Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The mythogenesis of Ronald Reagan

William F. Buckley quotes Lance Morrow in his most recent column about Ronald Reagan’s mythogenic status:
“Reagan—completely American, uncomplicated, forward-looking, honest, self-deprecating—became American innocence in a 73-year-old body.”
This strikes me as a good description of Reagan the myth. The description is good because it shows how easily any of these qualities can be looked at in a negative light. “Uncomplicated” is good, but simplistic is bad. Being “completely American” is good, but limiting. Innocence is often dangerous. This Reagan myth is almost cartoonish, but in a mainly positive way.

Whatever else can be said of him, Reagan was a great American.

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