Monday, January 17, 2011

Ron Effing Reagan

Not President Ronald W. Reagan, but rather his son, Ronald P. Reagan (Jr.), who recently came out and claimed to have (in hindsight) seen signs of Alzheimer's disease in his father while his father was serving as president in the late 80's. For anyone who has been on Mars for the past 30 years, President Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 5 years after leaving office in 1989, and died of it's complications in 2004 at the age of 93.

As for Ronnie Jrs accomplishments, I believe Wikipedia inadvertently summed it up in one sentence:
He is notable for his liberal or progressive views, despite being the son of a conservative icon – the late former United States President Ronald Reagan.
 Indeed, Ron Jr. appears to have made a career out of being the trained monkey being trotted out periodically (along with his sister Patty) to show that even his kids weren't persuaded by his beliefs.

As a slow progressive biochemical malfunction in the brain, it is almost certainly true that there was some presence of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary fibers in his brain, perhaps even more than might be found in a normally aging brain of Reagan's years.  But Ron seems willing to ascribe any forgetfulness or confusion he saw at that time to the later illness.  I guess anything is worth a shot at another 15 minute of fame. 

If Alzheimer's had any significant influence on the way Reagan governed we could only wish that all our subsequent presidents had a touch of it.

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