Who did more long-term damage to the United States and World?
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April 21, 2021, 02:54:05 PM

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  Who did more long-term damage to the United States and World?
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#1
Trump
 
#2
Reagan
 
#3
Bush Jr.
 
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Author Topic: Who did more long-term damage to the United States and World?  (Read 561 times)
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Nathan
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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2021, 02:05:44 PM »

Trump is an unserious answer because and only because he hasn't even been out of office for long enough to need a new toothbrush. I fully expect that in the longue durée his energy policies alone will be viewed more harshly than any policy of either of the other options with the possible exception of Reagan's inaction on AIDS. However, since that hasn't happened yet, Reagan is my answer.

I've been dogpiled on in some circles for making unambiguous my stances on Reagan's AIDS policy, and there are still plenty of people who see it as a political inevitability vis-à-vis the stigma of the disease, even though his leadership is exactly what would've been needed to break through such prejudices. Similarly, I imagine that many circles in the oil emirates of the nation will still be fondly looking back on Trump's energy policy and cursing Biden's one offhand remark about divesting from oil even once ecological consequences become insurmountable, although public opinion will probably gradually keep moving in the right direction on both issues.

This is going to sound much more pessimistic than my usual posting style but I'm of the opinion that ecological consequences, at least in my drought-stricken little corner of New England, are already insurmountable and have been for a few years now. The Doomsday Clock should be set at zero; the conversation should turn from preventing catastrophe to living in the aftermath of catastrophe, which is still possible and even likely (in other words, I'm not freaking out about total human extinction or whatever). Serious body blows to our post-industrial way of life are unavoidable now.

I fully agree, but my point in that particular phrasing was that what we've already seen still has not been quite enough for a critical mass of people to concur, or to be consistently violent enough in heavily populated and would-be informed areas to become more impossible to ignore. I think particularly of how Alaskans still care too much about their Oil Bucks™ (and Mike Dunleavy making cuts to every service under the sun for even more Oil Bucks™) to see clearly that polar regions are already the most drastically affected, and that the resulting positive feedback is only an exponential driver of further woes. This sort of discourse is what reawakened the anprim sympathies that I once dismissed as outlandish follies of an awkward youth, and my inability to at present make any personal strides towards that ideal is a bit of a persistent crisis of faith for me.

My advice is to move to a less-dense area than wherever you are now and start keeping chickens or ducks or something. Even just switching to getting eggs from my neighbors rather than from the grocery store has done wonders for my own faith in my ability to handle what we're living through.
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KaiserDave
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« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2021, 02:24:38 PM »

There's a case for both Bush and Reagan but Trump is an incredibly unserious answer

Hear that, y'all? It's soo "incredibly unserious" to believe that Trump potentially enabled long-term damage with his favoring of damaging right-wing policies such as the gutting of regulations for big businesses, the cutting of taxes for corporations, doing nothing for the environment, etc., in addition to being the least qualified & least deserving of the office at the outset; completely disregarding precedent, procedure, & process & greatly weakening the office in doing so; unforgivably damaging this country's political discourse; royally mishandling a deadly pandemic to the tune of 559K lives lost & counting; & - oh yeah - inciting a literal f**king insurrection upon the U.S. Capitol on the way out.

You can argue that Reagan & W.'s presidencies did more damage, but choosing to merely engage in ad-hominems instead is what's "incredibly unserious" here.

Bush and Reagan did all of this and were arguably worse.
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The Daily Beagle
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« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2021, 02:31:31 PM »

Trump is an unserious answer because and only because he hasn't even been out of office for long enough to need a new toothbrush. I fully expect that in the longue durée his energy policies alone will be viewed more harshly than any policy of either of the other options with the possible exception of Reagan's inaction on AIDS. However, since that hasn't happened yet, Reagan is my answer.

I've been dogpiled on in some circles for making unambiguous my stances on Reagan's AIDS policy, and there are still plenty of people who see it as a political inevitability vis-à-vis the stigma of the disease, even though his leadership is exactly what would've been needed to break through such prejudices. Similarly, I imagine that many circles in the oil emirates of the nation will still be fondly looking back on Trump's energy policy and cursing Biden's one offhand remark about divesting from oil even once ecological consequences become insurmountable, although public opinion will probably gradually keep moving in the right direction on both issues.

