…Reagan was the Pied Piper who led middle-class Americans dancing happily toward their own oblivion. Without him, it is hard to envision why so many downwardly mobile Americans would rally to the Tea Party and its demands for lower taxes on the already rich and fewer regulations on today’s corporate masters of the universe.
When the only realistic way to restrain the immense power of the rich and the corporations is through a democratized and energized federal government, Reagan’s memory instead inspires the Tea Party and many typical Americans to demand that government get out of the way.
The consequences on the United States from these three decades under various forms of Reaganomics (including the neo-liberalism of Bill Clinton and the full Reagan restoration under George W. Bush) are now apparent: massive federal debt for the public sector and major concentrations of wealth in the private sector.
As imperfect a test as Election 2012 is sure to be, it seems likely to offer some measure of whether the Reagan narrative has finally run its course.