Let His Own Words Indict Him — The Real Ronald Reagan


Main Entry: ha·gi·og·ra·phy
Pronunciation: -gE-‘ä-gr&-fE, -jE-
Function: noun
1 : biography of saints or venerated persons
2 : idealizing or idolizing biography

“Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.” — 1981

“A tree is a tree. How many more do you have to look at?” — 1966, opposing expansion of Redwood National Park as governor of California.

“I have flown twice over Mt. St. Helens out on our west coast. I’m not a scientist and I don’t know the figures, but I have a suspicion that that one little mountain has probably released more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere of the world than has been released in the last ten years of automobile driving or things of that kind that people are so concerned about.” — 1980, (Actually, Mount St. Helens, at its peak activity, emitted about 2,000 tons of sulfur dioxide per day, compared with 81,000 tons per day by cars.)

“Facts are stupid things.” — 1988, a misquote of John Adams, “Facts are stubborn things.”

“Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal.” — 1976

“You can’t help those who simply will not be helped. One problem that we’ve had, even in the best of times, is people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice.” — 1/31/84, on Good Morning America, defending his administration against charges of callousness.

“(The Contras are) the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.” — 1985

“I read every comic strip in the paper.” — 1984

“(Nazi soldiers) were victims, just as sure as the victims in the concentration camps.” — 1985

“How are you, Mr. Mayor? I’m glad to meet you. How are things in your city?” — (Proving they all look alike to him when greeting the only African American member of his cabinet, Housing Secretary Samuel Pierce, June 12, 1981).

“We think there is a parallel between federal involvement in education and the decline in profit over recent years.” — (Explaining that the recession is due to educating children, April 26, 1983).

“He wrote in Braille, to tell me that if cutting his pension would help get the country back on it’s feet, he’d like to have me cut his pension.” — (Telling a bald-faced lie about an “alleged” letter he received in order to justify further cuts in social programs, November 30, 1981).

“Just remember, for every person who is out of work, there are nine of us with jobs.” — 1982

“My name is Ronald Reagan. What’s yours?” — (To his son Michael, when attending his graduation from an Arizona boarding school, pg. 192, President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime by Lou Cannon).

“Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?” — 1980

“I know all the bad things that happened in that war. I was in uniform four years myself.” — (In an interview with foreign journalists, April 19, 1985. Reality Check: Reagan spent World War II making Army training films at Hal Roach Studios in Hollywood.)

“We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry every night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.” — 1964

And a few words from others…….

“He knows less about the budget than any president in my lifetime. He can’t even carry on a conversation about the budget. It’s an absolute and utter disgrace.” — (House Speaker Tip O’Neill after a meeting with Ronnie, November 23, 1980).

“He only works three to three and a half hours a day. He doesn’t do his homework. He doesn’t read his briefing papers. It’s sinful that this man is President of the United States.” — (Tip O’Neill exasperated after meeting with Ronnie, October 31, 1983).

“God, he’s a bore. And a bad actor. Besides, he has a low order of intelligence, with a certain cunning. And not animal cunning, Human cunning. Animal cunning is too fine an expression for him. He’s inflated, he’s egotistical — he’s one of those people who thinks he is right, and he’s not right. He’s not right about anything.” — (Movie director John Huston, after a meeting with Ronnie).

“What do you do when your President ignores all the palpable, relevant facts and wanders in circles?” — (David Stockman, ex- Reagan Cabinet member, explaining what briefings with Ronnie were like, April 12, 1986).

“His answers to any questions about young men being killed for some vague and perhaps non-existent reason in Central America has been to smile, nod, wave a hand and walk on. And America applauds, thus proving that senility is a communicable disease.” — (Columnist Jimmy Breslin explaining Ronnie’s ability to “get away with it”).

“The frustration of dealing with a situation in which the schedule of the President of the United States was determined by occult prognostications was very great–far greater than any other I had known in nearly forty-five years of working life.” — (Donald Regan, For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington).

“Poor dear, there’s nothing between his ears.” — (British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher).

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Matt is the site’s Longest Serving Critic and chief misanthrope. He divides his time between classics of cinema and the most ridiculous movies he can find on Redbox.
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