In response to We Hear
I don’t disagree with any of David’s observations below, but one thing should be pointed out about Bryan Safi’s batty claims about Ronald Reagan and AIDS: They are not true.
I don’t mean that he is misinterpreting the facts or exaggerating them, but that his claim simply is not true as a matter of historical fact. The Reagan administration was quite active and public on the question of AIDS from the early 1980s onward. Carl Cannon has an account here. In addition to the usual things politicians do — seeing to the doubling the AIDS budget, then doubling it again, then again — the Reagan administration also dispatched the secretary of health and human services to a New York hospital to make a high-profile visit to a man dying of AIDS, holding his hand in an effort to assuage fears that the virus could be spread through casual contact. Nor is it true, as legend has it, that Reagan never spoke about AIDS in public until the death of his friend Rock Hudson.
The popular (especially among Democrats) version of this story is pure fiction, and at odds with the public record.