Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday, 8 June 2004

Ronald Reagan, a 'conservative', but a tolerant conservative

This has for many years been my view of the late President. Like many people outside the US, I knew little of him prior to his election as President, although I was aware he had been considered a 'good' Governor of California by many. Quite apart from his achievements in international arms-reduction, which I applaud, it quickly became clear that, whatever his own personal views might be, he declined to impose his moral values on others. I have read a number of comments in recent days on both sides of this particular argument, but I am delighted to read what Un swissroll (in French) has to say; the link to the Cato Institute article is most interesting, and like Un swissroll I quote one particularly salient segment:

Reagan was regarded as a social conservative, and he often spoke of "our values of faith, family, work, and neighborhood." But he rarely sought to use government to impose those values. In 1978 he spoke out against an antigay initiative in California. Robert Kaiser of the Washington Post, noting that the Reagans were the first White House occupants to have hosted a gay couple overnight, dubbed him in 1984 a "closet tolerant."

Enough said.

UPDATE: ( Tuesday 8JUN04 20.17 BST) This National Review article also lays it on the line about Reagan's alleged homophobia and indifference toward HIV/AIDS. Incidentally, the remark in passing about Margaret Thatcher's similar alleged indifference to HIV/AIDS is equally false, given that her government spent large amounts on efforts to combat the scourge in various ways, even though her government was repsonsible for the odious 'Section 28'.

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