This is going to sound much more pessimistic than my usual posting style but I'm of the opinion that ecological consequences, at least in my drought-stricken little corner of New England, are already insurmountable and have been for a few years now. The Doomsday Clock should be set at zero; the conversation should turn from preventing catastrophe to living in the aftermath of catastrophe, which is still possible and even likely (in other words, I'm not freaking out about total human extinction or whatever). Serious body blows to our post-industrial way of life are unavoidable now.

I fully agree, but my point in that particular phrasing was that what we've already seen still has not been quite enough for a critical mass of people to concur, or to be consistently violent enough in heavily populated and would-be informed areas to become more impossible to ignore. I think particularly of how Alaskans still care too much about their Oil Bucks™ (and Mike Dunleavy making cuts to every service under the sun for even more Oil Bucks™) to see clearly that polar regions are already the most drastically affected, and that the resulting positive feedback is only an exponential driver of further woes. This sort of discourse is what reawakened the anprim sympathies that I once dismissed as outlandish follies of an awkward youth, and my inability to at present make any personal strides towards that ideal is a bit of a persistent crisis of faith for me.

My advice is to move to a less-dense area than wherever you are now and start keeping chickens or ducks or something. Even just switching to getting eggs from my neighbors rather than from the grocery store has done wonders for my own faith in my ability to handle what we're living through.

Come on, guys. I don't think it will be that bad any time soon. I definitely think that by the time I hit retirement age, there's a 50/50 chance that where we were at around the end of April last year could be the New Normal. Life would kind of go on as usual, right?
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John Dule
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« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2021, 03:24:52 PM »

Reagan generally left our alliance network intact and by the end of his presidency the US was close to becoming the unchallenged global superpower. Trump hasn't been out of office long enough for us to assess his impact, but because so much of what he did was related to personality rather than policy, I think scrubbing his damage will prove easier than it did with Bush.

George W Bush, however, was an infantile war criminal who-- in eight short years-- squandered international goodwill towards America, replacing it with two brutal wars, economic malaise, and the emboldening of Islamic terrorists. China managed to make leaps in power under his watch, as the US was far too distracted by the Mideast to give Asia the attention it demanded. The Patriot Act will go down in history among the worst American legislation ever passed, up there with the Alien and Sedition Acts. There can be no rehabilitation for this trigger-happy maniac. He should be in prison for the rest of his miserable life.

I do not take anyone who answers anything other than Bush seriously.
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« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2021, 05:04:58 PM »

Reagan absolutely was a benefit to the US and the world as a whole , while with Trump is way to early to see any long term effects .


So W by default
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Alcibiades
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« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2021, 05:27:25 PM »
« Edited: April 08, 2021, 05:34:41 PM by Alcibiades »

Reagan generally left our alliance network intact and by the end of his presidency the US was close to becoming the unchallenged global superpower. Trump hasn't been out of office long enough for us to assess his impact, but because so much of what he did was related to personality rather than policy, I think scrubbing his damage will prove easier than it did with Bush.

George W Bush, however, was an infantile war criminal who-- in eight short years-- squandered international goodwill towards America, replacing it with two brutal wars, economic malaise, and the emboldening of Islamic terrorists. China managed to make leaps in power under his watch, as the US was far too distracted by the Mideast to give Asia the attention it demanded. The Patriot Act will go down in history among the worst American legislation ever passed, up there with the Alien and Sedition Acts. There can be no rehabilitation for this trigger-happy maniac. He should be in prison for the rest of his miserable life.

I do not take anyone who answers anything other than Bush seriously.

I get why answering Bush is the natural choice for a libertarian, but surely you can see why at least some of the rest of us might think Reagan was worse?

Reagan was clearly much better on foreign policy than Bush, but I tend to place domestic policy as a higher priority when evaluating presidents, and in my mind Reagan unquestionably did far more damage in that area than Bush.

