Donald Trump is no Reagan

I used to feel bad for Mike Pence.

The Indiana governor gave up his re-election bid to become the vice presidential candidate of a baboon.

And as usually happens when attempting to put on a show with animals, not all goes according to plan.

Just last night, Trump appeared on MSNBC at a townhall attended by US service members. And rather than extoll the virtues of the American military, Trump attacked our generals, calling them “rubble,” while saving his praise for Russian President, and near dictator, Vladimir Putin.

Trump didn’t just praise Putin, he suggested that Putin was a popular leader in Russia (where a no-vote can get you killed) and a better leader than President Obama. Trump even jumped to Putin’s defense when NBC’s Matt Lauer mentioned that intelligence experts believe Russia to be behind the recent hack (read: theft) of emails from the Democratic National Committee. Trump responded to Lauer: “Well, nobody knows that for a fact.”

Then, Trump really stepped in it. Trump didn’t simply pick Vladimir Putin’s side against US intelligence, Trump implied that it’s wrong for Americans to criticize Putin since Obama has done things just as bad as Putin (mind you, Putin murderers political opponents). This is something a key aide for Trump also did this past summer in Moscow — suggesting that the US had no moral right to criticize Russia. It’s a charge you might hear on the far left, but never from a Republican.

Here’s the back and forth between Trump and Lauer:


Any sympathy I had for Pence evaporated after he defended Donald Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin, and in the same breath compare Donald Trump to Ronald Reagan. Oh yes, he did.

From CNN:

“Their styles are different, surely, between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, but I think both men are truth tellers,” Pence said. “They speak plainly about the failings of the administrations of their time, but they also, I think they both give voice to the aspirations of the American people, that we can be better, we can bet stronger.”

He added that comparison applies to one of his favorite adjectives to describe Reagan: “Humble.”

As Bash questioned how that word could describe a man with his name on so many buildings, Pence said Trump reveals his “humility” in private.

“Ronald Reagan had his name on a lot of marquees. I think at their very core, both men are the kind of leaders that have a core of humility.”

Mike Pence couldn’t be more wrong.

I was a Republican once, then voted for Clinton in 1992 and never looked back. Ronald Reagan is rolling over in his grave at the prospect of Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, let alone president.

Now, I’ve been a Democrat for 24 years, so far be it for me to defend Ronald Reagan’s legacy. But please. Trump as Reagan? Gag me.

Ronald Reagan, in contrast to Trump, didn’t run on a slogan suggesting that America was no longer great. Rather, Reagan always said our best days were ahead of us — “it’s morning in America,” was Reagan’s 1980 campaign slogan. Donald Trump would have you believe that America, like its generals, is little more than a pile of rubble.

Reagan’s position on the Russians also distinguishes him from Trump. Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have been caught dead saying that a former KGB officer, running Russia like a virtual dictatorship, murdering his political opponents, was a better leader than any American president. Wouldn’t be caught dead.

And Reagan would never take Russia’s side against our own intelligence community. Never.

And finally, can you imagine Ronald Reagan suggesting that America has no moral right to criticize Russia’s brutal domination of its citizens and neighbors? Reagan would have spat on anyone suggesting that America was on a moral par with Russia

The reason I liked Reagan all those years ago was that he was proudly patriotic and a strong leader. When it came to foreign policy especially, Reagan put country first, and was always willing to stand up to the biggest of bullies. And while I’m no longer a Republican, and now find ample fault with many of Reagan’s policies, my advocacy work has always been proudly pro-America and anti-bully — those ideas have always resonated with me, long before Reagan, and still do today.

Ronald Reagan stood up to the Russians, while Donald Trump blows the Russians wet woolies.

Donald Trump is many things, but Ronald Reagan ain’t one of them.

Please support our independent journalism with a generous donation. Help us defeat Donald Trump in November.

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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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65 Responses to “Donald Trump is no Reagan”

  1. newsriffs says:

    Everyone remembers Reagan’s trip to West Berlin, when he stood, looking at the Berlin Wall, and said”Mr. Gorbachev, nice wall!”

  2. Moderator4 says:

    Don’t worry about not coming here any more, heimaey. We have had enough of you, and you are banned.
    You can believe what you want, but you are absolutely wrong. I am a female, Moderator3 is Latino, neither of us are John. When John bans someone, he does it under his own name.
    Have a good day. Or not.

  3. heimaey says:

    I don’t believe you since I only said the red baiting comment like 3 times. Anyway – this site has gotten crappier and crappier so I should stop coming here. It’s like a bad habit.

