Whitaker's Current Articles June 12, 2004

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July 12, 2004 --  Do I Have Anything Useful to Say About Reagan?

July 12, 2004 --  You Have to be Genius to be a Village Idiot in Washington


Fun Quote:

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 Reagan?                              

Someone said that since I was a Reagan appointee I should say something about Reagan.

The problem is that asking me about the Reagan Administration is like asking a minnow to give you a General Theory of Ocean Currents.

But after 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 officials in Washington, 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.

Finally someone 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 nickels."

I got a lot of nickels.  I chuckled all the way to the back.

When comic 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.


                     You 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 laughable loser.

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 good.

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 muddled.

He picked people who were not fools.  So liberals said, "Reagan is dumb.  He just has smart advisors."

So Washington's Village Idiot just sat there in the White House and laughed.



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