Obviously you might not consider his rollback of the welfare state and resulting growth in inequality as dourly as I do (although supply-side is still objectively a ridiculous doctrine with no basis in fact)*, but I think we should be able to agree that Reagan had a far more insidious impact on American political culture. A lot of Bush-era Republican discourse seems rather quaint today, not least because it has fallen completely out of favour within the contemporary GOP. By contrast, America is still feeling the effects of Reaganism today. To quote a section from a lengthy post I made on the topic (the thread is now locked) in response to RINO Tom praising Reagan:

Quote
I’m surprised that you think so highly of Reagan, considering how you’ve spelt out your vision of a Republican Party which is a sensible check on the more outlandish currents within the Democratic Party (a vision which I have a lot of sympathy for, even if I think it is a bit optimistic given the party’s current state). It was Reagan after all, who destroyed any hope for this kind of GOP; while the Rockefeller faction had passed its sell-by date at that point, it was by no means inevitable that the GOP had to end up as a coalition of the various particularly toxic elements Reagan worked to bring together, including the Religious Right (whom, remember, Goldwater hated with a passion) and the white resentment/ex-segregationist Southern crowd; there was of course frequent overlap between the two. Not to mention, of course, Reagan being the first to pursue (again, very successfully) the kind of fact-free, responsibility-free rhetoric which has come to define the modern GOP, to again reference MT Treasurer. I think it is a stretch to say that Trump is Reagan’s spiritual successor, but by no means inaccurate to say that, without Reagan, the kind of GOP which gave rise to Trump would not have been possible.

Bush was an awful president, no doubt. But in large part because he came to be so widely despised, he has simply had nowhere near as much of a long-term impact on the US. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Newt Gingrich (and Tom DeLay and Dick Armey and the rest of that gang) and Mitch McConnell have done more long-term damage.

*On the matter of their economic legacies, it seems a bit of a stretch to blame the Great Recession on Bush; he hardly did much to help things, but the crash was mostly caused by actors within the financial markets.
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2021, 05:34:30 PM »

Reagan generally left our alliance network intact and by the end of his presidency the US was close to becoming the unchallenged global superpower. Trump hasn't been out of office long enough for us to assess his impact, but because so much of what he did was related to personality rather than policy, I think scrubbing his damage will prove easier than it did with Bush.

George W Bush, however, was an infantile war criminal who-- in eight short years-- squandered international goodwill towards America, replacing it with two brutal wars, economic malaise, and the emboldening of Islamic terrorists. China managed to make leaps in power under his watch, as the US was far too distracted by the Mideast to give Asia the attention it demanded. The Patriot Act will go down in history among the worst American legislation ever passed, up there with the Alien and Sedition Acts. There can be no rehabilitation for this trigger-happy maniac. He should be in prison for the rest of his miserable life.

I do not take anyone who answers anything other than Bush seriously.

I get why answering Bush is the natural choice for a libertarian, but surely you can see why at least some of the rest of us might think Reagan was worse?

Reagan was clearly much better on foreign policy than Bush, but I tend to place domestic policy as a higher priority when evaluating presidents, and in my mind Reagan unquestionably did far more damage in that area than Bush.

Obviously you might not consider his rollback of the welfare state and resulting growth in inequality as dourly as I do (although supply-side is still objectively a ridiculous doctrine with no basis in fact)*, but I think we should be able to agree that Reagan had a far more insidious impact on American political culture. A lot of Bush-era Republican discourse seems rather quaint today, not least because it has fallen completely out of favour within the contemporary GOP. By contrast, America is still feeling the effects of Reaganism today. To quote a section from a lengthy post I made on the topic (the thread is now locked) in response to RINO Tom praising Reagan:

Quote
I’m surprised that you think so highly of Reagan, considering how you’ve spelt out your vision of a Republican Party which is a sensible check on the more outlandish currents within the Democratic Party (a vision which I have a lot of sympathy for, even if I think it is a bit optimistic given the party’s current state). It was Reagan after all, who destroyed any hope for this kind of GOP; while the Rockefeller faction had passed its sell-by date at that point, it was by no means inevitable that the GOP had to end up as a coalition of the various particularly toxic elements Reagan worked to bring together, including the Religious Right (whom, remember, Goldwater hated with a passion) and the white resentment/ex-segregationist Southern crowd; there was of course frequent overlap between the two. Not to mention, of course, Reagan being the first to pursue (again, very successfully) the kind of fact-free, responsibility-free rhetoric which has come to define the modern GOP, to again reference MT Treasurer. I think it is a stretch to say that Trump is Reagan’s spiritual successor, but by no means inaccurate to say that, without Reagan, the kind of GOP which gave rise to Trump would not have been possible.

*On the matter of their economic legacies, it seems a bit of a stretch to blame the Great Recession on Bush; he hardly did much to help things, but the crash was mostly caused by actors within the financial markets.