  4. Bill_Perdue says:

    And this …

  5. Moderator4 says:

    Last time I looked, at least, I was a female. ;-)

  6. Moderator3 says:

    “I want the money back I gave to this site to fight Trump since you’re so petty.”

    Who’s being petty? BTW – Moderator 4 is female and definitely not John. I’m male and Latino, so I’m definitely not John.

  7. heimaey says:

    Thanks for the time out John – aka Moderator 4. I learned so much. I want the money back I gave to this site to fight Trump since you’re so petty.

  8. heimaey says:

    Democrats are not leftists anymore, no.

  9. quax says:

    Just repeating it doesn’t make it any more right.

  10. barbara.dickson says:


  11. barbara.dickson says:


  12. quax says:

    You’re wrong.

  13. Bill_Perdue says:

    You’re wrong.

  14. Bill_Perdue says:

    The shift of wealth is entirely the result of Democrat and Republican anti worker and anti union policies. That’as truye for Canada, the US and Mexico.

  15. quax says:

    The shift of wealth is real. That’s what happens when you institute free trade with a 1.5B emerging economy such as China. Many of the jobs that were first outsourced to Mexico didn’t last there very long either, because Chinese labor was so much cheaper with infinite supply of captive workers. Doesn’t mean that free trade within North America is a bad idea.

  16. quax says:

    This article proves nothing of that sort, so it really doesn’t matter that is one of hundreds.

  17. Bill_Perdue says:

    Unions don’t agree with you. NAFTA helped destroy canadian unions. That’s what the AFL CIO says.

    Democrat and Republican politicians are anti-union. The last thirty five years have seen the greatest shift in wealth in history and at the same time the largest criminal theft of public wealth, in the form of QE’s and bailouts in history. Trillions of dollars have been taken from the Treasury and literally given to corporations, banks and financial institutions owned by the .01%.

    The wage theft was the result of the laws passed by the political tools in both parties which are owned by the rich and it occurred as a result of deregulation whose main aim was to bust unions.

    In the modern era deregulation as a tool of the boss class to bust unions began in earnest under Carter and Congress, who deregulated transportation – rail, airlines and trucking- and Ma Bell. He also deregulated credit unions and savings and loan association which led to the crash of 1987. Reagan and Bush senior continued Carter unions busting by directly attacking PATCO and firing all the air traffic controllers (who, in a bittersweet ironic twist, had endorsed Reagan) and helped corporations export union jobs, creating the Rust Belt. Clinton, the worst of the deregulators championed and signed NAFTA and the deregulation acts of 1999 and 2000 which caused the current depression. Bush junior busted unions and cut taxes for the rich and Obama has made everything much, much worse.

    The result is that in the last almost 40 years millions of union jobs, with union wages and benefits have been lost and the real income of workers has declined precipitously.

    These trends are leading to the pauperization of scores of million, mass unemployment, leaping poverty rates and they are a crime perpetrated by the rich and their pet politicians. The only way to end this crime spree is to leave the Democrats and Republicans in the dust, form workers parties and create a new government, a workers state whose aim is the creation of a socialist society.

  18. Bill_Perdue says:

    The article is one of hundreds that prove the criminality and overwhelming greed of the Clintons and the Trumps.

    It also demonstrates that students were forced to pay for that greed and criminality.

    And it demonstrates that you’re out of touch. ”The only reason that a dangerous, white-nationalist, uber-narcissist and Breitbart-wielding hatemonger like Donald Trump—with his bombastic promise to “make America great again” partly by restoring lost U.S. industrial supremacy—is even still in shouting distance of Clinton is that millions of working- and middle-class Americans know in their bones that she is part of that great dark cancellation, foreclosure and enclosure.”

  19. quax says:

    The article could only find one State Dept meeting nine months before Bill C. signed the contract, none afterwards, which means that HC understood that from that point forward it would have been inappropriate. Hence the article also stated. “There is no evidence that Laureate received special favors from the State Department in direct exchange for hiring Bill Clinton.”

    It is nice to know that you’d happily chant along the “Lock her up!” choruses at a Trump rally, but none of this is criminal in any sense of the word.

    Laureate is no Trump university, they probably got their $3.6M annual value out of Bill Clinton as they were aggressively expanding. They also invested in Coursera, and if you ever took any online courses on that platform, you’d know that this is not a fraudulent operation. For-profit education is a huge growing market theses days, as corporation realize that the “live long learning” mantra means that they actually have to invest in ongoing training of their staff.

  20. quax says:

    Unions are alive and well up here, to think the Grits want to destroy unions is absurd. And I presume the same can be said for the Democrats.

  21. Ericakvargas2 says:

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  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    You must ahve slept through the Harper regime.

