...
The Reagan Revolution

Government is not a solution to our problem; government is the problem. … Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it. … The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

We must never remain silent in the face of bigotry. We must condemn those who seek to divide us. In all quarters and at all times, we must teach tolerance and denounce racism, anti-Semitism, and all ethnic or religious bigotry wherever they exist as unacceptable evils. We have no place for haters in America — none, whatsoever.

Three quotes attributed to Ronald Reagan


Introduction

The Reagan Revolution

Thom Hartmann’s insightful analysis delves into the Reagan Revolution, shedding light on its historical roots and the consequential impact on the American middle class. This critique aims to provide an exploration of key themes, emphasizing the significance of a paradigm shift in contemporary American politics.

While I agree historically with Hartmann’s analysis, I do not share his optimism that the damage done by the Regan Revolution is disintegrating before our eyes. On the contrary, with the advent of Trumpism and the MAGA crowd, we may be doomed. Without a concerted effort by the majority of Americans to destroy the damage done, the nation will collapse into a totalitarian fascist state.

The Reagan Revolution and Noble Intentions

Reagan’s conservative ideology, driven by Russell Kirk’s warnings, posited that controlling middle-class wealth was crucial to preventing societal collapse. While their intentions were rooted in a sense of duty, the ensuing policies inadvertently compromised the American Dream.

The 1960s Catalyst

The transformative movements of the 1960s, encompassing women’s liberation, anti-Vietnam War protests, and civil rights demands, forced conservatives to reconsider Kirk’s prophetic warnings about an expanding middle class. This period became a catalyst for a broader societal reassessment of economic and social stability.

The Reagan Revolution Solutions Unveiled in 1981

In 1981, the Reagan Revolution unfolded strategies aimed at suppressing dissent. They strategically dismantled unions, added federal oversight of k-12 education, and intensified the War on Drugs. While seemingly beneficial to the wealthy, these policies, as emphasized by Hartmann, had profound repercussions on the middle class.

Economic Impact of Reaganomics

Reagan’s economic policies favored the affluent, eroded union power, and facilitated the offshoring of manufacturing. The tangible outcome was a decline in real wages and a notable surge in economic inequality. This policy chipped away at the very foundations of a thriving society.

Biden’s Speech: A Paradigm Shift for The Reagan Revolution

President Biden’s recent address stands as a pivotal moment in contemporary politics. His outright rejection of Reagan’s anti-government stance in favor of collective responsibility echoes the wisdom of FDR from 1933. Biden’s emphasis on ‘We, the people’ signifies a departure from decades of Republican orthodoxy. The heralding of a more inclusive approach to governance may just be the turning point in history.

Revisiting FDR’s Wisdom

By invoking FDR’s wisdom, Biden acknowledges the cyclical failures of Republican orthodoxy! A cycle of deregulation, privatization, and tax cuts that historically led to economic downturns. This recognition lays the foundation for transformative change and a departure from past pitfalls.

The Reagan Revolution A Pattern Repeating

For the third time in just 30 years, a Democratic president grapples with the aftermath of Republican policies. This cyclicality underscores the urgency of reevaluating the impact of Reaganomics on the middle class. Simultaneously, it prompts a collective call for sustainable, inclusive governance.

Republicans’ Hollow Promises

The GOP’s current struggles and their attempts to mobilize a diminishing base. To exercise dominance they resort to measures suppressing voting. This policy underscores the disparity between rhetoric and reality. The dissonance created exposes the imperative for a more inclusive and sustainable approach to governance.

Biden’s Speech: The Turning Point for The Reagan Revolution

President Biden’s address represents a turning point, challenging the enduring influence of the Reagan Revolution. Some Republicans may be slow to grasp this shift. Symbolized by a departure from the past and a resolute commitment to rebuilding a more equitable and prosperous future.

Hope for a New America

Despite the damage inflicted over the past four decades, there is optimism that America can recover from the brink of chaos and desperation. The willingness to reevaluate policies, as indicated by Biden’s speech, suggests the potential for a new era marked by inclusivity, shared prosperity, and a renewed focus on the well-being of the American middle class.

Conclusion

Hartmann’s thesis gains depth when viewed in the broader context of historical events and recent political developments. This expanded critique underscores the need for a positive shift away from Reaganomics, offering hope for a renewed commitment to the ideals that underpin a flourishing society.

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

One thought on “The Reagan Revolution Collapsing: A Critique of Hartmann’s Ideas”

Leave a Reply