Clip: Ronald Reagan’s Racially Tinged Stump Speeches

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In Dog Whistle Politics, author and legal scholar Ian Haney López describes how politicians use subtle, racially coded messages — “dog whistles” — to manipulate Americans in the voting booth. One early example, Haney López says, is a story Ronald Reagan told on the campaign trail during his first run for president in 1976. Watch:

By playing on stereotypes, Reagan was able to get middle-class white voters to support economic policies that helped corporations and the wealthy. Haney López tells Bill, “Over the 1980s, the Reagan tax cuts transferred a trillion dollars to America’s top one percent. Yes, voters got the tax cuts they thought were aimed at cutting off undeserving minorities, but, in fact, it was a politics that was showering money on the very richest Americans.”

“We used to understand that the biggest threat in political life was the power of concentrated money… but now, Republicans for fifty years have been telling voters the biggest threat in your life is minorities are going to hijack government.”

Watch a preview of Bill’s conversation with Ian Haney López »

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  • Anonymous

    The names have changed since the 1980′s.. as have the coded language and intended targets of it… but the message is still the same…

  • didoro

    …only not even bothering to code the language any more. I am convinced that the current partisanship stems from the tacit approval that the GOP has given to the rednecks, bigots and the simply awful… like all the politicians who have given a wink and nod to Ted Nugent this week.

  • Alpha Wolf

    Possibly, but this story doesn’t have to be interpreted through a racial lens.

    In a quick search, a “young buck” is defined as, “…a teenager or a young adult male,” with no racial connotations in any of the mainstream definitions. While there is apparently an African American rapper nicknamed “Young Buck,” he was born in 1981 and his career didn’t begin until 1995, so Reagan clearly couldn’t have been referring to him.

    Personally, without the story Mr. Lopez tells, my picture of a “young buck” would be a white jock or frat boy (nothing particular against white jocks or frat boys). That said, I can see how some people might have interpreted this through a racial lens.

    From my perspective, the core of Reagan’s message, which still resonates with many today, is that these people (regardless of race) are taking advantage of a broken government system (aka: the “deep state” in another context on last week’s show) and “you” , the hard working taxpayer. (regardless of race), although different people will clearly interpret this through different lenses.

    The larger issue is that Reagan leveraged these images, as he did with the white protestors at the Berkeley Free Speech movement in 1964, to forge a conservative coalition that endures to this day. This imagery forged a core of hard working middle/working class Americans that remain the core of the Red State Republican Party, who have repeatedly, and continue to vote against their own economic interests. Using a Venn diagram, some subset of the Republican coalition undoubtedly responds to these racial appeals (ie: “Dog Whistle Politics”), but the coalition is much broader than that and people respond to these appeals on different levels.

    It is also the core of the problem of “class consciousness” since Marx, with the working class skewing towards reactionary parties, and liberal intelectuals (and Berkeley Free Speechers) acting as the “vanguard of the Proletariat.”

    More generally, I personally see “dog whistles” of all shapes, sizes, tones and colors on all sides of the ideological divide, which can be seen in the comments on any story , including those on Moyers & Co. People respond to stories with very predictable ideological responses and self-replicating memes, depending on the source and the raw meat being thrown to the crowd, often with people on the same side of an issue getting into spitting matches depending on their ideology. For example, many of the recent comments on Moyers & Co. appear to be arguments between traditional “liberals,” the “Old Left,” the “New Left,” the new “Hip Left,” further left “progressives,” “democratic socialists” (Henry Giroux), Marxian Economists (Richard Wolff) and, because of the “deep state” content, “libertarians” and/or anarchists with a few anarcho syndicalists and anarcho capitalists thrown in for good measure.

    Different dogs, different whistles, although no doubt racism also remains an undercurrent in American politics. It will be interesting to see the response of Moyers viewers respond to this week’s stories/show.

    What Reagan did better than anyone was to herd a disperate group of ideological cats into a powerful coalition that has held the trump card in American politics since 1980. If the left is going to accomplish any of its agenda, it’s going to have to herd the aforementioned ideological cats, along with a broader more mainstreanm coalition into a political force.

  • Anonymous

    This is such an interesting thesis; it’s one that Thomas Frank explores in great detail in “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” Why would lower income, working class whites vote against their economic interests over and over again? It makes no sense, right?

    Actually, it makes a great deal of sense when you realize that culture trumps politics. When people see abortion legalized, prayer outlawed in public schools, men kissing other men on broadcast television, children being taught to put condoms on cucumbers, and any other number of (from their point of view) crazy, immoral things taking place in their country, then tend to react badly. The Democrats, fairly or unfairly, are associated with all of the cultural shifts that have taken place in America over the past forty years: secularization, the normalization of homosexuality, the legalization of abortion, etc. So all these bitter clingers, rather than try and figure out the intricacies of credit default swaps, or trying to cobble together an opinion of taxing derivatives, pick the people who tell them that God, family, and country still matter.

