This isn’t the Ronald Reagan the Right Wing is now quoting at all
The Ronald Reagan the Right Wing Republicans idolize never existed. When one listens to both Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush’s stances on undocumented immigrants in the debate in the video in this post, it is readily apparent that those were the days when the Republican Party was still a serious party, conservative but practical.
A debate attendee asked the age old Right Wing question about allowing the kids of undocumented workers to go to public schools. The answers both George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan gave went far beyond the question. In fact it was a window into the thinking of the GOP establishment before it was taken over by a rather faux nativist, irresponsible, and intransigent sect.
Bush spoke about handling labor needs and human needs honestly. He also stated that reality and practicality dictated that the kids be allowed to attend school. After-all one does not want uneducated kids. His passionate response also illustrated a care and a humanity that the party now lacks.
Ronald Reagan went even further. He acknowledged that America has served as a pressure valve. It likely prevented the Mexican government from imploding because of some of their unemployment problems. Reagan rejected any thoughts of building a wall. He also spoke of a sort of regulated open border.
“The question arises as to whether he would be welcomed into today’s Republican Party,” Ron Reagan said. “I think if you look at the record when he was governor of California he signed a liberal abortion law. As president he raised taxes after he cut them. He found out that cutting them didn’t really work. Amnesty for three million immigrants. 200 marines killed in Lebanon, the barracks bombing. He did not go to war in Iraq as a result. And when an ozone hole opened up over the South Pole due to us putting chloro fluoro carbons into the atmosphere, that is a refrigerant of course, he did not decide that this was a liberal hoax designed to deprive us of cold beer. He actually did something about it and encourage everybody else to do something too.”
To be clear. Ronald Reagan was a conservative. He even had many Tea Party proclivities. But he operated to some extent in a practical domain.