           I think you have a rather poor understanding of the actions of Ronald Reagan while president, and their impacts on the United States. This is because between the presidencies of Bush Sr. and Bush Jr, the Republican Party, despite not holding the presidency, underwent rapid change due to the leadership of Gingrich. A lot of the decisions that Gingrich made are rather blamed on Reagan, even though that’s not historically accurate.
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Alcibiades
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« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2021, 05:37:03 PM »

Reagan generally left our alliance network intact and by the end of his presidency the US was close to becoming the unchallenged global superpower. Trump hasn't been out of office long enough for us to assess his impact, but because so much of what he did was related to personality rather than policy, I think scrubbing his damage will prove easier than it did with Bush.

George W Bush, however, was an infantile war criminal who-- in eight short years-- squandered international goodwill towards America, replacing it with two brutal wars, economic malaise, and the emboldening of Islamic terrorists. China managed to make leaps in power under his watch, as the US was far too distracted by the Mideast to give Asia the attention it demanded. The Patriot Act will go down in history among the worst American legislation ever passed, up there with the Alien and Sedition Acts. There can be no rehabilitation for this trigger-happy maniac. He should be in prison for the rest of his miserable life.

I do not take anyone who answers anything other than Bush seriously.

I get why answering Bush is the natural choice for a libertarian, but surely you can see why at least some of the rest of us might think Reagan was worse?

Reagan was clearly much better on foreign policy than Bush, but I tend to place domestic policy as a higher priority when evaluating presidents, and in my mind Reagan unquestionably did far more damage in that area than Bush.

Obviously you might not consider his rollback of the welfare state and resulting growth in inequality as dourly as I do (although supply-side is still objectively a ridiculous doctrine with no basis in fact)*, but I think we should be able to agree that Reagan had a far more insidious impact on American political culture. A lot of Bush-era Republican discourse seems rather quaint today, not least because it has fallen completely out of favour within the contemporary GOP. By contrast, America is still feeling the effects of Reaganism today. To quote a section from a lengthy post I made on the topic (the thread is now locked) in response to RINO Tom praising Reagan:

Quote
I’m surprised that you think so highly of Reagan, considering how you’ve spelt out your vision of a Republican Party which is a sensible check on the more outlandish currents within the Democratic Party (a vision which I have a lot of sympathy for, even if I think it is a bit optimistic given the party’s current state). It was Reagan after all, who destroyed any hope for this kind of GOP; while the Rockefeller faction had passed its sell-by date at that point, it was by no means inevitable that the GOP had to end up as a coalition of the various particularly toxic elements Reagan worked to bring together, including the Religious Right (whom, remember, Goldwater hated with a passion) and the white resentment/ex-segregationist Southern crowd; there was of course frequent overlap between the two. Not to mention, of course, Reagan being the first to pursue (again, very successfully) the kind of fact-free, responsibility-free rhetoric which has come to define the modern GOP, to again reference MT Treasurer. I think it is a stretch to say that Trump is Reagan’s spiritual successor, but by no means inaccurate to say that, without Reagan, the kind of GOP which gave rise to Trump would not have been possible.

*On the matter of their economic legacies, it seems a bit of a stretch to blame the Great Recession on Bush; he hardly did much to help things, but the crash was mostly caused by actors within the financial markets.


           I think you have a rather poor understanding of the actions of Ronald Reagan while president, and their impacts on the United States. This is because between the presidencies of Bush Sr. and Bush Jr, the Republican Party, despite not holding the presidency, underwent rapid change due to the leadership of Gingrich. A lot of the decisions that Gingrich made are rather blamed on Reagan, even though that’s not historically accurate.

I actually edited my post to mention Gingrich just before I saw your response. Anyway, I think Gingrich would absolutely not have been possible without Reagan, and the 1994 ‘Gingrich Revolution’ was in many ways just the 1980 ‘Reagan Revolution’ being brought to bear at the Congressional level.
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2021, 05:54:15 PM »


I actually edited my post to mention Gingrich just before I saw your response. Anyway, I think Gingrich would absolutely not have been possible without Reagan, and the 1994 ‘Gingrich Revolution’ was in many ways just the 1980 ‘Reagan Revolution’ being brought to bear at the Congressional level.

That’s... not true, as Reagan and Gingrich had VERY different governing styles, and even policy wise, were quite different when it actually came to ideology. Unless you’re talking about a super general sense in that they both ended previously powerful Democratic Coalitions. 
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Alcibiades
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« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2021, 06:03:34 PM »

I actually edited my post to mention Gingrich just before I saw your response. Anyway, I think Gingrich would absolutely not have been possible without Reagan, and the 1994 ‘Gingrich Revolution’ was in many ways just the 1980 ‘Reagan Revolution’ being brought to bear at the Congressional level.