    Our society is more than economics. There are things that matter more to a great many people than taxes and infrastructure spending. People–work white Christians, mostly–feel that the ground is shifting beneath there feet on every level, and it’s not a good shift. It’s threatening. And it’s happening fast.

    Do you really wonder why they vote Republican?

  • Democratsinceiwasborn

    My father,who was a conservative southern Democrat, told me this before he died in 1989. He said that one day, the very people who are voting for the Republicans, who will end welfare and food stamps, will wake up one morning needing them, and they will be gone. For many this has happened, and they want to blame Obama. You can’t fix stupid!

  • Democratsinceiwasborn

    You’ve got a good point, but when Republicans have been in charge, there have been no changes in those hot button issues. If they did, they would no longer have anything to run against, and it would become evident that “the Emperor has no clothes”.

  • Democratsinceiwasborn

    The people who Reagan was talking too understood the term “young buck”, whether you ever heard it or not. And it was racial, just like Willie Horton and all the other crap they pull out.

  • Anonymous

    apparently you don’t know that “young buck” referred to able bodied male slaves for sale on the slave block. everyone knows that young buck is not a young white male, except you i guess. the young rapper of whom you speak probably chose the name as a nod and a mockery to this southern tradition.

  • Anonymous

    “• informal • offensive A black or American Indian man.” Oxford dictionary for all of you trying to pretend it doesn’t mean what it means.

  • Chris Bray

    Fortunately, back at the time, while right-wing racists like Ronald Reagan were using these kinds of racial code words, Democratic Party leaders like George Wallace were taking a much more restrained and decent approach.

    A question for the former Johnson administration official Bill Moyers: What kind of racial language did LBJ use in private discussions with Southern congressmen?

  • Tara

    Here in the American Midwest where, incidentally, Ronald Reagan was born and raised, a young buck is akin to a “strapping lad.” That is, a healthy young man or male child. In all my life I have never heard the term used to refer to anything racial. If I’d heard this speech then, this is what I would have thought he meant then, as I also do now.

    My American Heritage Dictionary defines “buck” as “a robust or high-spirited young man.”
    My American Slang dictionary defines “bucko” as “friend” or “pal.” (“Buck” is a dollar.)

    Lopez may have other, more viable, examples. If so, I would love to hear them so that we can continue the work of ridding ourselves of racism and hatred. But to build an argument on this foundation is shaky at best, and certainly, obviously, hate-mongering.

  • Edward Zingraff

    crappy dictionary

  • Alpha Wolf

    That’s why I said, “I can see how some people might have interpreted this through a racial lens.”

    I did some more searching and I found references to “black buck” being used during Reconstruction, which is clearly racist, but I couldn’t find direct references to “young buck.” I did a quick search of google n-grams, which has all of the scanned google books going back to 1800 and couldn’t find any racist references to young buck,” but there are thousands of entries so they may be there. Per your post above, this is one of many connotations of the term “buck.”

    I kind of agree with Tara (above):

    “Here in the American Midwest where, incidentally, Ronald Reagan was
    born and raised, a young buck is akin to a “strapping lad.” That is, a
    healthy young man or male child. In all my life I have never heard the
    term used to refer to anything racial. If I’d heard this speech then,
    this is what I would have thought he meant then, as I also do now.”

    As Mr. Lopez said in the interview, Reagan said “young buck” once and then he changed it to “young fellow,” so, perhaps he used it in Tara’s sense above and he changed it because of the negative connotation, but that doesn’t fit the narrative. Who knows since none of us were inside of Reagan’s head, or the heads of those who heard him use the phrase that one time?

    That said, I don’t deny that some people may have interpreted it as a racial code, or that there are racial undertones in American politics, and it’s gotten a lot of mileage from Reagan bashers and liberal commentators (I found lots of references to them self-replicating the meme) ever since.

    My larger point was that people of all ideological colors use highly charged buzzwords and self-replicating memes to appeal to people’s fears of the “other.” The politics of hatred, scapegoating and blame are alive and well in America I could find hundreds of references in the Moyers comments alone over the last week.

  • Alpha Wolf

    See my other comments, but I’m glad you have the ability to read the minds of the people Reagan was talking to the one time he used the phrase (changing it to “young fellow” thereafter).

    I don’t deny the existence of racial politics in America, but what I see more than anything else is two morally superior groups pointing fingers at each other.

  • Alpha Wolf

    May be true, but a term can have many connotations for different people, in different places, at different times. .

    As Tara (above) says:

    “Here in the American Midwest where, incidentally, Ronald Reagan was
    born and raised, a young buck is akin to a “strapping lad.” That is, a
    healthy young man or male child. In all my life I have never heard the
    term used to refer to anything racial. If I’d heard this speech then,
    this is what I would have thought he meant then, as I also do now.”

    I’d love to see the references, because I did a search of google n-grams, which has all of the google books going back to 1800, and couldn’t find it. I did, however, find references to “black buck” being used during Reconstruction, which is clearly racist.

