"So, we've got to teach history based not on what's in fashion but what's important -- why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant." That's a real sentence in Reagan's farewell address. https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/research/speeches/011189i
I'd forgotten the extent to which Reagan's schtick was just basically a more smiley version of "we need to make America great again." According to Reagan, the 60's ruined everything.
This is, of course, complete lunacy that he's talking here. Unless, that is, you assume that the people driving the women's movement, the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, and the anti-war movement of the 60s (all of whom were born before 1954) were un-American.
If you want to watch him deliver it, here's the video. I spent the evening watching clips of Reagan and more than ever I'm struck by what a rhetorically glib, but intellectually shallow person he was. Deeply shallow, if you will.
Here is how Reagan's closest advisors described his approach to thinking through complex problems. Might sound familiar. The article is from 1985.
A few more strange contemporary resonances in this 1985 article about Reagan...bothsidesing WWII and going with his gut over what advisors and experts say.
Reagan's favorite magazine was Human Events. It was like the Breitbart of its day, total right wing garbage, much of it highly inaccurate. His staff would try to hide it from him, usually unsuccessfully. Anyway...more contemporary resonances here.
"[Reagan] reduces complications to simple symbols & images of good & bad, American and un-American. That allows him to cut through the complexities that bewilder and hold no interest for the general public, putting him squarely on the public's wavelength." https://www.nytimes.com/1985/10/06/magazine/the-mind-of-the-president.html
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