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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Fascinating Look At Reagan Through Right-wing White Supremacist Eyes

I have been thinking about some of the parallels between Mr. Bush and Mr. Reagan. Both men were affable, empty vessels, that could deliver a script well on TV. Both were anti-intellectual and incurious by nature. Likewise, they each saw the world in simplistic, black and white terms. And, finally, both men have been used by powerful, right-wing groups to commit opportunistic and amoral acts while selling a reactionary agenda to the American people. With Bush it is the group called the 'Vulcans' who rule through him. In Reagan's case it was the so called 'Kitchen Cabinet' who pulled the strings:

From the National Vanguard (please excuse the blatant racism)

Lyn Nofziger noted of the 1966 California gubernatorial election, “Ronald Reagan materialized out of thin air with no political background, no political cronies, and no political machine... He didn’t even run his own campaign.”

An enigmatic facet of Reagan’s rise to power is the role played by a small group of wealthy conservatives known as his “Kitchen Cabinet.” This handful of men initiated, financed and guided Reagan’s political career. Many Gentiles in the group subsequently bankrolled prominent think tanks and nonprofit organizations promoting anti-Communist, libertarian, and conservative social causes.

The Kitchen Cabinet coalesced after Reagan delivered a Republican fundraising speech at the Coconut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles in 1964. Five or six men from the audience asked Reagan if he’d deliver the same speech on nationwide TV in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential bid if they purchased the airtime. He agreed. The result was the famous “A Time for Choosing” speech broadcast over the NBC television network on October 27, 1964. Biographer Bill Boyarsky has compared the effect of this speech on rank-and-file conservatives and anti-Communists with the impact William Jennings Bryan's 1896 "Cross of Gold" speech had on farmers and laborers.

The Cabinet hired California consulting firm Spencer-Roberts & Associates to oversee the campaign. Stuart Spencer remained a trusted advisor thereafter. Donald Regan observed of him: “Spencer is a ruthless pragmatist, and although he has never held any official role in the Administration, he is one of the few people who is licensed to speak his mind to the President and his wife on all subjects and has the audacity to do so. The Reagans have formed the habit, over many years, of listening very carefully to what he says.” (Regan, 57)

Spencer-Roberts subcontracted with Behavior Sciences Corporation, staffed by behavioral psychologists, to tutor Reagan and shape his public image. The corporation provided “an ongoing crash course in California issues, position papers arguing both sides of every question, constant company on the trail, and frank analyses of his faults, such as a tendency to ‘overanswer’ reporters and blow up when goaded. [Reagan lost his temper while speaking before a Negro businessmen’s group and stormed out of the meeting; Henry Salvatori was so infuriated by this that he threatened to drop his support over the incident. The Gentile members of the Kitchen Cabinet, like Reagan himself, were, to a man, pro-colored philo-Semites.] One or another of the corporation’s officers was with Reagan every day to coach him. . . . Their counsel was necessary because he had ‘zero’ knowledge of what went on in Sacramento. . . . His mind turned to national and ideological subjects, rather than” arcane local issues. (Morris, 342) READ MORE


At 9:33 AM, Blogger Justin Cooley said...

I couldn't help but to laffo at the Lyn Nofziger reference

At 6:27 PM, Blogger Mel said...

I'd like it if you'd mention the fact that Right-wingers seem to ignore the social sciences, completely. Which is akin to superstition if one believes that a person has complete control over their destiny if only they had the "character".
So we have to cult-like thinkers as ex-prezes ( likely more).
Simplistic/black& white thinking is a trailmark of propaganda meant for the masses, but I guess these people skip the middleman!

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