    As Mr. Lopez said, Reagan used the term once, perhaps in Tara’s sense, and then changed it to “young fellow,” perhaps realizing the negative connotation, but that doesn’t fit the narrative he’s trying to make.

    I’m not denying that there are racial undertones in American politics, or that certain people, almost all of whom would vote for Republicans anyway, might respond to coded racial messages, but the larger point is that Reagan’s economic message, which is at the core of the Neoliberal ideology, applies regardless of the color of the “young fellow” or whoever you put in that blank. You’re out there busting your hump trying to make a buck (ie: dollar) and stop into the grocery store after a long day to pick up some hamburger and this other person, whoever that is, is buying T Bone with your tax dollars. For racists, that could have racial connotations, for the hard working African American woman, that could be some snotty white kid.

    Given the deep frustration with government and the economy in 1980, after the hyperinflation and everything else in the 70s, Reagan’s message hit home and he won a massive landslide and redrew the electoral map ever since.

    I think the President said it best in his recent “New Yorker” interview with David Remnick, ““There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President,…Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black President.”

    In terms of America almost 4 decades after Reagan made the comment, thankfully, the racists are losing 2-0. In the same article, Remnick says, and I would tend to agree, “Obama’s advisers are convinced that if the Republicans don’t find a way to attract non-white voters, particularly Hispanics and Asians, they may lose the White House for two or three more election cycles.”

    If the Republicans want to play the race card going forward, as Dirty Harry said, “Go ahead punk. Make my day!”

  • Anonymous

    her

  • JonThomas

    Except that language use has changed, and there are a lot more references dating back to Ronald Reagan’s generation which did use ‘buck’ as a derogatory term.

    Even if ‘buck’ wasn’t in usage during Mr. Reagan’s life, it was close enough after it was common usage to still be in the popular mindset. I was born DURING the Civil Rights era, after decent people stopped using most of those denigrating terms, and I’m fully aware what someone is referring to when they use such terms.

    Reagan grew up BEFORE the civil rights era. His language usage was instilled during a time before it became taboo to use such terms. I knew a lot of older people who threw around unacceptable terms without even considering a second thought.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck says…. A derogatory term (primarily 19th century) for an African American male, the female counterpart being wench.

    http://www.adversity.net/special/niggardly_terms.htm

    http://www.ask.com/question/stable-buck

    And many more. Your dictionaries do not seem to be very comprehensive, and you seem to be neglecting the changes we’ve seen in language.

  • JonThomas

    One reference from a non-comprehensive source doesn’t mean much, especially when you are posting on the internet and the rest of us can find 20 sources to prove it was ‘race associated.’

    I posted just 3 above.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve maintained an email thread for several years with about 8 friends of mine. I asked them if they’d ever heard “young buck” used as a racial pejorative. One of them had heard “big buck” used by an 80 year old from Brooklyn. The guy who grew up in Alabama had not.

    So, yeah, somewhere in the US “young buck” is a racist pejorative. Where I grew up in California, where Reagan lived most of his life, it wasn’t even a pejorative, let alone a racist pejorative.

    Is it possible that Reagan was race-baiting? Sure. But if this guy did a bunch of research and that’s the evidence that’s good enough to make the interview…. weak argument.

    If you want to get a clear picture of what was wrong with the Reagan Administration, read, “Friends in High Place.” http://www.amazon.com/Friends-High-Places-Corporation-Engineered/dp/0345360443 The whole administration walked into the White House through a revolving door with the Bechtel corporation.

    These approaches by Democrats to smear Republicans on charges of racism always ring hollow with me. Robert Byrd, George Wallace, Bull Connor, the Southern Bloc that filibustered the Civil Rights Act…. Democrats. The part that any researcher worth a damn would have to consciously leave out of a narrative about Republican racism in the 80s is that its only purpose was to lure Democrats away from their party.

    Oh, and, while we’re here on Bill Moyers’s site, let’s not forget the ease and frequency with which LBJ and his friends used the n-word. For Bill to sit there shaking his head as if he’s hearing the whole story…. Just shameful.

  • Jim Young

    Both knew what to use where, as did Eisenhower and Colin Powell on one end, and David Dukes on the other.

  • Chris Bray

    So it was tactical and insincere when people you like did it, and racist when people you don’t like did it.

  • Anonymous

    the trolls are doing their best to counter the truth of Reagan and the Republican “talking points”. that’s their job. after 40 years of this “con,” seeing through the “talking points” like this guy Alpha Wolf doesn’t want to admit to, is so easy.

    of course, if you lived down South, you knew what Reagan and the Republicans meant. it is quaint to watch Alpha Wolf spin his “theories”. the stupid American voter has had 40 years to “get” what this means. but good try, Alpha Wolf. you are doing your job as best you can. the public isn’t quite that ignorant any more. all those talking points have trickled down into the reality of real meanings.

    close but no cigar anymore. poor people start to wonder why they are being conned after a while. it worked then, but now, the game is up and the reality shows all the way through.

    and like i said, being a Southerner, you knew from the beginning what all the BS from Reagan meant,from the beginning. what was most fascinating was watching how well it sold and how Reagan and the Republican had to “tone down” their talking points.

    funny in so many way, and so sad in too many more.

