Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/06/10

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Subject: [Leica] Remembering the Reagan years
From: bdcolen at (B. D. Colen)
Date: Thu Jun 10 07:41:55 2004

Sorry, Greg - While Carter is far and away the greatest American
EX-President, a true giant in terms of humanitarian efforts and speaking
out for good in the world, he was a blithering domestic disaster as
President who really had no idea how to govern on a national level. Yes,
the Camp David Accords were a terrific achievement - or seemed to be at
the time. But in retrospect, have things improved in the Middle East?

Those of us of a certain age remember the gas lines, the 20%+ inflation,
and on and on and on. Carter is a great humanitarian, but it's pretty
easy to laugh anyone out of the room who says he was a great President.

B. D.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Greg Locke
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 8:28 AM
To: 'Leica Users Group'
Subject: RE: [Leica] Remembering the Reagan years

I must admit, I'm always fascinated by the benchmark that "Americans"
set for defining how good their presidents are or were. It seems to be
only based on social/political/economic philosophy instead of reality.
...and even then it seems to be selective. 

"Outsiders" (even when you have Republican relatives and Democratic
colleagues) certainly scratch their heads when they hear American's talk
about how great and wonderful this or that president was  ...or wasn't
when hard evidence to the contrary is available. Especially when it
comes to the US economy. Social issues tend to be a little more

In my lifetime and as a journalist who either covered US politics
directly or indirectly (and using Leica's !) by chasing the results of
US foreign policy, I have come to believe that the USA was a much better
place (economically and internationally) under Carter and Clinton yet I
often get spit on or laughed out of the room when I dare speak this

...and by most western European and Canadian standards these "liberal"
Democratic presidents are still very conservative politicians. 

To "us" the USA is certainly a place of contradictions and extremes
while most other western democracies have discovered that the middle
ground and centrist policy makes for a more stable and progressive

I guess you have to an insider to understand the nuance.

It's really funny to be talking to my uncle and cousins (very
Republican) one day and then get email from my more social minded
friends and colleague in Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, San
Francisco, Vermont and wonder if these people live in the same country.

What gives?

...for the record, I was covering Nicaragua and El Salvador in 1984-86
(and thus US politics). I saw no good come out of the Reagan years.

Greg Locke
St. John's, Newfoundland

 ----JUST RELEASED-------

NEWFOUNDLAND ...journey into a lost nation
by Greg Locke and Michael Crummey
McClelland and Stewart
ISBN # 0-7710-6142-0 

Leica Users Group.
See for more information

In reply to: Message from locke at (Greg Locke) ([Leica] Remembering the Reagan years)