That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

Caplan’s “Reagan at 100”

When I saw the headline “A tribute to Ronald Reagan at 100” juxtaposed with the byline “Gerald Caplan,” I knew we’d have one interesting article.

Bravo to offer some rare resistance to the whitewashed Reagan narrative that seems to have emerged since his death. It might comfort a lot of Americans (and Canadians, and all sorts of people) to reflect on the Cold War 1980s with a load of V-signs and hurrahs. “We won, the Soviets lost, how simple, how wonderful.” It’s a very different way for our southern neighbours to conceive of how wars work, given the neverending chaos and stateless complexities of the long wars they’re mired in today.

But that ’80s nostalgia has unhelpfully ironed over the fact that Reagan’s America was among the worst incarnations of America we ever knew.

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February 2011

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