That’s... not true, as Reagan and Gingrich had VERY different governing styles, and even policy wise, were quite different when it actually came to ideology. Unless you’re talking about a super general sense in that they both ended previously powerful Democratic Coalitions. 


The main difference was that Reagan employed less abrasive rhetoric than Gingrich, but beyond that they were both hardcore supply-siders who veered the Republican Party to the right. Gingrich certainly took a more confrontational stance towards Democrats, but in this respect Reagan walked so that Gingrich could run.
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John Dule
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« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2021, 06:08:22 PM »

Reagan generally left our alliance network intact and by the end of his presidency the US was close to becoming the unchallenged global superpower. Trump hasn't been out of office long enough for us to assess his impact, but because so much of what he did was related to personality rather than policy, I think scrubbing his damage will prove easier than it did with Bush.

George W Bush, however, was an infantile war criminal who-- in eight short years-- squandered international goodwill towards America, replacing it with two brutal wars, economic malaise, and the emboldening of Islamic terrorists. China managed to make leaps in power under his watch, as the US was far too distracted by the Mideast to give Asia the attention it demanded. The Patriot Act will go down in history among the worst American legislation ever passed, up there with the Alien and Sedition Acts. There can be no rehabilitation for this trigger-happy maniac. He should be in prison for the rest of his miserable life.

I do not take anyone who answers anything other than Bush seriously.

I get why answering Bush is the natural choice for a libertarian, but surely you can see why at least some of the rest of us might think Reagan was worse?

Reagan was clearly much better on foreign policy than Bush, but I tend to place domestic policy as a higher priority when evaluating presidents, and in my mind Reagan unquestionably did far more damage in that area than Bush.

Obviously you might not consider his rollback of the welfare state and resulting growth in inequality as dourly as I do (although supply-side is still objectively a ridiculous doctrine with no basis in fact)*, but I think we should be able to agree that Reagan had a far more insidious impact on American political culture. A lot of Bush-era Republican discourse seems rather quaint today, not least because it has fallen completely out of favour within the contemporary GOP. By contrast, America is still feeling the effects of Reaganism today. To quote a section from a lengthy post I made on the topic (the thread is now locked) in response to RINO Tom praising Reagan:

Quote
I’m surprised that you think so highly of Reagan, considering how you’ve spelt out your vision of a Republican Party which is a sensible check on the more outlandish currents within the Democratic Party (a vision which I have a lot of sympathy for, even if I think it is a bit optimistic given the party’s current state). It was Reagan after all, who destroyed any hope for this kind of GOP; while the Rockefeller faction had passed its sell-by date at that point, it was by no means inevitable that the GOP had to end up as a coalition of the various particularly toxic elements Reagan worked to bring together, including the Religious Right (whom, remember, Goldwater hated with a passion) and the white resentment/ex-segregationist Southern crowd; there was of course frequent overlap between the two. Not to mention, of course, Reagan being the first to pursue (again, very successfully) the kind of fact-free, responsibility-free rhetoric which has come to define the modern GOP, to again reference MT Treasurer. I think it is a stretch to say that Trump is Reagan’s spiritual successor, but by no means inaccurate to say that, without Reagan, the kind of GOP which gave rise to Trump would not have been possible.

Bush was an awful president, no doubt. But in large part because he came to be so widely despised, he has simply had nowhere near as much of a long-term impact on the US. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Newt Gingrich (and Tom DeLay and Dick Armey and the rest of that gang) and Mitch McConnell have done more long-term damage.

*On the matter of their economic legacies, it seems a bit of a stretch to blame the Great Recession on Bush; he hardly did much to help things, but the crash was mostly caused by actors within the financial markets.


The key part of this question is "and the World." Reagan's domestic policies, when considered long-term, were admittedly more harmful than Bush's. But this is completely counterbalanced by the innumerable lives Bush ruined on the global stage.
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2021, 06:08:55 PM »

I actually edited my post to mention Gingrich just before I saw your response. Anyway, I think Gingrich would absolutely not have been possible without Reagan, and the 1994 ‘Gingrich Revolution’ was in many ways just the 1980 ‘Reagan Revolution’ being brought to bear at the Congressional level.