  • Jim Young

    It really wasn’t who I liked or didn’t like, but for what purposes they used it for.

    Very very few were as reserved as they were in public with the backroom guys in private. I don’t know how JFK treated the military (while laying down the law to them in private), but I do know how Johnson had them shaking in their boots,stunned at how he unexpectedly burned their ears off (after quietly listening to their recommendations).

    I’ve had a few try it with me, but I’m used to working with them, wait them out and quietly ask the same questions I started with, if they haven’t answered them.

    An Executive Secretary for one of the mini-Bells taught me a technique she had taught to operators and customer service techs. When the angry caller went into a tirade, she would hold the phone away, but not so far she couldn’t hear when they stopped and started asking if she was still there. Then she’d apologize for having to have left for some plausible reason, and say, very pleasantly, that she really hadn’t heard any part of what they said, and ask if they could explain the whole thing to her again. I do the same thing, pretty much, even in person, as pleasantly as I can.

  • Jim Young

    “Do you really wonder why they vote Republican?”

    Not as much as I wonder why so many abused children and women defend their abusers, or why some Catholics defend some imaginary vision pure clergy, or why so few believe our troops don’t face things that challenge their consciences.

    Why do so many believe the other side must be using dirtier tricks than their side, therefore justifying more dirty tricks, gutted regulators, underfunded and understaffed agencies that can’t stand against a few corrupt power brokers?

    To get back to the race issue, though, ask former Black Farmers how the agencies treated them compared to others. Ross Perot pointed out how they were led to buying some of the poorest farmland, falsely rated as good buy county agricultural agents. You don’t have to believe every story, but go out into the communities and ask the 2nd 3rd and lower tier staff about how much of that happened, and as many Black farmers, or their friends, as you can. I guarantee you a different picture will emerge.

  • Anonymous

    I actually agree with you Doug but wow, what did you think of the point that Lopez made about getting white middle class voters to agree with something that Wasn’t for their own good?

  • Anonymous

    And if you lived outside of the South the whites also understood from the beginning what and who Reagan was referring to hence the dreaded code words.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Jon for saying what I didn’t have the energy to say to Tara except I would have suggested that she begin to read more about this country’s history since she obviously hasn’t done much of.

  • Anonymous

    I’d suggest that you begin by reading the book since you seem to have missed the point Lopez made. Did you even listen to the video which is all of 23 min. long?

  • Anonymous

    But then do you deny what Reagan meant when he used the phrase ‘young buck’? Welfare Queens and even then white women outnumbered black women on welfare but by Reagan’s use of the phrase we who were alive and adults understood perfectly which group of people he was referring to. Maybe you were just a 5 yr. old? Maybe just stoo-pid?

  • JonThomas

    :-)

  • Edward Moriarty

    That’s not what it meant in Rosewood, Florida.

  • Edward Moriarty

    original sin by the Gipper was breaking the Flight Controllers Union. Working conditions and salaries for “the Workers” have been disintegrating since the moment he fired all those hard working, over stressed, Public Servants!

  • KA

    Speak for yourself, Midwesterner! I was born and raised midwest and to me, strapping young buck always referred to young black men. Using this term was considered acceptable to whites, so was considered acceptable to me as a child. As an adult, it is racist, conjures images of slaves being auctioned off.

    Regardless of who it is tho, I do not like my taxes being used for subsidizing anyone who has children they should not have had, who smokes and drinks and overeats while using my tax dollars to subsidize them, who priotitizes their money to buy cable, iphones, gets their hair done, goes out to bars, gets their morning coffee at a restaurant, and on and on while using my tax dollar to pay their basics. That is the problem. Stop giving momey to those who are using THEIR money for incidentals such as above- make them pay their way by paying their own rent, own food, own bills, and give them free birth control . If someone has money for the lottery, for the casino, for cigarettes, for hair and nails and iphones…..stop giving them my taxes. This includes welfare for businesses and corporations…kinda like the NFL, non profit NFL who pays no taxes at all!

  • Anonymous

    Racism is not an undercurrent in American politics – it is right out there front and center. It just wears new clothes.

    The stratagem used by conservatives in the 60s was the successful exercise in which the face of poverty was changed from those in Appalachia to those in the “inner-city.”

    Reagan learned what George Wallace and Kevin Phillips (who worked for Nixon) knew before him, whites see race as a zero-sum game and if blacks do better than whites do worse. Considering the large racial majority enjoyed by whites of the day it was a hellacious use of imagery that worked in all regions and in spite of its fallacy. Wasn’t it Reagan (channeling JFK) who when explaining supply side economics said, “A rising tide lifts all the boats?” If that is true how does my boat rise and your boat sink if both are on the same water?

