blind spots

Ron Reagan Jr. Explained That Whole AIDS Thing To His Father

I don’t think I was really able to persuade him much on issues. And for the most part, no, I don’t think the things we disagreed about we just continued to disagree about. No, I can’t come up with one. I can say that my mother and I both began talking to him about the AIDS crisis at a certain point when we realized that the administration just really was kind of dragging its feet on this and ignoring what was going on. So, we talked to him about that and tried to explain how serious this was. Whether that was responsible for the administration kind of getting it together about AIDS, I don’t know. But, certainly made the effort.

—Ron Reagan, son of America’s 40th president, reflects on the legacy of his would-be 100-year-old father (as part of promoting his new book Ron Reagan: My Father at 100) [via]

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  • christopher di spirito

    You don’t choose your parents. I can’t imagine how horrible it is to have Saint Reagan as your Pappy. Even if your inheritance is generous — it’s like having the last name of Hitler.

  • GayGOP

    I commend Mrs. Reagan, and Ronald Reagan, Junior for their attempts to push the administration on this issue. I just wish that President Reagan had actually listened to them, and done something. Much of what President Reagan did, I agree with, but this was, regrettably, one of his gravest errors.

  • Stephen Tropiano

    The fact that AIDS had to be explained to the man who is in the highest office in the land says something about both his intelligence and his character. Those of us who were there remember. Let’s not rewrite history.

  • ewe

    Fuck Ronald Reagan. I hope he is being torn apart by termites.

  • Peace Out

    Oh lighten up girls…

  • ewe

    @Peace Out: Go fuck yourself.

  • Mac McNeill

    He was our second worst president, the only good thing he did was leave the Presidency. To bad he didn’t do it after his first term. The people who served under him ran this country, he didn’t, he was just talking head that followed a script and continued his bad acting.

  • Marc

    @Mac McNeill:

    I don’t know about second-worst; maybe fourth or fifth. It’s hard to top W, Buchanan, Hoover, and Harding’s administration was definitely the most poorly run in American history.

  • ewe

    @Mac McNeill: you are right. Many people got swept up with the grandfatherly figure. The attribute missing was the loving part.

  • ewe

    @the crustybastard: hey i like you. Reagan was an empty human long before he had all his parts taken out.

  • jason

    AIDS is not a gay illness so stop making out as if it is. There is no such thing as an illness that can discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

    One way of avoiding any sexually transmitted illness is to stop engaging in promiscuous sexual behavior. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have sex, I’m simply saying that you need to be aware of the special factors that define the social scene which brings together men who are seeking sex with other men.

    Unlike sex between men and women, sex between men is cheap and easy. Therefore, the male-male situation is conducive to promiscuity. It’s also an incestuous scene. Gay men tend to visit the same group of venues over and over again, week after week, year after year. Eventually, you’ll find that you’ve had sex with at least half the men in the bar, and they will also have had sex with half the men in the bar. See what I mean?

    The male-male scene is dominated by the theme of constant exploration and a desire for someone “new”. I was amazed by this “new” factor when I was studying the gay male scene.
    Sex in silence with total strangers is also very common in bath-houses and sex clubs. Often, barely a word is spoken to the total stranger you’ve just picked up.

    My point is that the nature of what is known as the “gay scene” is conducive to promiscuity and the spread of venereal diseases. Your sexual orientation is not to blame for this. Let’s make it absolutely clear – your sexual orientation plays absolutely no role in this. Your sexual orientation is pure and precious.

  • gregger

    Not only was Reagan a lousy human being, he was a terrible money manager, horrible diplomat, and had evil-ey bad people skills. He raised the debt ceiling three times in seven years, cut tuxes initially then added new taxes that more than made up for what he had cut, made our Air Traffic Control system horribly inadequate, increased hostility towards the US by heavy handed actions, illegally funneled monies to Iran, Iraq, Contra Rebels, Pakistan (and how many other rogue nations), he is the only President (prior to W) to massively increase the Federal Debt every year of his term.

  • Paul

    Being Poz for 26 years I gotta say that nothing he could have done would change today. I was pissed off back then, but we still sit with guys getting it today….so what could Regan do if WE don’t care about ourselves? I am ashamed for any guy who ends up poz today….shame on you! And all these queens screaming….do you play safe?

    Aids sucks…… be smart and play safe!

    Stop blaming others for our shortcomings

  • Gigi

    @Peace Out: Lighten up? Thousands and thousands of gay men in America died of Aids before Reagan even uttered the word publicly. He and his band of evangelicals didn’t really care all that much about it because Aids was a “gay disease,” and it was spread via sexual contact, so they deserved it. The Reagans were also great friends with Roy Cohn, one of the most influential and vile self-loathing closet cases who’s ever lived, so one can only imagine what impact he had on Ronnie’s stance on Aids. History doesn’t lie. Reagan didn’t mention Aids until after his good friend Rock Hudson died of the disease – Hudson put a “face” to the crisis that was not there for many average Americans before. And he also didn’t mention Aids until he was close to the end of his second term in office. A disgusting legacy, and one that is getting a major color wash by the Rethugs. Don’t even get me started on his Iran Contra involvement.

    So lighten up? I guess you didn’t have scores of friends who were dropping like flies because of Aids. You didn’t go to funeral after funeral after spending hours and hours in hospitals and by besides trying to make sense of it all. Some of the most amazing and loving and influential men of my time are now gone. Some of them could have been saved if only our savior, Herr Reagan has stepped up to the plate and been a real leader. But he didn’t, and they weren’t. Lighten up? Not a chance!

  • Gigi

    @ewe: I wrote a much longer response but “Go fuck yourself” summed it up in a much neater sentiment!