  23. Bill_Perdue says:

    You’re right. Everyone is getting on board the Great Right Wing Conspircy Express. The article was an attack on the overwhelming greed of the Clintons. “Inside Bill Clinton’s nearly $18 million job as ‘honorary chancellor’ of a for-profit college

    They’re gangsters

  24. quax says:

    The NYT is a separate story. They suffer from Clinton derangement syndrome. Josh Marshall at TPM has been documenting that nicely. And the WAPO article is really *shocking* to quote:

    “Founded in 1989, the International Youth Foundation has partnered with Laureate campuses in some of its charitable education work. The group has received USAID funding since 1999, and its president said the increase in USAID funding under Clinton was largely a result of the receipt of multi-year grants awarded before she entered office. There is no evidence Hillary Clinton played a role in the grants, and the group’s president, William Reese, said no government money went to Laureate or Becker.”

  25. quax says:

    Canada’s economy depends on trade with the US, getting rid of NAFTA would make our lives up here considerably more difficult. Yet, we don’t have anything like the Trump phenomenon, why do you think that is?

    And the number of jobs lost to Mexico are a fraction to what has been lost to China, the data has been indeed around for a long time.

  26. Bill_Perdue says:

    The data has been around for a long time. “Contrary to the promises that NAFTA would create U.S. jobs, it made outsourcing to Mexico much more attractive for U.S. companies. Most of the jobs displaced by trade with Mexico—415,000 jobs, or 60.8 percent of the total 682,000 jobs lost—have been in manufacturing.

    What makes you think workers didn’t lose in Canada and Mexico? “In Canada, which negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States a few years earlier, workers didn’t do much better. Despite promises that exports would rise and bring with them rising incomes, poverty increased to 12 percent in the NAFTA era, although it had been declining for the previous 20 years. …And, as in the United States, unionization rates fell, from 45.5 percent in 1988 to 32.6 percent in 2003, as unionized jobs were offshored.

    “Economic and political elites promised that free trade would usher in a golden era of prosperity for Canada. It clearly has not delivered the goods,” Campbell said. “It is time to reconsider whether NAFTA in its current form is contrary to the well-being of Canadian workers (and indeed of workers in all three NAFTA countries) as the overarching framework for managing North American economic relations.”

    NAFTA and similar Democrat and Republican trade agreements have more to do with the desire of your two parties bipartisan campaign to destroy unions than trade. That’s been true since the Carter regime.

  27. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrats are not leftists. They’re right centrists who support the warmongering, the racism and the union busting of the Clintons and Obama.

    Their pretense of a commitment to civil liberties is belied by the fact that red baiting and gay baiting are a product of the Truman regime. The United States has gone through several periods when the right — Democrats and Republicans – tries to impose draconian limits on civil liberties. That’s common election periods when politicians are worried about getting elected.

    Often it takes the form of name calling of the type that characterizes the Trump campaign and H Clintons bizarre comment about ‘deplorable’ Trump supporters. Some are and some are not and the same can be said for supporters of H Clinton.

    Attacks on civil liberties are totally bipartisan. Truman enacted loyalty oaths (1) and McCarthy began his witch hunts against leftists and gays. LBJ and Nixon ordered murderous assaults on African American leaders, murdering MalcolmX, (2) leaders of SNCC (3) and the Black Panther Party (4), King (5) and others. Before 9-11 Bill Clinton added 200,000 police and began the strategy of kidnapping, torturing and murdering political and military opponents overseas known as rendition (6). After 9-11 Bush vastly expanded that strategy and now Obama has brought it home, ordering the extralegal and racist murders of Arab Americans, continuing the Clinton/Bush rendition strategy, supporting FISA and the Paytriot Act and his sponsorship of NDAA move us towards the institution of mass arrests and indefinite detention without trial.

    Now, with mass movements of underpaid and unemployed workers, immigrant and imported workers, environmentalists and anti-war activists all taking to the streets and organizing in workplaces, and soon in the barracks, the police state created by the Clintons, the Bushes and Obama is going to come gunning for us, and I use the term ‘gunning’ in its literal sense.

    (1) “On March 21, 1947 … President Harry S Truman instituted a Loyalty Program, requiring loyalty oaths and background investigations on persons deemed suspect… ” Wiki

    (2) Last Year of Malcolm X: The Evolution of a Revolutionary by Geroge Breitman, Pathfinder Press




    (6) “During the United States war on terror, President Clinton initiated the program and, under the administration of President George W. Bush, the term became associated with US practices of abducting and transferring terrorism suspects to countries known to employ torture for the purpose of interrogation. The process has continued and expanded under the Barack Obama administration… “ Wiki

  28. quax says:

    So can you tally up how many jobs were lost to Mexico versus China? Can you explain why an equally high wage country, with solid welfare system, like Canada did not suffer from NAFTA?

