History and Historiography

In Case You Missed It, Reagan Was A Scumbag

Unlike many people, I do not lament the “divisiveness” and “polarization” we have in US politics today. I grew up in the USA where guys like Reagan and Nixon could get reelected with 49 of 50 states. Sorry, folks, but I don’t miss that.

By Ethan Gach

America’s 40th president was a lot of things: a right-wing talk radio host, a Hollywood actor, a Red Scare monger, a charismatic liar. A great leader wasn’t one of them but for some reason Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War seems keen to revive that long-standing conservative fantasy.

I can only guess how many hours and how many indie game budgets went into meticulously detailing every weathered crack, mole, and discoloration in Ronald Reagan’s 70-year-old face so he could tell a room of CIA spooks in a voice of unwavering, fatherly assurance, to go do crimes in foreign countries.

I can also only guess why, in an otherwise cynical single-player campaign full of untrustworthy spies and conflicting truths, Treyarch and Raven Software chose to portray Reagan, whose legacy is now marked by scandal and disgrace even in many centrist circles, as a commander-in-chief of unimpeachable integrity and clear-sighted decision making.


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