Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Ronald Reagan's legacy is polarizing, to say the least.

The 40th U.S. president was a staunch conservative who, among many things, slashed taxes for the wealthy, lured evangelicals to the Republican party, bulked up military spending, and did, well .... pretty much nothing in response to the AIDS crisis ravaging many U.S. cities. His presidency, for better or worse, changed America.

All the same, Reagan operated within the bounds of presidential norms and loved his country dearly, as his daughter Patti Davis argued in a new op-ed in The Washington Post.


And that made him wildly different from his modern-day conservative counterparts.

Patti Davis speaks at her father's funeral in 2004. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

"People often ask me what he would say if he [my father] were here now," Davis wrote, rebuking Trump without mentioning him by name at all in the piece. "Sometimes I'm a bit glib in response, pointing out that he'd be 107 years old. Other times, I simply say he'd be pretty horrified at where we've come to."

In her essay, "Mourning America," Davis laid out four important things she believes her father would say to Americans if he were alive today.

1. Reagan would warn us against authoritarianism.

Davis argued that "we the people" must stop any president from blurring the lines between democracy and dictatorship:

"I think [Reagan] would remind us that America began as a dream in the minds of men who dared to envision a land that was free of tyranny, with a government designed and structured so that no one branch of government could dominate the others."

Historians have argued that Trump — who's attacked "so-called" judges and challenged Congressional rules meant to uphold legislative fairness — presents the kind of authoritarian behavior our Founding Fathers warned against.

2. Reagan would be "heartbroken" by a Congress that has no backbone.

Protecting a president that'll sign "whatever [Congressional Republicans] put in front of him," the GOP has excused, dismissed, or conveniently looked away as Trump tramples the Constitution and shatters political norms — from the president's threats to end the Russia investigation to the web of global conflicts of interest Trump's presidency poses to national security.

As Davis wrote:

"[Reagan] would be appalled and heartbroken at a Congress that refuses to stand up to a president who not only seems ignorant of the Constitution but who also attempts at every turn to dismantle and mock our system of checks and balances."

Photo by Carlos Schiebeck/AFP/Getty Images.

3. Reagan would point out the critical value of a free press.

Trump blasts "fake news" on a near-daily basis, once called the free press "the enemy of the American people" and, according to journalist Lesley Stahl, even admitted that he relentlessly attacks news outlets so that the American public won't believe negative stories about his administration.

Davis believed her father would be appalled:

"[Reagan] would point to one of the pillars of our freedom — a free press — which sets us apart from dictatorships and countries ruled by despots. He didn't always like the press — no president does — but the idea of relentlessly attacking the media as the enemy would never have occurred to him. And if someone else had done so, he wouldn't have tolerated it."

4. Reagan would defend immigrants against cruelty.

Trump's misleading attacks on immigrants — both documented and undocumented — are unprecedented in modern U.S. history.

Many immigrants are living in a constant state of fear in the face of deportation. Hate crimes against people of color have surged in the era of Trump. And teachers report that bullying against minority students has spiked in their classrooms under a president who routinely led chants of "build the wall!" at his campaign rallies.

As Davis wrote:

"[Reagan] would ask us to think about the Statue of Liberty and the light she holds for immigrants coming to America for a better life. Immigrants like his ancestors, who persevered despite prejudice and signs that read 'No Irish or dogs allowed.' There is a difference between immigration laws and cruelty. He believed in laws; he hated cruelty."

Reagan was no angel.

His agenda hurt women, the poor, people of color, LGBTQ people, and other marginalized groups. Maybe Reagan's and Trump's conservatism are more in sync than some would like to believe.

But it's telling that Reagan's own daughter trusts that her father would join every living U.S. president in thinking our current commander in chief is dangerous and abnormal for our democracy.

Photo from Dole
True

As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

Keep Reading Show less

Most women, at one point or another, have felt some wariness or fear over a strange man in public. Sometimes it's overt, sometimes it's subtle, but when your instincts tell you something isn't right and you're potentially in danger, you listen.

It's an unfortunate reality, but reality nonetheless.

A Twitter thread starting with some advice on helping women out is highlighting how real this is for many of us. User @mxrixm_nk wrote: "If a girl suddenly acts as if she knows you in public and acts like you're friends, go along w[ith] it. She could be in danger."

Other women chimed in with their own personal stories of either being the girl approaching a stranger or being the stranger approached by a girl to fend off a situation with a creepy dude.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo from Dole
True

As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

Keep Reading Show less

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a badass in the movies, but he's increasingly building a reputation as a heroic "action star" in real life. Only, instead of dropping ungodly amounts of fake bullets into his enemies, Schwarzenegger has been dropping rhetorical bombs against his political opponents while building intellectual and emotional bridges to those who disagree with him but still have open hearts and minds.

The most recent example found Arnold responding to a comment someone made on Facebook. On the surface, that may sound like just about the least unique or original jumping off point for a story.




Keep Reading Show less

LEGO recently unveiled plans to roll out a set of bricks for use by the visually impaired. Using each LEGO brick's 3-by-2 grid of raised dots, the educational toy includes bricks imprinted with every letter, number, and mathematical symbol in the braille alphabet.

Why LEGOs? Well, the American Printing House for the Blind recently found that only 8.4 percent of visually impaired children read Braille, as opposed to 50 percent in 1960. With the advent of audio books and voice-to-text technology, reading and writing are becoming lost arts for the visually impaired, often for lack of resources or time — modern braille education methods include expensive "Braille writers" or a slate and stylus, both of which create text that is difficult for students to edit or erase. LEGO bricks are not only swappable, but children are already familiar with their mechanics!

Keep Reading Show less