Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ronald Reagan A Mass Murderer?

       The Advocate today re-published an article entitled Adolf Reagan - in which the author lays the blame for the AIDS epidemic directly at the feet of Ronald Reagan. The conclusion of the article is as follows -

      It is remarkable that two of the so-called “greatest presidents” have also allowed the greatest perpetrations and perpetuations of mass murder. Franklin D. Roosevelt was shamefully inept in dealing with “the Jewish question,” (see my play The Normal Heart), most ironically since so many Jews were his most loyal supporters, the Jerry Zipkins of their day. No one really writes about this. Roosevelt is one of history’s great gods. Just as no one really writes about Reagan and “the gay question.” These two major murderers so far have gotten away with helping to cause the two major holocausts of modern history. Just as Jews are asked to never forget their Holocaust, I implore all gay people never to forget our holocaust and who caused it and why. Ronald Reagan did not even say the word “AIDS” out loud for the first seven years of his reign. Because of this, some 70 million people, so far, have become infected with HIV/AIDS. I wonder what it feels like to be the son and the wife of a man responsible for over 70 million people so far becoming infected with a virus that has killed over half of us so far. I wonder what it felt like while he was alive to ponder this. For surely he must have thought about it. How could he not? He has been called the consummate actor who came to believe all his lines. Does this not make his legacy even more grotesque? It should.
Hitler knew what he was doing. How could Ronald Reagan not have known what he was doing?
But of course, no one is writing about this. Reagan too is one of history's gods.
So far he has gotten away with murder.
        Really? That is kinda the feeling that I had after I read the whole article. Myself, as both a Jewish and gay man, take offense to the correlation between these two genocides, as well as the placing of Adolf in front of Reagan - as if he was some sort of reincarnation of Hitler. The extermination of the Jews in Nazi Germany was a direct form of ethnic cleansing, targeted specifically at a people group by the government. Ronald Reagan's inaction, on the other hand, is one that we can only wonder about. We have no idea what his intentions were...did he view AIDS as a "gay disease"? Was he just following through with his limited government principles? Did he hate gay people? We just don't know for sure - thus it is downright inappropriate for the Advocate to re-print this article (or even print it in 2004 when it was first written).

      Though it may make the gay community feel good to blame a politician for failing to do something about the AIDS epidemic, this blame gets us away from the actual cause of the epidemic;The gay communities rampant promiscuity and lack of safe-sex practices. Could Reagan have been more proactive? Yes. Should we deflect the focus off of our actions as the gay community and onto someone else? No.

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