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eXile Classic / February 5, 2011

reagan exile cover

In all of America, isn’t there one person brave enough to dump wet cement on Reagan’s Hollywood Boulevard star? Isn’t there one bitter reject with nothing to lose, willing to pour lighter fluid over the “tributes” Reagan’s fans have been laying outside the funeral home?

Apparently not.

Every fool in America is deep in mourning for this worthless man, who had no conscience, no intellect and no shame. He had all the faults and none of the virtues of the fascist: malice without frankness; cruelty without courage; pomp without dignity. And if all 285 million of you suckers are willing to sit there and let the jerks lie about him to your face, then you deserve him. He really was your kind of man.

No one but a sucker would stand for the crap they’re saying about Reagan. The claims they’re making for Reagan aren’t just false — they’re comic.

“He was a brave leader.” Reagan was the most cowardly president of the 20th century. His favorite weapons systems were those which could not possibly be used in anger, such as the B1 bomber or Star Wars. These weapons transferred money to military-industrial stockholders without risking actual wartime use, which made them ideal for corporate cowards like Reagan’s staffers.

It took his chickenhawk braintrust months to get up the nerve to invade Grenada, an island so tiny even the Army had a hard time finding maps for it. And when the American military finally triumphed, after some “tough combat” with a couple hundred Cuban construction workers, Reagan’s men pissed themselves with relief. But they still wouldn’t give effective anti-aircraft weapons to the Afghans — not until Democratic congressmen forced Reagan the Peacenik’s trembling hand.

President Reagan-Astrology

The Iran-Contra scandal revealed just how un-martial and indeed anti-American Reagan’s military policies really were. While refusing to arm the Afghans, who were brave and effective anti-Soviet fighters, Reagan’s circle was obsessed with funneling huge wads of cash to the “Contras,” the Nicaraguan death squads whose military effectiveness consisted only of massacring unarmed villagers, and who never once stood up to Sandinista troops and provided the least semblance of battle. Since he was forbidden by law from slipping money to the Contras without Congressional authorization, Reagan sent fascist stooge Ollie “Nutcase” North to Iran — to sell the Iranian Islamists US weaponry! Iran — the country that hated us most in the world! Sending them US weapons and sending the money to sleazy coke-dealing throat-slitters who were no use in battle at all! How in the name of besieged sentience is that a patriotic act?

“He was a compassionate conservative.” What this means is that he was the only American rightwinger whose evil didn’t show in every photograph–camouflage honed in dozens of films from an era when entertainment was bland and inoffensive. He was the quintessential American success, without memories or even a scrap of affect. His adopted son, Michael, wrote about meeting his dad at the boarding school to which the boy had been sent by his indifferent Hollywood parents. Reagan did a guest appearance at the school, which made Michael feel very proud. He stood in line to see his Dad. As each boy passed and shook his hand, Reagan said exactly the same line: “Hello, Sonny, what’s your name?” Michael’s turn finally came. He looked up at his father, who said, “Hello, Sonny, what’s your name?”

Compassionate? I know better. I grew up under Reagans rule. Many of his best techniques were refined in his terms as governor of California, long before he became president. Before Reagan, insane people were maintained at State expense. Under Reagan, the job was transferred to “community care” — but as everybody knew, there was no such thing. So every crazy in California took the bus to Berkeley.

“He won the Cold War.” On the contrary, he came to power when the Cold War was already over, with the Soviet gerontocracy hanging on to power, trying not to make waves and hoping that their dying system would last their own lifetimes. Reagan and his CIA analysts confronted an opponent they knew to be dying or dead, and spent eight years propping up that moribund opponent in order to keep the suckers scared and the military-industrial complex running strong.

If you read Philip K. Dick’s novels, you know who Reagan was: he was Buster Friendly. Tireless, grinning, never taking himself too seriously — and avidly working to destroy anything worth saving.

Like Buster, Reagan hated Nature — the animals, the forests — most of all. You can explain his hatred as the result of buyout by timber and oil interests, and that’s true to some extent. But other rightwing politicians in the habit of colluding with the energy biz go to some trouble to pretend they value all that environmental shit. Reagan never did. In fact, his record of anti-Nature invective is one of the few clear intellectual themes one can discern in his speeches. While still governor of California, he made the famous “If you’ve seen one Redwood tree, you’ve seen’em all” remark. He always made the extra effort to revile trees and the people who hugged them, to disseminate ridiculous claims about plants causing pollution, and to strip first California and then the whole country of every park, wilderness or environmental law. As far as I can see, this was his only principle: hatred of life. And the more beautiful and rare the life, the more intense his hatred.

And now the amnesiac selfishness which characterized his whole undeservedly long, comfortable life has finally lapped over the top and stopped his heart. It was typical of him, though, to pick an exit that denied all thought, and all suffering. Those were for lesser breeds.

This article was first published in The eXile on June 10, 2004.

John Dolan is the author of Pleasant Hell.

Read part 2 of The eXile’s tribute to Ronald Reagan, “The Abominable Chimp-fucker is Dead!” and part 3, “Homeless in Mourning”.

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20 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. EJK  |  February 5th, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Indeed.

    Thank you.

  • 2. Doug  |  February 5th, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Someone should send this to Shawn Hannity who figuratively sucks Reagan’s dick regularly on the radio…

  • 3. MQ  |  February 5th, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Reagan was the most cowardly president of the 20th century.

