Anyone on BMG who reads my diaries or comments knows how much I admire President Reagan. I remember seeing him in Boston at a rally during the closing days of the 84′ campaign and on the back of my car, I had a green bumper sticker that read “Democrat For Reagan”. But I am not here to discuss Reaganomics or the hyper-economic growth during his presidency. I am writing about an article written by Carl Cannon today.
The title is ‘Ronald Reagan and AIDS: Correcting the Record’. i just had to bring this to the BMG community because remember when Obama had gay activists over at the White House last year and some posted pictures of themselves with their middle finger raised and the portrait of President Reagan in the background? I know, totally classless but its a free country. And you read things like Reagan didn’t care about gay people in general or those who were suffering from AIDS. I hope this clears a few things up b/c I learned something new today and hope you do as well.
Back in 1978, California had Prop 6 which would ban any gay or lesbian person from teaching in the public schools. Early polls had support has high as 75% and after months of advertisements by opponents of the measure, support for Prop 6 still stayed cemented at 55%. Reagan was being pulled by conservative Republicans to back the measure, his political advisors told him to steer clear, and gay Republicans and Democrats asked for Reagan’s help to defeat Prop 6. Rather than throwing a bone to the political base or voting present on a politically difficult issue, Reagan came out against Prop 6 and wrote an op-ed column urging the people of CA to reject it. Consequently, the measure went down to defeat, in-part due to Ronald Reagan.
“One of those who’d urged Reagan to intervene was Los Angeles gay activist David Mixner, a friend of future president Bill Clinton. “Never have I been treated more graciously by a human being,” Mixner said of his meeting with Reagan. “He turned opinion around and saved that election for us. He just thought it was wrong and came out against it.”
The article goes on to mention how Reagan kept doubling the funding of Aids research year after year and in 83′, HHS Secretary Margaret Heckler said while visiting an Aids patient in NYC with Mayor Koch “We ought to be comforting the sick, rather than afflicting them and making them a class of outcasts.” President Reagan himself said “One of our highest public health priorities is going to be continuing to find a cure for AIDS.”
So for those that have fond memories of President Reagan, don’t let the loud few detract from his greatness. We have the facts on our side, they have only finger gestures.