It is interesting to see the various responses to Reagan's death. I never really saw the appeal to the guy, certainy nothing to justify the near deification of the man. I like the idea that we should name something for him: the "Ronald Reagan National Debt" seems appropriate.
I don't really want to talk about the merits or lack there of in his presidency/governorship.
What I find particularly interesting is the two-faced support for this man.
Now that he is dead, people are overflowing with praise for the man. But while he was suffering from a horrible disease, Alzheimer's is one of the worst a person can suffer, they were almost silent. There was always an uneasy tolerance of poor Nancy when she would come up and quietly speak about his suffering, but the general sense was that they really wanted her to go away.
I remember when Christopher Reeves was first paralyzed, and there was at least some public interest in finding solutions for the paralyzed, and maybe cures in the form of neural regeneration. That still exists, and Reeves continues to work on it mostly by his own efforts. The same can be said of Michael J. Fox and his battles (is it Parkinsons or MS?)[This shows how much I know].
But with Reagan the case was never really made. And I think it is mostly because Reagan was unable to speak for himself. He was helpless and dependent on the efforts and work of others: both Reeves and Fox were able to speak to people, to make them see that there was a need. Reagan was hidden away on his ranch and discouraged from making public appearances.
Now it is not exactly like conservatives are jumping on the bandwagon to fight the problems Reeves and Fox suffer from. But there is some sense that with thosepublic afflicted something ought to be done. Instead with Reagan I sense a collective sigh of relief from the Right, that their great standard bearer has stopped being an embarrassment to them. And it goes to show that no matter how much they heap praises on this man (of dubious achievement), in reality when he could've used their help the most, they simply ignored him.