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Opinions & Observations- Common Sense: Reagan revisionists just don’t get it

November 30, 2020 JERRY KASSAR
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Beware of revisionist books about Ronald Reagan that are appearing this holiday season. These works, which use little first-hand period source material, are the most recent efforts by the Left to discredit a popular and successful president. 

Like so many attempts to revisit history, these works attempt to psychoanalyze Reagan and then apply what the author deduced to current events.

Contemporaries both friend and foe wrote hundreds of books on the Reagan presidency in the decade following his retirement in 1989.  Even his enemies gave him high marks for leadership.  Most have complimented his ability to unite the American people and restore America’s standing in the world. In fact, if not for Reagan, the Cold War could not have been won by George H.W. Bush. All this occurred without a war and really only one serious military action in Grenada during his eight years in office.

As far as the economy is concerned, Reagan himself set the standard when he asked in 1980, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” Vice President Bush ran for president in 1988 while being held to the Reagan standard. I think his solid victory reflected how most Americans felt about the Reagan years.

I am not big on revisionism unless new information becomes available. Trying to look at something from years ago through a prism focused on today can often distort history by misinterpreting what actually occurred.

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In Onondaga, near Syracuse, the counting of the paper ballots from Election Day was stopped last week because six employees out of an office of 30 employees tested positive for COVID-19. These BOE employees came into contact with dozens of campaign volunteers, lawyers and observers for the candidates whose ballots were being opened. Fortunately, as far as I know, the outbreak was contained.  A judge ordered that no further ballot counting in Onondaga would take place until after Thanksgiving. 

Many have expressed great annoyance with how long it takes to get final numbers from the various Boards of Elections. I share that annoyance, but also know this year in particular is not the year to rush the process. Board of Elections employees at all levels, even after many safety measures were put in place, were at a higher risk than most New Yorkers of being exposed and of exposing others. 

Final certified counts on New York City elections will be available by the end of the month – a bit less than a month after the election. Yes, it’s too long and it’s not all due to COVID. Still, waiting a little longer is a small price to pay to protect the safety of the BOE employees and the many people who need to attend the opening of the paper ballots.

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Earlier this year, I gave Gov. Andrew Cuomo high marks for communicating each day the status of COVID and the state’s response. I did not give him high marks for the response itself, which is bared out in the numbers of cases and deaths.

As such, I think the Emmy he is being awarded for his communications skills is insulting to all New Yorkers, but in particular to those who have lost loved ones.

I suppose I should not have expected better from those who do little more than play at being someone other than themselves.

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Thanksgiving has always been a special day in which we look back on the past months and take a few hours with family and friends to thank the Lord.  Most years, our thanks are general in nature, with maybe an event such as a marriage or birth being of specific relevance. 

That would not be the case this year. All that was ordinary is not anymore. 

As New Yorkers, simply enjoying this Thanksgiving in good health might be all the blessing we need. For those who are suffering from ailments, being with loved ones is something to give thanks for.

This has been a year for the ages. There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. Give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving!


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