|Fonda as Reagan. (We like her look better as a hippie.)|
But who is the real American traitor?
When Ronald Wilson Reagan* beat Jimmy Carter for president in 1979, the Iranian hostages that ruined Carter's re-election chances were released within 24 hours. Only later did we find out it was because Reagan had made a secret deal to sell weapons to Iran in exchange for their release on his watch. After his election, Reagan subverted Congress by exchanging arms for cocaine in Nicaragua, and dumping it in Los Angeles's American-American neighborhoods, leading to our crack epidemic.
And all the while Nancy Reagan was the face of the Just Say No to drugs campaign in the US. "So that while Nancy Reagan was saying 'Just Say No,' the CIA was saying 'Just Fly Low,'" joked Paul Krassner.
Adding to the hypocrisy, according to Kitty Kelley's book Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography (Simon and Schuster, 1991), the Reagans smoked a joint proffered by Nancy’s chum Albert Bloomingdale at a dinner party with Jack Benny and George Burns around 1968. (Bloomingdale reportedly got the joint from a hooker; he was later accused by his longtime mistress Vicki Morgan of riding her piggyback and whipping her.)
Kelley wrote that Nancy siphoned off $3.8 million from her antidrug charities into her own foundation, and an unnamed senior White House staffer speculates in the book that she was on amphetamines to curb her appetite because she was so energetic. But apparently when Kelley's book came out, it was the charge of smoking marijuana that the Reagans found most insulting, because that was the incident they answered publicly.
In 2008 Nancy endorsed John McCain for president. Now that the tide is turning, and polls are showing a majority of Americans are for marijuana legalization, McCain has said, “Maybe we should legalize.”
Will Nancy follow? She’s been a champion for Alzheimer's awareness and in 2009 she praised President Obama for reversing the ban on federally funded embryonic stem cell research. There's still time for her to figure out, as the song says, "Them Hippies Was Right."
*Each of those names has six letters
Also see: The Disastrous Legacy of Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" Campaign.