Ronald Reagan was governor of California when I was in high school. Since my school was in Newport Beach (even swankier now than then), Reagan came to speak. I was in the back row.
Semesters for us seniors were either civics or social studies. It was my turn to take social studies so I was not allowed to ask questions, or so they thought. There was a pause in the action and I stood up and yelled, “Why is marijuana illegal?” The Gipper shuffled nervously, finding his words. “Why, do you know when you buy that stuff it supports organized crime?” he said. Critical thinkers will see he made my point for me. I chose not to support organized crime.
Yeah, I was kinda screwed up, owing to my folks’ divorce at a fragile age. But like John Prine said, “I didn’t kill anyone.” I don’t endorse mind altering substances so don’t construe this as such.
I knew Patti Davis, Reagan’s daughter, and ran into him a couple other times. Once was when I was sailing our 12′ sailboat in the harbor. Along came the Wild Goose, a PT boat that John Wayne had converted into a yacht. Sitting on the stern having cocktails were Reagan, The Duke, and Barry Goldwater.
More importantly, unlike the evil characters surrounding Trump’s presidency, Reagan brought true higher level thinkers.
One of those is David Stockman. He recently wrote about the Russian threat. As I was bell ringing a couple weeks ago a friend came up and mentioned the 100,000 soldiers Russia has stationed on their border with Ukraine. He was alarmed at the possible invasion by Russia into Ukraine.
NATO was once worth supporting. The U.S.S.R was constantly going on about international communism. Today Russia is still a second rate power reeling from the inevitable failure of Soviet socialism. To portray Russia as more than that is purely a sales pitch for more unnecessary military spending and welfare for rich Europeans.
Russian GDP is 7% of the gross domestic product of the United States. Russian annual military spending amounts to 32 days of ours. European lobbyists rightly believe Americans to be a bunch of chumps. The GDP of European NATO nations is 11 times greater than that of Russia. To claim we are allies and they need our help defending themselves from an aggressive Russia is silly.
With all the saber rattling from “defense” industry mouth pieces, you’d think Russia was on the brink of a European invasion but they are just standing their ground. Back in 2014 a Ukrainian president was elected and soon deposed in a U.S. orchestrated coup because he wished to be aligned with Russia rather than NATO. Victoria Nuland, acting for President Obama, led the operation falsely portrayed as a popular uprising. We were the aggressor.
Ronald Reagan is often thought of as bringing down the Soviets through threats of military might. This is because it keeps the gravy train of military spending flowing to “defense” focused industries. These hawks ignore the fact that Soviet socialism destroyed their work ethic and Soviet military adventurism finished them off.
It’s time we refused to let our military men and women (and taxpayers) be abused by these so-called leaders trumping up foreign scuffles as consequential enough to spill a single drop of American blood.
Let’s keep our military a defensive force to be reckoned with rather than a watered down social experiment.