That’s... not true, as Reagan and Gingrich had VERY different governing styles, and even policy wise, were quite different when it actually came to ideology. Unless you’re talking about a super general sense in that they both ended previously powerful Democratic Coalitions. 


The main difference was that Reagan employed less abrasive rhetoric than Gingrich, but beyond that they were both hardcore supply-siders who veered the Republican Party to the right. Gingrich certainly took a more confrontational stance towards Democrats, but in this respect Reagan walked so that Gingrich could run.

Reagan raised taxes several times and expanded Medicare benefits. He was a conservative, and a supply-sider, but he was also pragmatic, and his policies at the time largely worked. It was Gingrich (among other Republicans) who came up with policy of “cut, slash, repeat.”
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« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2021, 06:33:39 PM »

Reagan generally left our alliance network intact and by the end of his presidency the US was close to becoming the unchallenged global superpower. Trump hasn't been out of office long enough for us to assess his impact, but because so much of what he did was related to personality rather than policy, I think scrubbing his damage will prove easier than it did with Bush.

George W Bush, however, was an infantile war criminal who-- in eight short years-- squandered international goodwill towards America, replacing it with two brutal wars, economic malaise, and the emboldening of Islamic terrorists. China managed to make leaps in power under his watch, as the US was far too distracted by the Mideast to give Asia the attention it demanded. The Patriot Act will go down in history among the worst American legislation ever passed, up there with the Alien and Sedition Acts. There can be no rehabilitation for this trigger-happy maniac. He should be in prison for the rest of his miserable life.

I do not take anyone who answers anything other than Bush seriously.

I get why answering Bush is the natural choice for a libertarian, but surely you can see why at least some of the rest of us might think Reagan was worse?

Reagan was clearly much better on foreign policy than Bush, but I tend to place domestic policy as a higher priority when evaluating presidents, and in my mind Reagan unquestionably did far more damage in that area than Bush.

Obviously you might not consider his rollback of the welfare state and resulting growth in inequality as dourly as I do (although supply-side is still objectively a ridiculous doctrine with no basis in fact)*, but I think we should be able to agree that Reagan had a far more insidious impact on American political culture. A lot of Bush-era Republican discourse seems rather quaint today, not least because it has fallen completely out of favour within the contemporary GOP. By contrast, America is still feeling the effects of Reaganism today. To quote a section from a lengthy post I made on the topic (the thread is now locked) in response to RINO Tom praising Reagan:

Quote
I’m surprised that you think so highly of Reagan, considering how you’ve spelt out your vision of a Republican Party which is a sensible check on the more outlandish currents within the Democratic Party (a vision which I have a lot of sympathy for, even if I think it is a bit optimistic given the party’s current state). It was Reagan after all, who destroyed any hope for this kind of GOP; while the Rockefeller faction had passed its sell-by date at that point, it was by no means inevitable that the GOP had to end up as a coalition of the various particularly toxic elements Reagan worked to bring together, including the Religious Right (whom, remember, Goldwater hated with a passion) and the white resentment/ex-segregationist Southern crowd; there was of course frequent overlap between the two. Not to mention, of course, Reagan being the first to pursue (again, very successfully) the kind of fact-free, responsibility-free rhetoric which has come to define the modern GOP, to again reference MT Treasurer. I think it is a stretch to say that Trump is Reagan’s spiritual successor, but by no means inaccurate to say that, without Reagan, the kind of GOP which gave rise to Trump would not have been possible.

Bush was an awful president, no doubt. But in large part because he came to be so widely despised, he has simply had nowhere near as much of a long-term impact on the US. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Newt Gingrich (and Tom DeLay and Dick Armey and the rest of that gang) and Mitch McConnell have done more long-term damage.

*On the matter of their economic legacies, it seems a bit of a stretch to blame the Great Recession on Bush; he hardly did much to help things, but the crash was mostly caused by actors within the financial markets.


The key part of this question is "and the World." Reagan's domestic policies, when considered long-term, were admittedly more harmful than Bush's. But this is completely counterbalanced by the innumerable lives Bush ruined on the global stage.

Reaganonomics wasn’t limited only to the US. It was exported to the planet as a whole. So much that the world in general took a turn to the right since the 80s/90s.
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« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2021, 07:07:58 PM »

I'm gonna say Bush and Reagan. Trump is actually the least bad.

