There’s an old Mark Twain maxim about "lies, d****d lies," . . . And then there are those same types of lies, lies told about President Reagan in an upcoming documentary about the late Roy Cohn.
"Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn" is set to premier on HBO later this month. The film apparently focuses on Cohn when he "embedded himself in the Reagan White House as a 'rabid anti-homosexuality activist and political mentor' to current U.S. president Donald Trump before dying of AIDS in 1986."
This is utter nonsense.
Once again, the left seeks to set fire to the Ronald Reagan legacy.
It’s a classic tactic from a revolutionary playbook to try and rewrite plain facts.
Facts are problematic; therefore they must be sacrificed on the altar of "righteousness."
For years, liberals have wanted to destroy the legacy of Ronald Reagan because, to them, that is the quickest way to destroy American conservatism. It's the type of smear one would expect from serial-plagiarist, ultra-leftist and Reagan-hater Rick Perlstein or the often mistaken but never in doubt retromingents of the failing Washington Post.
If the goal was to insinuate that Cohn wormed his way into Reagan’s inner circle to get him to persecute gays, then it’s dead on arrival.
Reagan wasn’t remotely anti-homosexual in any way.
He was in fact nonjudgmental with a generosity of spirit.
Insinuating that he was or that Roy Cohn had any success in swaying him is a falsehood and an insult to Reagan’s legacy. In fact, the movie "Milk," about gay activist Harvey Milk and about the struggle for gay rights in California, paid tribute to Reagan’s strong support for the rights and privacy of all.
In 1978, Reagan campaigned against the Briggs Amendment, which would have severely limited the rights of gays in California. When the amendment went down to a crashing 2 to 1 defeat, Briggs was asked how his amendment lost so badly and he simply said "Ronald Reagan." Reagan’s acceptance of the gay lifestyle may have come about as a result of many years in Hollywood, but also because he thought deeply about such matters and respected people’s privacy.
Ronald Reagan was in many ways a libertarian and for a time, described himself as a "libertarian conservative."
In fact, those closest to him recall Reagan never saying a word against the gay community.
During the 1980 presidential campaign, his operation issued a position paper on "Gay Rights," probably the first American presidential campaign in history to do so.
The paper made clear that a person’s personal life "should remain private."
Moreover, Reagan harshly opposed Proposition 6 in California before he launched his 1980 bid for the presidency , risking the wrath of the growing Christian Right.
To Reagan, this was a matter of a deeply felt principle.
Proposition 6 would have prevented those who are gay from holding positions as teachers.
There is also the small detail about Reagan people tend to forget.
In 1985, he publicly declared that combatting AIDS was a "top priority."
His administration increased spending on AIDS research during his first term in office.
The left has consistently despised Reagan, falsely accusing him of not doing anything about AIDS.
The left hated him prior to his presidency, and they've intensely disliked him ever since.
It all adds up to a sort of mindless, unbalanced obsession.
Thus, the left will never forgive Reagan for the milestones he achieved during his two terms in office. There will always be a concerted effort to smear the "Gipper’s" memory, as we will no doubt see when "Bully, Coward, Victim," airs.
Our nation's 40th president left the country better than he found it.
Rightfully, he is considered by many as one of our four greatest presidents and accordingly, he deserves better than this atrocious work the left will call no doubt label "art."
Craig Shirley is a Ronald Reagan biographer and presidential historian. His books include, “Reagan’s Revolution, The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started it All,” “Rendezvous with Destiny, Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America,” "Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years," and “ Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan." He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, “December, 1941” and his new 2019 book, “Mary Ball Washington,” a definitive biography of George Washington’s mother. Shirley lectures frequently at the Reagan Library and the Reagan Ranch. He has been named the First Reagan Scholar at Eureka College, Ronald Reagan’s alma mater and will teach a class this fall at the University of Virginia on Reagan. He appears regularly on Newsmax TV, Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. Read Craig Shirley's Reports — More Here.
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