Rich Republicans Wrangle in Reagan’s Shadow

So many candidates, too little time…

by Siobhan Donahue

News Co-Editor

On Wednesday, September 16th, the second GOP debate aired on CNN. This time, viewers were treated to eleven republican presidential candidates as they debated back and forth. While many issues from Donald Trump to Iran were covered, unfortunatly, the three hours were not enough to fully go indepth over important issues such as racism, unaffordable college tuition rates, and climate change. In fact, they spent most of the debate arguing over what Donald Trump said about them.

One motif of the debate was Ronald Reagan. Just as a reminder, he was the fourtieth president of the United States. Depending on whom you ask, he was either the greatest president ever or the anti-Christ. The candidates in the debate clearly did not think he was the latter. In fact, Reagan has risen to a revered status among the Republican Party. It has gotten to a point where he is now a full on myth. During the GOP debate, a lot of lies about his legacy were told.

There is a reason why the Gipper has built up quite a mythos. While he was alive, he was able to project a robust, rustic image. This was not hard for him to do since he was an actor. Then in 1997, the Reagan Legacy Project was founded. This project aims to have a Reagan memorial in every county in the United States. Their first major victory was the renaming of the Washington National Airport to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Ever since then, Reagan aides and other close personal have worked tirelessly to raise Reagan to an icon status. This has been very successful.

Speaking of things named after Reagan, the GOP debate took place in Reagan’s presidential library, in front of his air force one. (Based on their coverage of the Malaysian airline incident, I can see why CNN chose to cover this debate. They love planes!) Looking past the funny insults and Reagan’s giant jet, there were some values and ideas made clear by the candidiates. First of all, abortion is bad. As Chris Christie put it, it is “systematic murder of children in the womb.” Secondly, the Iran Nuclear Deal is the worse thing to have ever happen in a world of systematic child murders. Luckily, the GOP candidates will save us with their well thought out foreign policy tactics. Ted Cruz will physically rip the deal, so hopefully Barack Obama did not make an electronic copy, otherwise Cruz’s plan would seem silly. Carly Fiorina will make a very stern phone call to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei. Sure, Khamenei believes in gender segregation and thinks that women’s rights activists are wrong, but it makes sense to believe that he will listen to an American Christian woman over the phone. In fact, one must question why Barack Obama did not try the phone call method when making this agreement. Thirdly, immigration is terrible, a statement ideginous Americans might agree with. This is why we are not and never were a country of immigrants. Anyway, the Republicans made it clear; amnesty is inexcusable and there needs to be a wall and drone surveillance to keep the ‘bad ones’ out. The ‘good ones’ can stay if they are willing to get their fingerprints scanned or if their son is running for president. Isn’t that right Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz? Lastly, the government and taxes are evil. Seriously, Obama is like a dictator with his big government, big expenses, and even bigger taxes. How did he get elected again?

All of these issues were juxtaposed with compliments about Reagan. In fact, some candidates pledged to implement Reagan’s policies, such as his tax plan, if elected. You would think that Reagan’s political career was defined by no abortions, no giving weapons to Iran, no amnesty for immigrants, and a small, frugal government with almost no taxes. This is not the case. As governor of California, Reagan allowed abortion. Under his watch as president, the U.S. government illegally sold weapons to Iran. As president, he gave more than three million undocumented immigrants amnesty. Also, he increased the size of the federal government, tripled the federal budget deficit, and raised taxes-a lot. In fact, he only raised taxes after his tax cuts failed. Despite the fact he has done everything that the modern GOP is against, he is still their hero. For being able to have one’s (in some cases, very bad) decisions overlooked in order to become an icon, Ronald Reagan truly won the debate.

All in all, the debate was a huge waste of time. Not only were important issues left out, but the solutions offered were terrible. Sure, that sounds like I’m being biased in a news piece, but any educated person can negate half of what the candidiates said with the Constitution. There will be future Republican debates and the Democratic debates will be starting soon. Hopefully, one of these debates will actually produce reasonable policies and plans of action instead of insults and myth building.

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