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  30. Bill_Perdue says:

    Bill Clinton’s NAFTA was an anti-union and anti-working class bill and in that it succeeded. Thats why Democrats and Republicans supported it overwhelmingly.

  31. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrats, who are not part of the left, make the same claim for DOMA. Both are lies. DADT formalized and legalized bigotry. Bill Clintons DOMA was a piece of rabid bigotry that did enormous harm.

    many of us in the LGBTQ community died because of the Clinton’s DOMA and the Bush state DOMAs.

    I don’t believe that any counts were done but I remember reading of lots of suicides and bashing in the wake of Prop 8 and the federal and state DOMAS.

    The New Civil Rights Movement notes that “Several violent attacks on the LGBT community have occurred in the days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality.”

    Business Insider says “Reports of hate crimes against gay men nationwide have also gone up slightly in recent years, according to FBI statistics. While it’s possible that more gays are reporting hate crimes, the reports do show that anti-gay violence is still prevalent in America.

    This violence comes as gays have made unprecedented political gains: the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the legalization of gay marriage in nine states, and tremendous support from Republicans for same-sex marriage.”

    The NY Daily News reported that violence in NYC was surging and included the murder of Mark Carson. “Morales, 33, was charged with murder as a hate crime. The murder happened just a short walk from the Stonewall Inn, the scene of a 1969 riot that gave birth to the modern gay rights movement.” and said that “Sharon Stapel, who runs the New York City Anti-Violence Project, said the hate crimes could be a backlash to civil rights advances, such as the legalization of gay marriage.”

  32. B00Z says:

    You need to do your homework on NAFTA and DADT was a total sell out. Slick Willie made the dubious claim it was the best he could do. Though NAFTA was an agreement between USA, Mexico, and Canada, it’s effects to our economy and the job market were far reaching on an international level.

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  34. quax says:

    NAFTA only affects trade with Mexica and Canada, immediate neighbors who’s economic well being is directly tied to that of the USA. It has nothing to do with the jobs that went to China. The NAFTA bashing is really missing the target. And believe it or not but “don’t ask don’t tell” was actually a step forward at the time.

  35. quax says:

    Yes, to compare a politician who has been the target of the right wing echo chamber for most of her adult life, with a (once) beloved and much admired comedian, makes total sense … NOT.

  36. Moderator4 says:

    You’re now in time-out for three days. Think it over.

  37. heimaey says:

    Really? Because I think it’s the red baiting strawman argument that’s getting old. It’s a problem on the left now. Look what happened to Joy Reid today on Twitter – and see Glenn Greenwald’s tweet.

    So come up with some legit criticism and I’ll take the time to address it. Otherwise I’m just gonna call out the strawman as I see them – as there’s not much more to say about it.

  38. Moderator4 says:

    Let’s stop with the “left red baiting” for virtually every comment you disagree with, heimaey. Disagree and make arguments about your disagreement, but the “left red baiting” meme of yours is getting old.

  39. Henry Auvil says:

    You say “Ronald Reagan, in contrast to Trump, didn’t run on a slogan suggesting that America was no longer great.” His 1980 slogan was in fact, “Let’s Make America Great Again”.

  40. heimaey says:

    More left red baiting. Typical.

  41. heimaey says:

    Bill Cosby hasn’t been proven guilty yet – do you think he’s innocent? Where there’s lots of smoke there’s lots of fire.

  42. Doug105 says:

    I see you don’t believe in innocent till proven guilty.

  43. heimaey says:

    Lots of criminals haven’t been convicted.

  44. Doug105 says:

    False equivalence, she’s been convicted of nothing despite over 100 million dollars spent on fake investigations of false allegations.

  45. heimaey says:

    Unfortunately same goes for Hillary…

  46. Badgerite says:

    Very good post. The GOP used to have something bordering on a moral core and some principles.
    You could disagree with them as policy, but you couldn’t say they came from a bad or fraudulent place.
    The GOP, by backing the likes of a trump has degenerated into a party of hatred and racial resentment and not much more. It needs a long overdue soul search.
    It isn’t as if this happened overnight. All the while, in the 90’s when they were using governmental resources and power to ‘investigate’ Bill Clinton to the nnnth degree about a failed land deal investment and his private life, there were security issues that cried out for Congressional attention and money. and those issues finally hit home on 9/11. For at least two decades now, they have put the interests of gaining an electoral advantage over the interests of the country. And they show no sign of even considering a different approach to governance than that. Government of the party, by the party, for the party. And now they have nominated and support someone as their candidate for president who at best would have to be described as disloyal.
    Unqualified. Unfit. And disloyal.

