He was John Wayne and Ward Cleaver all rolled into one. He was a nod to the romanticized American past — that era where you had a milkman, and your wife’s only job was taking care of your shit — your dinner, your house, your children. It was the era where sharing a milkshake with two straws was almost second base and kissing on the 12th date meant you were probably easy — not the type to take home. It was where wearing black made you seem edgy. And, well, being black was neither here nor there. (They didn’t have no power no way) The image of Ronald Reagan reminded you that your country had prevailed in the second World War, that it saved millions of people and it did away with an evil never before seen. Well, since slavery, maybe. …Maybe.
Because you don’t really do revisiting that part of American history. You were American — leader of the free world, denizen of the greatest, most powerful nation on Earth.
Reagan’s persona reminded you that when everywhere else in the world that “mattered”
to a capitalist lay in rubble and shame after World War II, your country emerged with moral and economic wind in its sails. It was empirical and without question. You were American — exceptional and entitled. To whatever you wanted. To address, and to ignore. To write and reframe the narrative however you choose.
I get it though. The passage of time can blur certain details. I suppose the absence of those “details” are what make the good old days “good”. So yeah, sure, put Ronny’s face on my dollar bill. It is a dollar after-all — and I’m a big picture kind of girl.