  • http://www.misterchambers.com/ Randall_S

    This is despicable journalism.

  • Gblaaa

    Ed, you are clearly in denial. Get help.

  • Gblaaa

    Tara, that’s not true, and you know it. “Buck” used in that context in the Midwest and in California is a derogatory term meaning a young black man. I’m a white Midwesterner, and if you think you never heard it used in a demeaning way, then you are simply naive.

    Reagan was a racist, second rate movie star, who knew how to attract ignorant bigoted people to the polls.

  • Dan Ostrowski

    What a nonsense reply. Not being aware of a particular piece of slang from pre-civil rights days doesn’t mean you “haven’t read much about this country’s history.”

    I’m in my thirties, grew up in the Midwest and NEVER associated “young buck” with someone being black. If old people were using that term in that way, I was completely unaware and my recollection is hearing it used quite often to describe white boys as well; I assumed it simply was a term of vitality since a buck is often a symbol of virility.

    The Wikipedia link above doesn’t mention the derogatory term, urban dictionary doesn’t have “young buck” as a racist term and you have to look to find sites that look like they haven’t changed since 1993 (adversity.net) to find “young buck” referenced as a racial term. Dictionary.com doesn’t have any racial reference, either: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/young+buck

    I’m not saying it wasn’t in Reagan’s time, but it’s certainly an obscure reference today so it not ringing true to Tara is absolutely understandable, particularly for those of us that aren’t 70 years old.

  • Anonymous

    That’s not really racism….its bigotry and a latent need to control others. Once you pay your taxes, that money is no longer YOURS – it now belongs to the government and you pay it to support our collective freedom, infrastructure, education, and defense. It is no longer YOUR money. Get over it.

  • Anonymous

    I’m 65 and remember hearing the term used in good ole Iowa in my youth. No one reads much any more and they should – even online. Not being aware of the history of our country indeed displays a lack of study and….reading. Too much of the history in the school books today’s youth are given is quite white washed and contains a lot of wrong information. Tae a look at a high school civics or American history book sometime.

  • Dan Ostrowski

    None of my high school civics or American history books covered the term “young buck” as a racist indictment. Care to point out one that does?

    You have to really hunt to find the term defined like that online, that’s my point. It’s actually really hard to find with search engine results, most of the top results don’t define it that way.

    Again, not saying that as a youngster in 1959 or so you didn’t hear that phrase used in that way, what I’m saying is it’s an obscure reference for younger or even middle aged citizens and not knowing one term’s older, racist meaning is no indication of a lack of general knowledge of American history.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know of any academic references or studies of the word as it is basically slang. I’m not sure of its use in literature either so examples might not be easy to locate. I lived in London, England for a couple years and learned the local slang, most of which was spoken and not written.
    I have lived in Hawaii for over 5 years, on the big island, and have learned a bit of the Hawaiian language, but have found it frustratingly difficult to understand, let alone speak, much of the pigeon language that many local speak. Most who grew up speaking pigeon have a very heavy accent when they speak English and I have to listen carefully. But the pigeon slang is fun to use and can be very funny…..but it is beyond the tourists. When the locals don’t want the tourist to know what they are saying, they will speak pigeon and they usually don’t say things that flatter the rude tourists. LOL

  • allison1050

    Dear Dan, With you 1st sentence 2nd paragraph you’ve stated the most important thing which is how young you are were when St Ronny was sworn in in 1980..but now if you were born in 1980 let’s say you’re past due for learning the history of this country dear. All I can suggest to you is read read and then do some more reading since you don’t seem to do much of it. I don’t know if you weren’t encouraged as a child or if it’s a sign of the times that you were born into but READ for Christ’s sake. No don’t read Wikipedia try reading books my dear. You can post anything on Wiki literally..why don’t you even know that my dear? Read books Dan make that your knew goal in life.

  • rg9rts

    Perhaps the message was lost in the context of the time. READ it might open up an entire new world to you. Remember the gopee has three full time historians rewriting history to fit their gospel. Learn from your elders or be doomed to repeat the mistakes of history.

  • rg9rts

    Sheltered existence. Try that line in Georgia or better Alabama

  • Anonymous

    This is old news and fighting a guy whose been dead for years.” Move on” as the saying goes.

  • KA

    Seriously, you are saying just shut up when the govt uses my tax dollars to support any business or any person or any business who is capable of supporting themselves? So I have no rights to even complain about it? Really? Silly boy…..funny how you say it is bigotry and a latent need to control others, Mr. Armchair Psychologist. It is a need to have control over my own money to use as I see fit. It is not acceptable to me to pay for ANYONES basic bills, regardless of what color, race, sex or religion when they evidently are capable of paying their basic needs as evidenced by their spending habits for incidentals that are not necessary for existence…..such as cigarettes, beer, hair styling, nails, tattoos, new babies, smartphones, ac at 65 degrees, neat at 80 degrees, new cars, slicked out cars…….mcdonalds morning coffee and visiting the local carryout for lottery tickets and at the casino . I see it when working at food banks, saw it when i used to inspect carryouts and saw it at free health department services. So you feel free to bend over and take it when the feds want your tax dollars to use as they want…..add $$ to your taxes to pay my share! If you want to call it bigotry, and that makes your pretend dr in you happy, go for it.

