Studying Art History you learn all about revisionist history. There is a branch of the discipline that is just that, a revisionist view of art. In the mid-80s, when I was but a wee thing, there was a huge clash between the revisionists and the traditional historians with the revisionists being called radicals and troublemakers. Before you ask, no I'm not technically a revisionist. In the end many thing changed in the study of Art History and I may write about it sometime because it has always intrigued me but not now. However I did bring revisionism up for a reason.
Ronald Reagan's one hundredth birthday was a few days ago. Reagan was too early for any real time experience and too late for any of my studies so my only actual experience of him was seeing his funeral when I was ten. Like a lot of people my age I didn't know much about him and just always looked on Reagan as my grandfather's Republican. This is where the revisionist part comes in. My opinion of him came from what I heard in the years since the funeral and was also colored by living eight years under the Bush administration. Not that I would have voted for Reagan but he just seemed to more liberal than today's conservatives and seemed to have been good for the country.
Earlier today I was reading some blogs when I stumbled on something in David Mixner's blog (l) that I traced back to the Daily Kos (l). I'll let you form your own opinion.
"The following press conference is the first public mention of AIDS in the Reagan White House. At that time 200 Americans had died of a new infectious disease. Reagan himself did not mention AIDS for three more years. [Note: other sources say five, citing 1987.--Clarknt67]
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Larry Speakes
October 15, 1982, The Briefing Room
Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement -- the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?
Mr. Speakes: What's AIDS?
Q: Over a third of them have died. It's known as "gay plague." (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?
Mr. Speakes: I don't have it. Do you? (Laughter.)
Q: No, I don't.
Mr. Speakes: You didn't answer my question.
Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President ...
Mr. Speakes: How do you know? (Laughter.)
Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?"
My thoughts on the subject of Mr. Reagan and his administration have changed drastically.
Read the full Daily Kos post "Screw Reagan" here.