    This may be true, but isn’t it kind of a good thing? The last thing we should want is a “courageous” president getting us into idiotic foreign wars. (And how are warlike presidents courageous anyway, they just sit in the oval office). One of the few things I admire Reagan for is turning tail and running the instant American blood was shed in Lebanon. No bullshit about “credibility”. Very wise move!

  • 4. Derp  |  February 5th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    (looks at cover)

    Derp derp derp! Yeah, Powerpuff Girls fucking rock! It ain’t anime and they managed to take some money from the Japs for once, derp derp!

  • 5. RanDomino  |  February 5th, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    why is the exile the only thing worth reading on the internet
    why

  • 6. Kamron  |  February 5th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    “This may be true, but isn’t it kind of a good thing? The last thing we should want is a “courageous” president getting us into idiotic foreign wars.”

    I dunno- it seems like it’s the cowards with something to prove who ‘prove’ it by sending other people off to fight for them. While decorated war heroes like Kerry get vilified for understanding that war is hell and having sympathy for the soldiers who do that actual fighting.

  • 7. Doctor Memory  |  February 5th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I bow to no man in my loathing for America’s first artificial president, but from the perspective of 2011, perhaps the rush to arm the mujaheddin in Afghanistan by erstwhile liberals trying to outflank Reagan on the right looks a little… what’s the word? Premature? Ill-advised? Moronic? Ah yes, that’s it. How’d that plan work out for us, anyway?

  • 8. Arch Stanton  |  February 5th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I’ve heard people say some pretty mean things about Reagan–some of which were true. It’s true he was a liar, and a thief, and a terrorist. On the other hand, he had a terrific sense of humor. If you listen closely, you can still hear the echoes of his resonant laughter and be comfortable in the knowledge that the joke is on you.

  • 9. matt  |  February 5th, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    7.

    The Taleban and mujihadeen were not one and the same sir, I thought the same until I read Malalai Joya, but there were 150,000 mujihadeen. how many hardcore Taleban were there at first when we went in? the Mujihadeen included nationalists, religious fanatics, warlords and their lackeys, etc.

    also, Dolan is not even bothering to disguise the fact that he is Brecher anymore.

  • 10. Don Quixote  |  February 5th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    And I thought Felipe II was bad…

  • 11. Hmm  |  February 5th, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Really OT but what is “Anime-tion?” Some kind of Russian music festival? The artwork is clearly inspired by PPG, though not of the show iself.

  • 12. Doctor Memory  |  February 5th, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Matt@9: yeah, I’m aware that the Taleban and the muj were nonoverlapping sets, but you can still draw a direct line from us funding a grab-bag of lunatics to fight the Soviets to the collapse of the state and the Taleban takeover afterward.

  • 13. John Figler  |  February 6th, 2011 at 2:11 am

    “And I thought Felipe II was bad…”

    Oh, no… Felipe II was a mean, straight, macchiavelic bastard. But he was literate, intelligent, work devoted and even trendy in clothing before he went all Catholic darkness and that. Just a pity his father left him so an overstretched Empire that he was not able to buttfuck the Dutch, and English, protestants on the spot.

    Reagan would not have existed then.

  • 14. wintersoldier  |  February 6th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Reagan was the best friend our oligarchs and Anne Coulter ever had.

  • 15. H. Khariq  |  February 9th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    The Taliban and the Mujahideen were very much overlapping sets, most of the leaders of the Taliban are veterans of the war with Russia.

  • 16. jim  |  February 10th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Yeah, just imagine if Reagan had been as heroic back in 1983 in the wake of Flight 007 as Kennedy was during the Cuban Missile Crisis – maybe “we begin bombing in five minutes” would’ve been more than the 20th Century’s most tasteless blooper.

    Picking a nit: I doubt the Red Army brass saw all those Pershings being unilaterally deployed in West Germany as “cowardly.” Also, the SDI & B-1 were both meant as first-strike weapons, meant to operate in tandem to hit the USSR before they could retaliate, & then neutralize their response from orbit. Ditto the Cruise missile program. The “Peace Shield” PR used to sell SDI would’ve made Orwell blush.

    Given the known policy shift on both sides from “Launch On Command” to “Launch On Warning” the correct word isn’t cowardly – it’s suicidal … hardly surprising behavior from someone that used to party with Errol Flynn.

    Reagan didn’t win the Cold War – low oil & grain prices did.

  • 17. Jesse the Thief  |  February 10th, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Reagan was like the Homer Simpson of presidents. He was dense, obnoxious, and most of the things he got credit for occurred DESPITE his actions, not because of them. The popular right wing mythology that he “beat” the Soviet Union is the real eye twitcher. The Soviet Union beat itself, Reagan just happened to be there for the photo op when it finally keeled over of a lethal stroke after decades of smoking and vodka.

  • 18. Yam Digger  |  February 21st, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Actually, Jesse, I’ll take Homer Simpson over Reagon for president anyday. At least dispite of his dim wittedness, Homer has a good heart in the right place. Reagon on the otherhand only has a lump of concrete somewhere in his chest cavity.

  • 19. thomas vesely  |  June 11th, 2011 at 3:49 am

    the poor fuck was an actor,what did the electorate expect ?
    you clowns voted in an actor to lead you.
    who next, paris hilton ?

  • 20. Hieronymous  |  November 3rd, 2011 at 7:53 am

    that was spectacularly brilliant. well done. seeing such pure and crystallized truth has left me almost breathless. the mindlessness of the american consumer (yes, i used that word on purpose) is absolutely staggering. one of the most galling things for me was when they named the national airport after that turd. here’s the fascist who broke the PATCO union and they name an airport after him. that’s just foul.


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