If a liberal scholar writes a balanced book about Nixon, what are the chances that right-wing talkmeisters will give him credit, given the comical way that Ronald Reagan has been built up into a mythical figure by the present day GOP? To hear them praise him is to think that he never raised taxes, which he did. Of course, Reagan governed in an age where politicians still treated the American people as if they were grown up and tough enough and unselfish enough to listen to debate about revenue imbalances in terms of options that ranged from cutting spending to raising taxes. Yes, really! There was a time when voters weren’t treated as big babies. That this no longer is the case is the responsibility of both the speakers and listeners, but more so of listeners. Too many have bought into a “make me feel good” culture.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Treating Voters Like Big Babies
Mulling my Presidents Day post on Richard Nixon's tapes, temperament, and legacy, historian Maarja Krusten wonders how a balanced assessment of the left's one-time bete noir would be received by today's conservatives: