Posts Tagged ‘Ronald Wilson Reagan’

Gov. Scott Walker takes radically different positions when it comes to interpreting Ronald Reagan and the U.S. Constitution

September 5, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 5, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had a fascinating interview with CNBC reporter John Harwood this week. I was struck by many of the things the Midwestern Republican and aspiring presidential nominee said, but perhaps the most interesting comments revolved around deciphering the meaning of texts.

Take this exchange:

HARWOOD: Ronald Reagan, as you know, strongly opposed the passage of Medicare, said it was an infringement of liberty, socialized medicine. Was he right about that?

WALKER: Well, we’re not going to take Medicare away. He gave that speech, as I remember, three years before I was born. So I can’t judge what he meant at the time. I’m just going to tell you, for people at or near retirement, we’re not touching Social Security. We’re going make sure that they have an intact Medicare system. For my generation and younger, yeah — needs to be some sort of reforms. We live in a 401(k) society.

The meat of Walker’s answer — near-term retirees needn’t worry, but wholesale changes must be made so the program remains viable for younger workers — consists of wholly generic Republican talk about popular social welfare programs. But the most intriguing part of the governor’s reply involves his preamble.

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Out of order: Despair and the American way

May 1, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
May 1, 2015

There have been a handful of days in my life that have shaken my belief in America, the nation that has sheltered and nurtured me. Two of them have come in the last six months.

The earliest such occasion was March 30, 1981, when I came home from school and learned that someone had attempted to kill President Ronald Reagan. It was the first time since 1963 that an assassin had seriously jeopardized the life of the leader of the free world.

The next world-shattering day was Jan. 28, 1986, when the seven people aboard the space shuttle Challenger were killed by an explosion 73 seconds into their ascent. It was the first time in history that an American space mission which had cleared the gantry had resulted in the loss of lives. I got out of school early because of testing and spent the afternoon in the basement of my friend Eric’s house watching coverage of the catastrophe on CNN and other TV channels. The deaths seemed entirely at odds with my belief in the United States (and in adults) as technologically competent.

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What would a Tea Party utopia really be like for women, disenfranchised voters and the poor? Don’t look to Slate’s Reihan Salam for answers

June 20, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
June 20, 2014

Reihan Salam, a conservative writer who became a regular Slate columnist this spring, has tried to picture how the United States would look if it were ruled by the Tea Party. He calls this conservative fantasyland Teatopia.

Most of Salam’s piece revolves around subsidiarity, which boils down decentralizing government. If the federal bureaucracy of Salam’s vision — which the author describes as a thought exercise, instead of as a future that he would necessarily endorse — isn’t exactly small enough to drown in a bathtub, it might at least be spare enough to fit in one:

Tea Party conservatives … favor voluntary cooperation among free individuals over local government, local government over state government, and state government over the federal government. Teatopia would in some respects look much like our own America, only the contrasts would be heightened. California and New York, with their dense populations and liberal electorates, would have even bigger state governments that provide universal pre-K, a public option for health insurance, and generous funding for mass transit. They might even have their own immigration policies, which would be more welcoming toward immigrants than the policies the country as a whole would accept.

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