In the recent biography of his father, Ron Reagan, Jr. alleges that his father was suffering from Alzheimer’s’ Disease while still in the White House rather than in 1994 when his diagnosis was made public.
Based on the contention that some signs of Alzheimer’s are detectable many years in advance of the more obvious and severe symptoms, young Reagan offers up a baseless opinion. He has no medical evidence to support his scurrilous contention.
As expected, the liberal community rose in a great “I told you so.” After all, the “authority” in this matter was none other than the 40th President’s only flesh and blood son. (Michael Reagan was adopted.)
What needs to be considered is that Reagan Jr. was estranged from his father for most of his adult life. Ron carried out a life-long vendetta against whatever he perceived was the failure of his dad to meet his emotional needs.
Not only did young Ron separate himself from the family, he took on the role of the anti-Reagan. He became a radical liberal, repudiating everything is father stood for. After a few unsuccessful attempts at show business – dancing to be specific – the younger Reagan became a radio talker for the left. He used the airwaves to carry out his loathing for his father.
He was a star of the short-lived Air America network, where he worked alongside and in concert with the most notable Reagan bashers in the country, such as Bill Press and Tom Harmon. He reveled in their company, and never disagreed with a single statement demonizing his father.
I would listen to his show from time to time, and I always felt a certain level of pity for the younger Reagan. Somehow, he allowed his life and his talent to be consumed by hatred of his father. It shaped him – perhaps more accurately, it twisted him.
Ironically, the fact that Ron Jr. has had a platform to lambaste his father is because of the very man he vilifies. Without the heritage and namesake of his president-father, Ron Reagan, Jr. would be an unknown something or other – obscure to the point of irrelevance. Oddly enough, he might have been a better and happier person.