DEATH OF GIPPIE
I'm starting to think that, for the right-wing counterculture that's sprung up over the past quarter-century, the passing of Reagan could be Woodstock -- that is, both the high-water mark and the beginning of the end.
The people at ReaganVigil.com (an offshoot of Free Republic) certainly want the death to be a big, noticeable event that says, "We're here! We oppose the dominant paradigm! Get used to it!" -- the site lists events from Maine to Thailand (well, from Maine to California, with quite a few states skipped, and then one vigil overseas, in Thailand).
This is kind of, well, different from similar events in the past, isn't it? As I understand it, people came out to see FDR's body, and JFK's, but I don't imagine anyone at the time of those deaths was being urged to come out and make a public show of mourning and/or solidarity in this way. And that Maine event hardly seems like a spontaneous outpouring of grief:
I will be at the Aroostook river bridge on Rt. 1 in Presque Isle tomorrow 6/6 all morning till the afternoon.
You'll see my truck billboard there- "God Bless Ronald Reagan".
This will also be a freep of the caulkroaches (the proper spelling got censored!!!) who collect on the bridge every Sunday to protest the war for The Survival of Western Civilization.
I'm gonna make 'em suffer. Come join me if you can!
(A "freep," for the uninitiated, is a counterdemonstration at any public protest by non-conservatives, or a protest at any public appearance by a Democrat. Clinton masks and devil's horns are often worn, frequently by the same person.)
I call this a "counterculture" because the participants don't really seem to care what those outside the in-group think. This is from the announcement of a New York City vigil:
On Wednesday, June 9, at 12:00 noon, I will start a make-shift memorial to honor President Ronald Reagan at the north end of the fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel, 5th Avenue between 58th and 59th streets.
The memorial will consist of a photo of Reagan, a sign reading “God Bless the Gipper,” flowers, an American flag, a candle, and a bag of jelly beans. My hope is that others will be inspired to add their own tribute...
If the gesture catches on and people respond and a respectable memorial emerges, I will contact the NY Post, the New York Sun, and the local Fox affiliate.
Not the Times. Not the Daily News. Not channels 2, 4, 7, 9, and 11, all of which do local news and all of which have devoted many, many respectful, apolitical on-air minutes to Reagan since the weekend. They're not us. They're not in with the in crowd. Only the Fox affiliate and the two right-wing papers need to know.