Saturday, October 17, 2009

On Reagan

Posted by Teresa at 1:55 PM
Ronald Reagan is a conservative icon. He is idolized by the conservative
movement. However, somethings about him doesn't strike me as very
conservative. He is well-known for saying this:

His question: "Are you better off than four years ago," it is not a
conservative question. Implicit in that question is the notion that I, the
President of the United States, elevated your circumstances. Conservatism
is supposed to be about individualism and getting the government out of the
way. That is not what I hear in that question. I hear: Here is how the
government has improved your life in the past four years.

I'm reading the book "Why Are Jews Liberals?" by Norman Podhoretz
and on page 196 he writes this about Reagan and his condemnation of
Israel during the Israeli incursion into Lebanon in 1982:
Nevertheless- and not for the last time- it was not the PLO but the
Israelis who were universally condemned for violating international
law and for the "slaughter in Beirut" they were perpetrating through
"relentless and indiscriminate bombardment of neighborhoods
filled with Lebanese civilians who had absolutely no role in
the Israeli-PLO dispute."
The strong words I have just quoted were Reagan's own, but they were
mildness itself compared to what he said directly to Begin. "I told him,"
Reagan recorded in his diary, that
"[the bombing and shelling] had to stop or our entire relationship
was endangered. I used the word "Holocaust" deliberately
and said the
symbol of his country was becoming "picture
of a seven-month-old
baby with its arms blown off."
As Mr. Podhoretz goes on to note that is usually people from the Left that make
the moral equivalency between Israel and the Holocaust. So I was surprised
to learn that Reagan, a conservative, would make such a comparison.



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