The reason I say this is that Trump didn't actually change much, policy-wise. I don't know if it is because of his immense stupidity, incompetence, a cabinet including a bunch of idiots, a democratic house 50% of the time, not actually believing anything he says, or (most likely) a combination of all five. Obamacare (for worse or for worse) still exists.

Reagan did the most damage domestically, hijacking the conservative movement to push jobs overseas and increase the national debt and deficit.

Bush did the most damage to the world. Iraq, Afganistan, etc.
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John Dule
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« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2021, 07:45:54 PM »

Reagan generally left our alliance network intact and by the end of his presidency the US was close to becoming the unchallenged global superpower. Trump hasn't been out of office long enough for us to assess his impact, but because so much of what he did was related to personality rather than policy, I think scrubbing his damage will prove easier than it did with Bush.

George W Bush, however, was an infantile war criminal who-- in eight short years-- squandered international goodwill towards America, replacing it with two brutal wars, economic malaise, and the emboldening of Islamic terrorists. China managed to make leaps in power under his watch, as the US was far too distracted by the Mideast to give Asia the attention it demanded. The Patriot Act will go down in history among the worst American legislation ever passed, up there with the Alien and Sedition Acts. There can be no rehabilitation for this trigger-happy maniac. He should be in prison for the rest of his miserable life.

I do not take anyone who answers anything other than Bush seriously.

I get why answering Bush is the natural choice for a libertarian, but surely you can see why at least some of the rest of us might think Reagan was worse?

Reagan was clearly much better on foreign policy than Bush, but I tend to place domestic policy as a higher priority when evaluating presidents, and in my mind Reagan unquestionably did far more damage in that area than Bush.

Obviously you might not consider his rollback of the welfare state and resulting growth in inequality as dourly as I do (although supply-side is still objectively a ridiculous doctrine with no basis in fact)*, but I think we should be able to agree that Reagan had a far more insidious impact on American political culture. A lot of Bush-era Republican discourse seems rather quaint today, not least because it has fallen completely out of favour within the contemporary GOP. By contrast, America is still feeling the effects of Reaganism today. To quote a section from a lengthy post I made on the topic (the thread is now locked) in response to RINO Tom praising Reagan:

Quote
I’m surprised that you think so highly of Reagan, considering how you’ve spelt out your vision of a Republican Party which is a sensible check on the more outlandish currents within the Democratic Party (a vision which I have a lot of sympathy for, even if I think it is a bit optimistic given the party’s current state). It was Reagan after all, who destroyed any hope for this kind of GOP; while the Rockefeller faction had passed its sell-by date at that point, it was by no means inevitable that the GOP had to end up as a coalition of the various particularly toxic elements Reagan worked to bring together, including the Religious Right (whom, remember, Goldwater hated with a passion) and the white resentment/ex-segregationist Southern crowd; there was of course frequent overlap between the two. Not to mention, of course, Reagan being the first to pursue (again, very successfully) the kind of fact-free, responsibility-free rhetoric which has come to define the modern GOP, to again reference MT Treasurer. I think it is a stretch to say that Trump is Reagan’s spiritual successor, but by no means inaccurate to say that, without Reagan, the kind of GOP which gave rise to Trump would not have been possible.

Bush was an awful president, no doubt. But in large part because he came to be so widely despised, he has simply had nowhere near as much of a long-term impact on the US. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Newt Gingrich (and Tom DeLay and Dick Armey and the rest of that gang) and Mitch McConnell have done more long-term damage.

*On the matter of their economic legacies, it seems a bit of a stretch to blame the Great Recession on Bush; he hardly did much to help things, but the crash was mostly caused by actors within the financial markets.


The key part of this question is "and the World." Reagan's domestic policies, when considered long-term, were admittedly more harmful than Bush's. But this is completely counterbalanced by the innumerable lives Bush ruined on the global stage.

Reaganonomics wasn’t limited only to the US. It was exported to the planet as a whole. So much that the world in general took a turn to the right since the 80s/90s.

What specifically are you referring to? American economic advisors helped a lot of countries in East Asia develop their economies. Reaganomics is actually quite good at generating wealth in the short-term; however, its problem lies in sustainability and equality. Low-tax, heavy-borrowing environments are often good for developing countries. When applied to developed nations, they can cause serious issues.
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Chips
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« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2021, 10:10:02 PM »

US: Trump

World: Bush
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