I never liked Reagan. Mostly because he just had to be a stupid actor but he turned out to be right about most everything. That's really annoying. Lileks has a good summary of the situation in today's Bleat. I voted for Carter in 1976. In 1980, because Carter never came through on his promise of zero-based budgeting, I didn't vote. That was the beginning of my Harry Browne-inspired "there's no point in voting" period. As Lileks remembers:
We didn’t hate Reagan; we viewed him with indulgent contempt, since he was so obviously out of his depth. I mean, please: an actor? As president?
Then when the wall fell in 1989 and it obviously had something to do with the stances Reagan took, I was so ashamed of myself. I mean, the Berlin Wall. I remember when it went up in 1961, I was twelve. The wall became a permanent part of the world. It was the concretization (!) of the Iron Curtain. Which would never go away. And then all of a sudden there it was, gone. Something was going on which I couldn't understand. What blows my mind today is that anyone could live through all that and not realize that they didn't understand anything. And reexamine their political assumptions. Then the Gulf War and twelve years of ineffective Cartering around. Then 9-11. Then Bush actually does something about it. How can anyone not love it? Or at least give it a chance? The point is that freedom is something tangible, as real as a good meal. Something everyone can learn how to enjoy.