Happened to watch one of the “Storyville” documentaries on BBC4 (easily the best channel on TV) recently. This particular programme was about former US President Ronald Reagan.
A fascinating programme, it was yet another example of how, without an understanding of history, we cannot understand the present - or recognise when our leaders (or prospective leaders) are pulling the wool over our eyes
It was revealing to see how Raegan was able to tell the American people that the US absolutely had not sold arms to Iran (Iran !) in return for the release of hostages in Lebanon - although that was exactly what had happened, and he knew about it.
It was also interesting to see how the right of American politics has put his presidency on a pedestal and attributed to him government policies that simply did not happen. For example, far from being an administration that shrank the size of government and reduced the deficit, his was one that hired more employees and left the country with a huge deficit (something which he himself acknowledged in one of his final addresses as a regret).
Reagan died from the degenerative brain disease Alzheimers. One of the most poignant comments described how, whilst he was suffering from the condition, his wife found him one day holding a small model of the White House. She asked him what he was doing with that in his hand and said “I don’t know but it’s something to do with me”
To find out more about this series, do the clicky thing here :