I often mix up Micky Mantle and Roger Maris. I think it has something to do with the similarities between the names, the fact that they both played for the Yankees and that I wasn’t alive when either one of them was playing. Admittedly, this isn’t much of an excuse and I should probably feel pretty bad even admitting that this is true but if you can’t be honest on the internet, where else can you go?
However, as bad as my mix-up may be, it’s nothing compared to the mistake Republicans have made for the past 30 years. Whoops!
Ok, before you comment, yes, I do realize that the Onion is a satirical newspaper even if this distinction is not always apparent. But the beauty of the Onion is that its articles often contain a particularly trenchant social commentary. For someone who has become the touchstone for the US brand of conservatism, Reagan was not particularly conservative. He wasn’t a religious man, he spent taxpayer money like Plaxico Burress at a strip club and, on top of that, more and more evidence has surfaced to show that the Alzheimer’s which completely debilitated him later in life had already set in during his tenure in the White House. So why has Reagan remained the conservative hero instead of Ike, a true war hero, a brilliant tactician and a well-liked President?
If you ask me, I think it’s because Ike was bald. People are afraid of the bald. Ok, fine, maybe it’s not that. Maybe it’s something even simpler. Maybe it’s the fact that Ike warned against the growing military-industrial complex while Reagan actively supported it.
Or maybe it’s the fact that many of today’s Republican leaders are just plain and simple insane. Seriously, Michele Bachmann isn’t fit to lead a PTA, much less be a spokesperson for the conservative vanguard. I actually like some of Ron Paul’s ideas but ultimately his obsession with killing the Fed and completely disengaging from the world are dangerous at best and probably closer to sociopathic in reality.
Sure, I admit that I get people mixed up. But usually it’s because either their names are similar or they look kind of the same. This attribution of Eisenhower’s ideals to Reagan and their further transformation into the current pseudo-Reagan conservatism is an entirely different ballpark. And unlike my mix up which simply gets me ridiculed by baseball fans, the conservative shell game might just leave the country insolvent. It’s almost enough to drive Mickey Mantle to drink.