The Reagan Phenomena

What the hell? Reagan, one of the least popular presidents, one of the dumbest presidents, and one of the most morally vile preseidents in American history (which is saying a whole lot) is celebrated in death like no other president since Kennedy was assassinated, or maybe even since Roosevelt. What does this mean. Would anyone have complained had he died with a notice in the news, like the ones for Johnson, Nixon, or Ford? (Wait, are they all dead, or not? Do you even know? Does it matter to you?) So…what is going on?

My guess is that this is media muscle-flexing for Bush, as compared to efforts in recent weeks more or less undermining Bush. If so, it’s a scary foreboding of things to come.

Nearly all capitalists would like Bush re-enthroned to carry out his agenda of obliterating remaining domestic redistributive social programs while enshrining the rule of U.S. international military power, supposing that he can do this successfully. But many of these wannabe Bush supporters worry that he can’t do it successfully, in their terms, and that Bush and his coterie will engender so much popular opposition as to risk rollback against elite interests. A few even honestly worry about international dissolution, ecological calamity, etc.

In either event, Kerry wining the election seems to depend mightily on media machinations during the election end game. If corporate elites (and thus the media) are pretty evenly split, Kerry will win rather easily because sanity will surface in sufficient sectors of the public. For example, imagine in the run up to the election the government finds bin Laden and while some media celebrate Bush as a warrior genius, others ask aggressively why it took so long, and say who cares anyway since bin Laden is no longer in command and Bush is an idiot, and so on. On other hand, with a different attitude among corporate owners, the same findings could be trumpeted as evidence that Bush is the reincarnation of each person’s own image of perfection and, in any event, provides reason for only one possible choice, a resounding vote for Bush. With an overwhelming media bias toward Bush, it will be very hard for Kerry to win. With a mixed media message, he should come out on top, it seems to me.

I fear that the gigantic outpouring for Reagan may be a clear indicator that a lot more elites have got to become fearful of the consequence of a Bush victory if there is to be media evenhandedness this Fall, and thus a Kerry victory. Which says, I think, for those leftists interested in the election, that building movements against war and injustice is, as usual, more important, even just to the election, than adding a few more voices saying vote Kerry.

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