  • Jeffrey Howarth

    That would work if he wasn’t still being worshiped by the GOP.

  • allison1050

    ;-)) The country is full to the top of uneducated nonreading young Americans..it’s sad.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    This same argument is still in use today.

  • George Mason

    What a load of crap. People of Reagan’s generation would refer to ANY young man as a “young buck”. Buck Owens, Buck Rogers, try to name a black person with the nickname of “Buck”.

    As for the grocery store story: you keep trying to convince us that we’re not seeing what we’re seeing when we go to the grocery store. Now I will grant you that observation of this type is not scientific. A working person may not associate the purchases with the dysfunction until the EBT card is swiped in front of him. But we really do stand in line, ready to pay with our own money for our groceries. We really do shop for health, quality, and thrift. And we really do see Welfare Queens in line in front of us with crab legs, stuff for the grill, and all manner of expensive junk food. Yes, they also buy a case of Ramen noodles (which are full of salt and fat).

    We are not blind, stupid, or particularly racist. We see what we see. And no amount of being told that we’re blind, stupid, and racist will convince us otherwise. Especially when the POS trying to do that shops at Whole Foods while we’re shopping at Walmart.

  • George Mason

    The dictionary also says that “negro” is offensive. But it isn’t. The entire basis for that goes back to a specific person in a specific year who proclaimed in 1968 that “negro” was the old, white way of referring to Afro-Americans, and that Afro-American was the only acceptable term. Meanwhile, that message got mixed up on its way to the Afro-American community and they started calling each other the real n-word. In other words, americanwhitewoman, you are full of crap. Your experience is clearly not as valid, probably because you are making it up.

  • Anonymous

    History is important. Roosevelt criticized Republican opposition to Social Security by saying they’d like to throw old people on the trash heap like a wrinkled rind. We need people who are equally blunt about their assessment of modern Republicans who, like Ian said, want to turn our government over to the super rich.

  • Anonymous

    That’s funny. I feel the same way when my tax money is used to give oil companies subsidies, tax breaks and kickbacks; or when Halliburton is given $39 BILLION of my tax dollars to a corrupt Vice President war criminal. I also get pretty ticked off when the GOP congress spends $24 billion of my tax dollars to shut the government down, another $12 billion to vote to repeal a law 51+ ties with no hope of success.
    Hate it when my tax money is used to fund 9 separate investigations into a bogus “scandal”.
    And the topper: $2 TRILLION dollars, 4500+ American lives, 150,000+ lives overall were spent so a corrupt administration can give no-bid contracts to oil production of a sovereign country illegally.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, KA……you have some real anger issues it seems. I hope you feel better about yourself now that you have dumped your big load…maybe got some of your pent up hate our of your system. You seem to have covered everything but abortion and truth. I would suggest you take on a new mission and refuse to pay your income taxes (provided you hold down a job with your personality and actually pay any taxes at all); just don’t even bother filing a return. When the IRS contacts you, maybe you can tell them the paying of taxes to fund a government and help others goes against your religion (you can then invoke your Hobby Lobby rights to discriminate based on your religious beliefs). And then you can demand that the clerk at the grocery store deduct the tax from your bill; same with the utility bills, phone, gasoline, shoe store, restaurant, etc. Just refuse to pay any taxes because you demand total and complete control over every penny you earn that is YOURS and no one else’s. Maybe you can paint a sign and start a protest in your neighborhood (oops – sorry – that might be seen as a community service that might help others).
    BTW: I have three PhDs and am addresses as Doctor and one degree is in psychology, so you got two things right by way of trying to insult me with your delusions of superiority. I suggest you get some professional help for your manic/depressive borderline personality disorder before it builds up and you go shoot up a mall or a school. And stop kicking the neighbor’s dog while you’re at it.

  • KA

    You are one of those that says how does it make you feel…..having worked for 42 years of my life (Mr Got It Wrong), I have paid plenty of taxes. My religious beliefs are to get rid of all religions, wars are the result of them. My community service is famous for donating tons of money to non profits and helping to rescue over 600 dogs last year and over 700 the year before driving over 7000 miles last year in that endeavor. Have a foster as we speak. Have participated in many a protest including the Iraq war started by your buddy W in Washington in 2001. What a lousy dr you must be, so sanctimonious, and soooo wrong on personality disorders. But with nothing better to do than attend school, must be a hard life. Did you pay for it all yourself or did the govt or your employer? And paying my hard earned money to any govt is a hard pill to swallow seeing it going to those very people who abuse the very animals I work hard to save. Keep your PhDs….they make great wallpaper and allow you to throw it into each conversation.

