way for the yet more vacuum-oriented postmodern style of George W Bush, who dispensed even with that obsolescent skill. Reagan's two terms undoubtedly deserve remembrance as the administration which demonstrated once and for all that the rulers of the United States could manage the country quite well in their own interests without the cumbersome formality of an actual chief executive.


  • At 10:15 pm , Blogger drip said...

    You left out a Polish trade union, a Polish pope and a crash in the price of gold and oil. Reagan was like a butterfly not flapping his wings in Brazil.

  • At 1:19 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    On the other hand, he did give his personal endorsement to the film Red Dawn, to the immeasurable benefit of American culture.

  • At 7:54 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    Kee-rist! Is there to be no escape? As if half of the government buildings in the US renamed for this anti-government moron were not enough, irony included. The man even declared war on libraries as being socialist for their practice of lending books. And here I briefly felt sorry for the man when I saw him in retirement, Alzheimered-out and white haired.


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