After a weekend full of Reagan remembrances and positive stories, the editorial page of The Washington Post found Monday morning a good time to go negative on Reagan’s legacy.
William Raspberry wrote that he “might have let this period of national mourning pass without a sour note,” but he observed that Reagan did open his 1980 campaign in the Mississippi town where civil rights workers were killed and he did court the “race-exploiting Southern Democrats.” Raspberry noted a seeming “indifference to the concerns of black Americans” and lamented that, racially, Reagan “left us a more divided nation.”
Sebastian Mallaby proclaimed that Reagan’s “anti-government era” has ended. Citing GOP “moralists” who want to “regulate your private life” and neocons who want the government to instill virtues like patriotism, he asserts that Reagan’s “small government crusade is one area in which his influence has come and gone.”
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