  • KA

    Agree, but you must have anger issues and never have had a job that paid taxes to say that as per Tony Adams above.

  • Commie Dearest

    “How did those poor people get all our money?”

  • Anonymous

    Hahaha – what a funny guy, coming on like you actually know me and trying to intimidate me by listing your resume of what a good and giving person you truly are. LOL. Despite your arrogant and obviously exaggerated bragging, you seem to have to call attention to yourself so you can feel better about yourself…..the kind of person who just makes it all up in a fantasy world.
    I paid every cent for my education and did not even take any tuition assistance from the GI/VA benefits I more than well earned. You seem to presume I have an MD….I don’t. I worked for over 50 years before retiring with a quite large residual income from excelling in my career field in the arts. I get four quite large checks four time each years from all the hard work I have done; its called not only working hard….but working smart in my chosen field. One degree path is career related, but the others were earned because I wanted to be very well grounded, well read, and understand more of the world and people around me. They HAVE helped me in my career, helped to better understand what and why I was doing in my chosen field. I don’t have the need to brag to you about what I’ve done, where I’ve been, and who I’ve been with and worked with because I do not need YOU to validate my life and who I am.
    You presume I supported G.W. Bush and you are so very far from the truth. I have NEVER once supported nor voted for a Republican in my entire life; I am a liberal Democrat and very proud of it (and have been privileged to meet 6 Presidents and be invited to the White House several times [ and went], once to participate in the evening’s entertainment). I am good personal friends with the Governor and both Senators from my state and my district member of the House. Many of my close friends are house-hold names around the world. I am pretty much satisfied with who I am and have no problem living in my own skin. I have a very nice life (that I worked hard for and earned) and have travelled the world for both pleasure and business. My annual giving to charities is very well received and much of it is given with the condition that I receive undo notoriety. I have a nice collections of awards for excellence in my occupation and many citations for my civic work. I don’t count and then brag to others my accomplishments as my close friends know me and know the things I have done in my life to contribute to society and humanity. I’ve done quite well for a guy who started life in a share-croppers farm with no indoor plumbing.
    Actually, you are the sanctimonious one. You demonstrate a severe need to be accepted and respected by others and will do all you can to make that happen….but you fail because people can see right through you and see your phoniness and deceit (just observations from having one PhD in psychology). I give you sympathy and understand who YOU are much better than you do about me. You demonstrate yourself so effectively and wear your psychosis on your sleeve for all to see.
    I hope you have a nice life and will find enough peace within yourself that you can find that place where just being you is enough reward for the world….and not just your accomplishments. And remember this; God does NOT keep a score card of goodie-goodie deeds. No…he looks deep into your soul and see who you REALLY are – beyond your own knowledge of thoughts. Good luck.

  • Anonymous

    Do you realize how insane that sounds?

  • Anonymous

    If hard work created success, African women would be the richest people on earth.

    Let me explain why tax cuts for the rich, the supposed job creators, destroy jobs. If you have a high tax for the highest tax brackets, that makes it unprofitable to get that high income. That means that you have to keep the money invested. Which means that the companies in which you invest get to keep it and hire people, improve infrastructure, and create products. The investor still gets richer because his investment increases in value, he just keeps it invested in the company and he’s now “invested” in making sure the company is successful and thrives.

    If you slash that tax bracket, then taking profits from companies becomes the obvious thing to do, so as soon as a company turns a profit, the investor takes his profit and his money out of the company and stashes it in a bank offshore somewhere. Meanwhile, the company loses capital, so they have to cut jobs and slash production. This is exactly the opposite of what you are claiming happens, but it happens over and over. Even worse, it incentivizes people like Romney and Bain Capital who then take over companies, load them up with debt, leverage the debt for loans to give the company the appearance of doing well and then take all the profits and run, leaving a smoking crater where there was once a thriving company. Once again, people lose jobs.

    The thing about high tax brackets is that it doesn’t mean that the government gets the money. It means that the wealthy don’t just take the profits, so instead of the government getting the money, it stays in the company and is invested in the workers and products. The wealthy get to stay wealthy and everyone else gets the opportunity to work at a good, solid company instead of having their jobs outsourced and downsized for the quick buck.

    Clearly, you have been reading propaganda about all of this, but if you sit down and really think about it, you’ll see why this is true and why, as the tax rates have been slashed, inequality and unemployment have gone through the roof. When they talk about getting the government off people’s backs, they don’t mean you. They mean themselves. They’ve got the government all over your back. They are trying to go back to the Gilded Age, where a few people ran everything and owned everything. If you think you are going to have a better life under that philosophy, either you don’t know history or you are a billionaire.

  • Anonymous

    The founding father’s opinions are old news. We’re a different country now. Move on, as your saying goes.

  • Anonymous

    I’m pretty amazed that someone who is so evolved and educated feels the need to engage in such a juvenile pissing match.

