The Blurry Lens of History


Reading Flavium’s inaugural post set me thinking. I can vouch for his early Obama fan-dom – I’ve seen a years old picture of them together at a rally of some kind, long before the presidential run.  And I tried to think if there’s ever been a similar presidency in my time.  My heroes are the standard ones, and despite what some of the whipper-snappers think I wasn’t alive for Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt or Kennedy.  OK, technically I was alive for Kennedy, but was too young to remember it.  I only know of those eras through the narrow lens of history, as it stabs blurrily from detail to detail.

Then it came to me: Reagan.  Reagan was greeted as a great man, overturning years of bad governance, clear visioned in a land of blind fools.  But in that case, I was on the other side. I always thought Reagan was a cartoon, and threw my vote to Anderson as a protest against Carter’s fumblings in Iran, confident that no one would really vote the ex-actor into the presidency.  The fact that he won, and then won again changed my outlook permanently.

I wonder how the whipper-snappers view him?


2 Responses to “The Blurry Lens of History”

  1. flavium Says:

    I suppose as a member of the young “whipper-snappers” I will take a shot at the depicting the blurry figure. Similar to Romulus’ relation to Kennedy, I was technically alive for most of the Reagan Era but really only remember birthday cake and shiny things.

    My understanding of Reagan from the small time spent on him in school in US History and from my casual acquaintances with politics is that he was a good president even bordering on great. Even though he was a Republican my impression has always been that he got a lot of things done that both sides could appreciate. I suppose the Cliff’s notes are that he was a good president and helped clean up the government. However, he still seems to miss the list when it comes to Presidential greats.

    As for his wife…. Nancy Reagan, I think, is seen as more of an iconic figure. It sounds like she was and I guess is one tough old lady that got things done and didn’t take crap from anyone.

    For the most part I would say that the bland history books in our schools still view him as a good but never reaching great leader. He is a faint and definitely blurry figure in my memory.

  2. Romulus Says:

    I’m not surprised by Flavium’s reply. History belongs to the winners. Anyone else younger than the Internet care to chime in?

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