  • ewe

    @Gigi: Thank you GiGi. Some experiences and feelings are just never gonna be forgotten. We have nothing to prove.

  • thematics

    Reagan’s profound indifference re: HIV/AIDS and his policy of de-institutionalization of individuals with severe mental illness will not be forgotten. Nor forgiven. At least by me and those people whose family members and friends were lost or cast aside by his “compassionate conservatism.”

  • Phil Benson

    WHAT??!!!! Reagan was responsible for the DEATHS of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide because as President he did NOTHING to stop, prevent, educate or make aware. Is his son kidding by even BRINGING UP THE ISSUE? I was there! I lived through it! I watched many of my friends DIE and thousands nationwide die horribly because the federal government under Reagan did NOTHING! Reminder: GMHC, Larry Kramer, ACT-UP and even, surreptitiously surgeon General Koop were the only ones acting to do anything about a deadly plague running rampant through America — no one would discuss it. Let me say this again: the President of the United States — Ronald Reagan — who was constituionally required to protect the American people, chose NOT to to ANYTHING about a deadly plague running rampant through the population, because the people affected were gay men. That was Reagan’s legacy — mass death. Oh, a increasing the national debt 3X and taking the economy down the road to ruin, where it is today. But let’s not get off topic.

  • Bernie Keating

    @Paul: Research funding for a cure.

  • AFruit4Thought

    @jason: Jason, I’m gay AND I have studied the behavioral science behind the hook-up culture. Sorry to say, but our “lifestyle” ain’t all that bad. And, if you happen to be queer, I’m so sorry that you are so self-loathing.

    “Sex between men is cheap and easy,” you say. Interesting. When you studied the gay male sex scene, did you use any quantitative method? Because your careless use of words such as “often” and “tend to” diminishes your argument. What exactly is “often?” And what about the majority of gay men…I bet most gay men haven’t been sexing in a bathhouse.

    Also, incest is sexual activity between relatives – not between frequent fliers at the local gay bar.

    But back to your homosexuality, you can understand that the rectum is more at risk of inviting disease into the bloodstream than the vagina without being such a Debbie Downer about it. Best of luck with your self-esteem.

  • Oprah

    Did you guys see the Reagan Documentary on HBO? Reagan junior was NOT affectionate towards his late father. It was glaringly obvious that Reagan jr. resents being under the shadow of his larger than life father.There was a lot of jealousy and regulated hatred in his tone.There was no affection in his tone,it was all cerebrial and no feelings at all. The moral of the story? Adopted children will never love you the way natural children will. Its sad really.

    PS: AIDS was created by a republican mad scientist.

  • Oprah

    “Being Poz for 26 years I gotta say that nothing he could have done would change today. I was pissed off back then, but we still sit with guys getting it today….so what could Regan do if WE don’t care about ourselves? I am ashamed for any guy who ends up poz today….shame on you! And all these queens screaming….do you play safe?”

    Great wise words Paul. Fantastic, i say. Gay men have to take personal responsibility. Whatever was happening 30 years ago-it is still happening today. Ultimately, everybody should take personal responsibility of their own health.

    But you know what the twist is? Human behavior is at study here. Whoever created the AIDS virus thought HIV will destroy gays only. I mean, seriously, the gay community were the first casualty hit. The person who created the deadly virus was homophobic and surgically implanted it inside the gay community. Sure, a generation of gays were lost in the meantime,(which i cant believe a movie truly concetrating on this phenomenon has NOT been made). To the shagrin of the mad scientist who is the unsung villain, who created this sex nightmare,had a rude awakening: look at who is most affected today? The Heterosexual community in third world countries are dropping like flies all over the world. When did the virus travel all over the world?In 1881, the number of aids reported cases was in the hundreds, today- it is in the millions. Whoever created the virus did not think it thorough. He thought-well—gays sleep with gays–so let me infect them and boom they will all perish. He never counted on the old humanbeing trait called ‘bisexuality’. Yeah, some gay men luv themselves some virginia, and thats how it jumped to the straights. The moral of the story? Never under estimate the power of Human behavior. lol

  • Oprah

    Did i say, 1881 up there? Geez lol

  • Jeffree

    @Oprah: Your statement that “adopted children will never love you the way natural children will” is a hasty generalization. That *might* possibly be true in cases where the bio-dad is still living, but as an adoptee myself (orphaned at birth, fostered at 10 months, and adopted at 2.5 years, I can say that I don’t love my parents any less than do my siblings who were born to my Mom & Dad.

    Please try to think through those kinds of remarks before you make them. In general I love reading what you have to say here, but that was kinda over the top.

  • Oprah


    I wasn’t generalising, people should take my words as my own opinion. I made that statement based on knowing alot of adopted children who do not have a biological connection with their adopted parents.This sense of empty void always looms and hovers around their realm. I mean, sure they love their adopted parents, but not the same as a natural biological child loves them.You see, i dont want to call this automatic love bond as DNA but its close to it. That natural biological bond is more powerful than one can understand.Jeffree i am sure you do. I have seen happy well adjusted adopted children who love their adopted parents but constantly run after the approval and love of their dead beat bio parents. Its a natural phenomenon.

    For instance, this Reagan jr. i never got a sense of ‘loyality’ towards his own dad. He was cerebrially venting against a larger than life dad who is dead- mind you. I mean, granted there could be a deeper psychological thing going on between their relationship- for instance children of over-achieving parents usually resent their own parents and not their own sense of inadequacies. They find themselves unusually resenting their parents to hide their own shortcomings. With Reagan jr. it was in the extreme,though suble form. No natural biological child of any father would have done what he was doing. It was

  • Soupy

    I have to call bullshit on that. I’ve known many biological children who have grown to loathe their parents.

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