Within 36 hours after news of Ronald Reagan‘s passing, plenty of journalers were posting their own memories of the former president. Most were tributes. A few, written by the more liberal out there, had tributes mixed with citations from various articles pointing out Reagan’s failures and accusing him of taking credit for adopting Democratic ideals as if he invented them.
It seems to me, right after a mostly-loved leader passes, such criticism so close to the passing is in poor taste. It isn’t like the day after election day, after all, when all are free to criticize the lame duck president and remind our political opponents (or be reminded by them) about the shortcomings that made the incumbent lose.
Such postings, I suppose, left a bad taste in my mouth, and they would have whether the former leader was a Republican or a Democrat. There is a time for criticism, I think, and a time as well for simply showing respect and putting the political “I told you so’s” aside for a moment.
I find it quite refreshing to read in the newspaper that Democratic challenger John Kerry has announced that he canceled five days of campaigning in honor of Ronald Reagan. He lauds Reagan’s legacy of bipartisanship and calls him “the voice of America in good times and in grief.”
“Free men and women everywhere will forever remember and honor President Reagan’s role in ending the Cold War. He really did believe that communism could be ended in his lifetime, and he helped make it happen. Perhaps President Reagan’s greatest monument isn’t any building or any structure that bears his name, but it is the absence of the Berlin Wall.”
Perhaps, as Kerry’s opponents could suggest, he’s only saying what he thinks we want to hear. But, at least, unlike some of Kerry’s most vehement supporters, at least Kerry himself knows that there are times when partisan politics are neither appropriate nor necessary.
Whether you agree with his politics or not, you must respect that.