Whitaker's Current Articles June 12, 2004
July 12, 2004 --
I Have Anything Useful to Say About Reagan?
July 12, 2004 --
You Have to be Genius to be a Village Idiot in
I am going to a convention in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee this
weekend. I was really worried about finding a hotel room.
That's Dollyville, and when that woman takes a deep breath there
ain't a hell of lot of room left in Pigeon Forge.
Do I Have Anything Useful to Say About
Someone said that
since I was a Reagan appointee I should say something about
The problem is
that asking me about the Reagan Administration is like asking a
minnow to give you a General Theory of Ocean Currents.
thinking about it, I came up with one thing I can talk about that
relates to Reagan as a man and my personal experience. I played
the Naive Southerner. Reagan played the Dumb Irishman.
When I saw high
the only boss I ever had who understood why he dragged me along
was John Ashbrook. One of my bosses would always say, "Bob's
doing good work, he deserves to come along."
The idea being
that since Bobby had been a good boy, he couldn't take him to see
an elephant but he could take him to see a Secretary of Defense.
So how did I
react to this?
I was playing a
kind of village idiot. There is a smart guy who would always show
people how dumb the village idiot was. He would take people to
watch while he offered the village idiot the choice between a
great big nickel and a tiny dime. The idiot would always choose
the big old nickel and the guy would get a good laugh.
took pity on the poor village idiot and explained him that the
tiny dime was worth twice as much as the big, shiny nickel.
The village idiot
replied, "But if I ever take the dime, he won't offer me any more
I got a lot of
nickels. I chuckled all the way to the back.
characters made fun of Reagan by portraying him as dumb and kind
of harmless and helpless, nobody laughed harder at them than
Ronald Reagan did.
You see, he was
laughing at them from his residence inside the White House.
That's one hell
of a nickel.
Have to be Genius to be the Village Idiot in Washington
If you think it is easy to play the Naive Irishman or Southerner in
a murderous environment like the world's greatest center of power in
Washington, look at how easily professionals make fools of
themselves in public. Look at how enormously costly television ads
portray Youth, for instance.
In one huge
national real estate ad, the Young People is a young white man of
around eighteen. When he talks, he moves his hands like a rap
singer. They portray Youth by having a white kid be black.
In the real world,
everybody knows that any white kid who tries to be black is a
The guy on the
computer ads is the only one who managed to be white youth. He acts
very young but without a trace of black. He was a huge success.
If you try to be
Dumb Irishman, in DC, you had better be very, very, VERY good at
it. Getting caught in an act like that makes you, at best, a
laughing stock, and at worst, you are exposed as shallow trickster
and you are out, out, out. And that's just on Capitol Hill.
Try it in the Oval
Office and you had better be damned good.
Reagan was damned
He started with the
liberal idea that they are smart. There is nothing dumber than a
dumb man who thinks he's smart. But there is also nothing nastier
than a dumb man who sees that he is being made fun of.
So Reagan threw the
sitting Democratic president out of office in 1980 and took the
Senate away from them for the first time in a quarter century. And
the liberals told each other how dumb Reagan was. He destroyed the
Soviet Empire and lowered taxes, and liberal comedians made fun of
him on liberal-run networks.
Reagan knew more
about real history and practical international affairs than any five
Harvard professors combined. But he just sat there and listened
while people who wanted to be big-time advisors made complete asses
of themselves saying things he knew weren't true or were hopelessly
He picked people
who were not fools. So liberals said, "Reagan is dumb. He just has
Village Idiot just sat there in the White House and laughed.