Ronald Reagan is now physically, and not just mentally, dead.
Truly, as Goebbels would have put it, a “world-historical” figure.
A few months back, an American friend told me a Reagan joke: “Ronald Reagan is quite well. Every morning he takes a big, healthy dump. Then he gets out of bed.”
In our history, he will, of course, go down as the most loyal friend the Marcoses ever had, as Madame Marcos weepily reminisced in front of the US Embassy. In his wisdom, Reagan denounced “cheating on both sides” at a time Filipinos were facing down Marcos’s goons.
If there’s one reason the elimination of the US bases became a probabilty and not just possibility, it was due to the vision of men such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
On the other hand, he did muster a vision of American conservatism that ended up destroying the Soviet Union and Leninism as a force in geopolitics. Much else of what he did or stood for can be forgiven by his mustering the charisma, and vision, and charm that tipped the bipolar balance of power and eliminated the Soviet Union.
He was, actually, a great American president and a statesman. As a young teenager I got to watch him in the States, his delivery of speeches was unparalleled. America is, indeed, a smaller, less grand, and uninspiring place compared to the time when he stood head and shoulders above his peers.