Friday, December 05, 2003

Stop on the dime

It seems that the Ronald Reagan machine in the Republican Party is aiming to put former President Reagan's mug on a monument a little closer to everyone's home. Seems they want to replace FDR's picture on the US dime with that of Reagan. While I am not completely against changes to American money or monuments to former Presidents, I think this one is going too far. The bend on the story over at WTOP is that the conservative (Reagan-worshipping) side of the GOP is 1) angry at the recent made-for-TV movie that showed the Reagans in a less-than-wonderful light and 2) want to remove the image of a Democratic icon from the money supply. I'm not sure how much to trust that the reporter here isn't editorializing in his news piece. However...

The Reaganites have certainly tried to put President Reagan on the map. Over and over and over. They've put up monuments to the man in many States and where they couldn't build one, they assimilated one. Witness the renaming of Washington National Airport in DC to Reagan National Airport. What, they felt that President Washington was undeserving? It's been the stated position of this crowd to have a monument to President Reagan in every State in the US. Did you know that President Lincoln doesn't enjoy that status? And there's 1 more reason I think all this monument-building and such is being over-done.

Reagan ain't dead yet.

In virtually every other case, the only monument raised to a former President while that President was still alive was a library. You didn't see an airport named after Kennedy until after his assassination. George Washington refused to allow monuments or even public sculptures of himself while he lived. It was immodest, in his view. And you don't see aircraft carriers running around named for Bush or Nixon or Ford, do you? But there's a USS Ronald Reagan tossing Tomcats into the air out there right now.

And what exactly is the problem with honoring President Roosevelt for his contributions? He's the only President to be elected without contested voting to four terms. He presided over this country's rise out of the Great Depression and over the large part of World War II. These contributions deserve the honor.

Perhaps the honors bestowed are enough and we can leave the money alone, eh?

Update: Even Nancy Reagan thinks this is a bad idea. Time to withdraw this one, boys.