Conservatives Must Recall Reagan’s Failure With AIDS When They Strike At Obama Over Ebola

Many people are watching the fear factor outpace the reality of the situation surrounding Ebola in the United States.  Over the past two weeks the issue has taken on a partisan spin as conservatives take a swipe at the Obama Administration.  What those fear-mongers need however is a slice of history.

It was that ‘great communicator’ President Reagan who had not only the podium but also the skills to dialogue with the nation about the great health issue of his time, AIDS.   But during his two terms in the White House Reagan failed to address the issue.  Like then the issue of a health concern today is one a president needs to weigh in on and work not only to contain as a medical matter with health professionals but also address in even tones with the nation so as not to unduly alarm them.

While President Obama is doing his part to match the science of the matter with needed policies to deal with it, the GOP partisans are attempting to make Ebola a fear factor that might gin up some votes for them come Election Day.

Conservatives might recall, before they start throwing any stones, that  Reagan would not address the issue of AIDS until May 31, 1987 (near the end of his second term), at the Third International Conference on AIDS in Washington. When Reagan spoke, 36,058 Americans had been diagnosed with AIDS and 20,849 had died. The disease had spread to 113 countries, with more than 50,000 cases. 

Reagan did not speak out sooner so as not to draw the ire of such ‘educated notables’ in his political base as Reverend Jerry Falwell who had mandated for all conservatives to believe that “AIDS is the wrath of God upon homosexuals.” Meanwhile Reagan’s communications director Pat Buchanan argued that AIDS is “nature’s revenge on gay men.”    Good Lord if anyone looks like they need a roll in the hay to loosen them up it is good-ole Pat!

So when the latest conservative rants against the leadership of Obama start being spewed chalk it up to partisan spin of the most unjust kind.  When it comes to conservatives it always winds up that politics is all that guides them.

2 thoughts on “Conservatives Must Recall Reagan’s Failure With AIDS When They Strike At Obama Over Ebola

  1. I am a hetersexual woman , and i do not agree that it is a gay man disease , and anyone that calls themselves a christian should know better than to judge anyone else . it use to piss me off, and still does when i hear that kind of insucure ;people saying these things . what if it was your son or DAUGHTER? your loss of them would be more to you than a fing disease . have you been given a right by the lord to judge folks? I doubt it . It is ignorant of the haters to play god and you will pay in hell. you do not have the right to judge something you know nothing about. look at the statistics , just as many women and men have this , we need to pray for a cure, rather than judge , you are a fool if you think it cant come into your family as well. all it takes is someone to cheat on you , woman or man , and bring it home to you. good luck with that you fools. it happens every day and then lets see what you say . if this is so im;portant to you, then you need to focus on more than making retarded comments that you have not studied apperantly. get a LIFE, AND MAKE A STAND FOR SOMETHING POSITIVE , OR YOU REALLY HAVE TO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS, AND ARE HIDING BEHIND SOME SORT OF GUILT OF YOUR OWN..

  2. tom

    My understanding is that a majority caught aids after Reagan took the disease too lightly. the CDC estimates that [today] 1,144,500 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 180,900 (15.8%) who are unaware of their infection. Might the lesson be that liberals should heed Reagan’s failure with Aids when they consider the threat of Ebola? I don’t see the commentary above as the smear of 30 year old republican thinking it is meant to be, but rather a cautionary tale. Ebola is far more infectious than Aids. Perhaps it should be taken more seriously.

    But even in these partisan times, some criticism of the administration is serious and deserves attention. To dismiss all criticism as “political games” is just as foolish as blindly embracing all criticisms. Considering the danger Ebola carries, the recent mistakes of the administration in dealing with the matter deserve attention and a response. To compare these criticisms over Ebola–some of which I’m sure are valid–to Reagan’s errors with aids is really to engage in games when seriousness is warranted.

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