  • Anonymous

    I was born in 1961 (so that makes me middle aged now) and read like crazy. Even growing up in the supposedly evolved northeast in a very academic environment, I knew what “young buck” meant by the time I was 12. Being 30 now means you have really no idea of the context of the phrase, given the huge push for political correctness since you were born, so I’m not surprised you haven’t come across it. Just because it’s been whitewashed or erased from our culture now doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a very powerful phrase when used by Reagan. It was by no means obscure. It was a phrase I wouldn’t even apply to my white friends because of how loaded it was. But, it was only a couple years after my home town exploded in racial violence due to forced busing, so sensitivities were a lot higher than they are now, in this world where it’s claimed that affirmative action and the VRA is anachronistic. Young buck may be a phrase that exists or doesn’t in literature, but back through the 80s, it was almost as loaded as the N word.

    I don’t know if the phrase is there, but look into watching Eyes On The Prize, parts I and II. Some good context on life back then.

  • Anonymous

    George Wallace was a Democratic party leader? He may have been a member of the Democratic party and representative of the old school southern Democrats before the Southern Strategy took hold and the Dems and Republicans flipped positions, but after the mid 60s, he was never very influential outside of a certain racist Southern voter. By the time the statements above were made by Reagan, he was completely sideline. “Wallace later claimed that he had facilitated a fellow southerner’s nomination; in point of fact, no position advocated by Wallace was included in the 1976 Democratic platform.” That doesn’t sound like a party leader to me. He even repented later and apologized to the black leaders. We Democrats do not claim him as one of our own. I don’t even claim Clinton, but that’s another story.

  • Anonymous

    You’re right…..KA like to piss and moan, doesn’t he. Hahaha. I don’t usually bother with people like him/her as it is not my business to change anyone’s mind or beliefs…even if they are wrong. Actually, KA amuses me and gives me a temporary challenge in the understanding of the radical conservative mind…a bit of study in psychology for me and gathering material for a book.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, do have any previous books of yours I can peruse? I’m always interested in reading new authors. I searched Amazon but only came up with a home improvement books from decades past.

  • Anonymous

    Did you ever see To Kill a Mockingbird? In Reagan’s Hollywood world and the movies that his target audience watched, the phrase was used liberally. Whether or not it’s used now is simply not relevant.

  • Anonymous

    No book published yet. I am actually working on two as the same time. Ambitious – hahaha. One book is observations on life and the other is a study of sociology and how groups of people are influenced by politicians and religious trends.

  • Anonymous

    Well, if you need a second pair of eyes, I’m happy to provide an opinion. I studied religion and law when I was at law school not so long ago (although more in the context of climate change than race, elections, etc. My sister is also a pHD in religious studies, so she’s a great resource. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    Your comparison of the importance of the founding father’s opinions to that of Ronald Reagan would warm the cockles of the coldest Republican heart.

  • jimbowski

    The top 10% pay nearly all the federal income taxes because they have most of the money. Rich people benefit from laws that make sure workers are not paid a reasonable wage, so it’s reasonable to tax the rich to give money to the poor. So when Alan Greenspan was testifying before Congress in 1997 on the marvels of the economy he was running, he said straight out that one of the bases for its economic success was imposing what he called “greater worker insecurity.” If workers are more insecure, that’s very “healthy” for the society, because if workers are insecure they won’t ask for wages, they won’t go on strike, they won’t call for benefits; they’ll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that’s optimal for corporations’ economic health. At the time, everyone regarded Greenspan’s comment as very reasonable, judging by the lack of reaction and the great acclaim he enjoyed.

  • http://thebarton.org Michael Barton

    That is not how things work. If a business is at risk of being in a higher tax bracket, the company moves things around until they’re at the most profitable spot. One thing you fail to understand is that there is a payroll tax. More employees, more taxes. Whereas outsourcing jobs does not raise taxes, and is tax deductible because it’s a business expense. You lower taxes and give the company incentives to keep the employees, and they’ll keep the employees. Get rid of the payroll tax and you’ll see more jobs. Get rid of ACA and you’ll see a ton more jobs. Think a little bit. Put yourself in the business owners perspective. It’s your money, not any different than any of your other possessions. You do what you can to protect what is yours.

  • http://thebarton.org Michael Barton

    Besides the fact young buck is not racially coded. Typical liberal trying to change history. Also, show me the video for proof. Right now we just have some slander by a guy trying to sell a book. Not very trustworthy.

  • Henry Whitworth

    He really was the Great Communicator. He knew how to tell racists that he was on their side. But, of course, his economic approach still plaguing the nation through his legacy is absolutely terrible for the working class whites who fall for it. They’re just left with the bitterness and the racism. And a fictional Reagan they can love.

  • Anonymous

    You negotiated the wage prior to employment. If there were a flat tax everyone would pay their fair share. The way it stand now the so called liberals bribe voters by promising them free stuff promising them that they will send the bill to those evil rich people. Greenspan was wrong and went down in flames.