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  48. Zorba says:

    Now, now, John, suggesting that Trump is a baboon is an insult to baboons.

  49. B00Z says:

    Reagan was no Reagan. His legacy is more fiction than fact. And as for Clinton who the author voted for and never looked back, he gifted the gay community with such jewels as “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and wholeheartedly endorsed the DOMA. And don’t forget that gem of a trade agreement, NAFTA from which this country’s economic plight is still reeling. Oh and let’s please never forget the kindly deeds of his witch of an attorney general, Janet Reno…Waco, Ruby Ridge, Richard Jewel, and Elián González.

  50. 增达信购 says:


  51. Bill_Perdue says:

    As expected, the Race To The Bottom is narrowing.

    “The harrowing reality is that the only thing standing between handing control of the Executive branch to a wildly ignorant, racist demagogue with a fondness for the authoritarian world is the second-most-unpopular presidential nominee in the history of modern polling. (The most-unpopular candidate is Donald Trump, though the gap between the two is narrowing.) That Clinton is viewed as the near-equivalent of Trump, a grotesque buffoon who has committed what would normally be considered a campaign-defining gaffe at a rate of approximately once a day for 15 months, required the convergence of several factors.” Jonathon Chait in New York Magazine

    ”The only reason that a dangerous, white-nationalist, uber-narcissist and Breitbart-wielding hatemonger like Donald Trump—with his bombastic promise to “make America great again” partly by restoring lost U.S. industrial supremacy—is even still in shouting distance of Clinton is that millions of working- and middle-class Americans know in their bones that she is part of that great dark cancellation, foreclosure and enclosure.”

  52. quax says:

    But at least he looked presidential without a combover, and even with an addled brain on early on-set Alzheimers, he managed to stick to talking points and stay more coherent than Trump.

  53. quax says:

    He wasn’t, but he played the part convincingly, after all he was an actor, whereas Trump is just a bumbling buffoon.

  54. goulo says:

    I agree with your main point, but just as a tangential note: from everything I’ve read (many articles and a book by a Western journalist traveling through Russia interviewing ordinary people), and based on talking personally with various Russians and people who’ve visited Russia, a majority in Russia unfortunately REALLY DO like Putin, i.e. it’s NOT just that they’re afraid of getting killed so they pretend to like him.

    For many people under him their personal lives improved economically for a while (though that seems to have stopped or reversed more recently). And there’s that unfortunate widespread tendency to admire and fetishize strong rightwing leaders (as seen in many countries, including the US). And Putin successfully manipulates media, using “us vs them” propaganda (e.g. vs the West, vs gays, etc) successfully and inflating his own image successfully while downplaying or censoring unflattering news.

  55. quax says:

    Up is down, day is night and Trump is humble.

    Do these people really live in opposite land, or do they just regard the voters as terminally stupid?

  56. BeccaM says:

    Basically, to get anything you want from Trump, all you have to do is flatter him. This is CLASSIC narcissism.

    Call him brilliant, a genius, a talented billionaire, and Trump is behind you 100000%, no question.

    I never had any sympathy for Mike Pence. He could have said no. He didn’t have to be yet another Republican quisling willing to put his own ambitions ahead of the country’s, but he did. Every time Pence opens his mouth, he has an opportunity not to lie, not to pander, not to pretend that Caligula Trump really is fit to be America’s next President when Trump is anything but that — but he doesn’t. He could say, “I really, really don’t want Hillary Clinton to be President, but hey, at least with her in office, there’ll still be an America and a world here in four years time, and maybe then our party can get its shit together and NOT nominate an absolute fascist madman, but now’s not the time, so to hell with it. I’m done.”

    Now is the time when we separate the craven from the courageous. The moral from the immoral. And the loyal Americans from the treasonous monsters.

    Mike Pence picked his side, and it isn’t ours.

  57. ErikKC2 says:

    Trump never saw a sociopathic totalitarian he didn’t love.

    On North Korea’s Kim Jong-un:

    “You’ve got to give him credit. How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden — you know, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it. How does he do that? Even though it is a culture, and it’s a cultural thing, he goes in, he takes over, he’s the boss. It’s incredible.”

    However, the sociopathic totalitarian he loves most is… Trump.

  58. Luxury Stains says:

    and there’s this

  59. Nicholas A Kocal says:

    Reagan was no Reagan if you actually look at his record instead of just listening to what his lying supporters say.

  60. mgiltz says:

    I think you can drop the “near” on dictator Putin.

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