The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

The 21st Century Patent Medicine Man

Modified: Tuesday, 20 July 2021 21:59 by admin - Categorized as: Podcasts
The following is a collection of the materials used in creating the fourteenth episode of the Citizen Reagan podcast (pending permission from the Reagan Foundation) about the Reagan's Radio Commentaries.





Welcome to the Citizen Reagan podcast. As you may know, what I do with this podcast is discuss the contents of the Ronald Reagan Radio Commentaries produced between 1975 and 1979. Sometimes, I may decide to talk about some other topic, but with over 1000 of these Commentaries to cover, the bulk of my work will be on them.

Today, the discussion is going to be tangentially related to the broadcast I plan to play for you. It is called "Patent Medicine I" and it was recorded early in 1979.
Step right up folks and for one dollar get a bottle of Cure All made from a secret recipe. There was a time when that was the bottom line in the traveling medicine show. I'll be right back.

Not too many people are around who remember the flamboyant painted wagon that used to roll into town with an entertainer, dancer, banjo player, or Indian tom-tom thumper, and a huckster peddling a medicine guaranteed to cure any and all ailments. The routine was always the same, the side of the wagon would open providing a small stage, the entertainer would attract a crowd and then the medicine salesman would make his pitch. I was reminded of this old time medicine show a few weeks ago when a subcommittee of the United State's Senate showed up in the Los Angeles area, supposedly to hold hearings on compulsory national health insurance. Now a hearing by a legislative committee is supposed to gather facts and opinion that will help the committee determine policy on a given matter. The subcommittee that went to California after appearing in Washington D.C., West Virginia, Detroit, Chicago, Denver wasn't gathering information, it was beating the drums in support of legislation. The chairman of the subcommittee, Senator Edward Kennedy is already for the legislation, his own nationalized health insurance bill.

I think it's fair to question whether taxpayers money should be used to drum up support for a legislative proposal. The senator went to California, and as he did in those other cities had a roadshow troop of several Canadians and U.S. citizens all of whom had suffered catastrophic illnesses. In California there was an audience of more than a thousand to hear first the Canadians tell how the great cost of their illnesses was paid by the government, then the Americans would tell their story of wiped out savings and lost homes as they tried to pay for their catastrophic ills. Now let me say I'm not belittling those witnesses who suffered long and costly illnesses. Catastrophic injury or disease can strike any of us, and the tremendous cost can go on for years, but this is a particular problem to be solved and it should not be used to justify compulsory government medicine for everyone. At each stop Senator Kennedy's road show attracts opposition witnesses who have difficulty getting on the agenda. In Chicago, the president of the Illinois Medical Society surprised the senator by turning his time over to a doctor from Canada. Senator Kennedy was not pleased. He curtly addressed this Canadian saying, "Well, get on with it, where are you from?" Dr. Robillard, a neurosurgeon trained at Harvard, now President of the Federation of Medical Specialists of Quebec said "I have no axe to grind, but let me say one thing loud and clear. America has the best medical care in the world. In your haste to copy our Canadian system, do not bring American medicine down to the Canadian level. For now we look up to you." The senator tried to rebut the doctor in an emotional outburst and the hearing ended. No such surprises were allowed in the California show.

This is Ronald Reagan. Thanks for listening.
One of Reagan's earliest speeches against a national medicine system came in 1961 via a record album produced with the support of the American Medical Association. In it, he made reference to how "one of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people, is by way of medicine."

Efforts are still underway to create that medical system, best known in our modern days as a single-payer, as it would eliminate insurance companies all together and put the government in charge of paying all medical costs. One step closer to a socialist government system. But it is not the only means being sought.

I believe there's a new patent medicine being pushed on the United States by its politicians. It will cure all that ails you and is derived from a 170-year-old German formula. This one is called the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal is a set of goals for legislation to achieve, an end needing a means. The claim is that it's all to save the planet from environmental catastrophe. In February of 2019, a was "accidentally" released which outlines the goals of the Green New Deal. A quick perusal of the goals, though, leaves you wondering what most of it has to do with the environment. Let's take a quick look. This is from the overview:

  • Move America to 100% clean and renewable energy
  • Create millions of family supporting-wage, union jobs
  • Ensure a just transition for all communities and workers to ensure economic security for people and communities that have historically relied on fossil fuel industries
  • Ensure justice and equity for frontline communities by prioritizing investment, training, climate and community resiliency, economic and environmental benefits in these communities.
  • Build on FDR's second bill of rights by guaranteeing:
    • A job with a family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security
    • High-quality education, including higher education and trade schools
    • Clean air and water and access to nature
    • Healthy food
    • High-quality health care
    • Safe, affordable, adequate housing
    • Economic environment free of monopolies
    • Economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work
If you've never heard about it, at, so you can read it.

Family supporting-wage union jobs? Ensuring justice and equity? High quality education? Healthy food? High-quality health care? Housing? An economic environment free of monopolies? Economic security? Besides maybe the healthy food point, what on Earth do those have to do with the environment?

The answer is simple: The Green New Deal is a watermelon. Those who support it seem to believe it will bring about a utopian society, a heaven on Earth in the United States, and they are every bit the hucksters of the salesmen of a century past. It's a red elixir sold in a green glass bottle. Environmental Green on the outside, Socialist Red to its core.

At the same time that document appeared, roughly 20 Democrats were all vying for the presidential nomination. I came up with a series of questions about the Green New Deal which I shared with some of them via Twitter. Strangely, not one of them ever got back to me. Let me ask those questions here and we can see if you begin to share my skepticism:

  1. The plan includes ending all fossil fuel usage in 10 years. With 300 million vehicles on the road right now, how are the car companies supposed to manufacture 30 million purely electric vehicles per year to meet that goal? How are you going to dispose of those 300 million vehicles? You can't send them outside the country. You specifically mention "preventing the transfer of pollution overseas." How are all those people that have now lost their gas-powered cars going to pay for a brand new electric vehicle? This is going to create massive profits for the car companies.
  2. Once we have those 300 million all electric cars, how do you plan to keep them all charged? Is our power grid prepared to handle that added strain? California, right now, can't handle a hot summer without rolling blackouts. Our power grid is only going to have less power in it after eliminating the fossil-fuel power plants. A few new nuclear plants would help, but you don't want to include those in the plan.
  3. Are you going to confiscate vehicles? What about those people with converted vehicles running on vegetable-oil? Is that considered green?
  4. You refer to making air travel unnecessary after constructing enough high-speed rail. How do you plan to deal with travel to places like Hawaii or overseas, maybe Bernie wants to visit Sweden, or Denmark.
  5. You want economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work. What if no one is willing to work then?
  6. You want an "Economic environment free of monopolies." I'm so glad to hear that, so do I! How soon can I expect the legislation to end the United States Postal Service's monopoly on first-class mail?
  7. You want "climate-change resilient infrastructure". Does that mean everything near water is going to be on stilts or pontoons? How is Obama going to do that to his relatively new Martha's Vineyard mansion?
  8. You’re so concerned about jobs in the future. But how many people are going to be out of jobs after you eliminate the fossil-fuel industry, the airline industry, and who knows what other industries?
  9. All these plans are nice and everything, but don't be so Amero-centric. We live in a global community, so we are often told. Are China and India going to do the same things? If not, why not?
  10. Honestly, we humans are so puny compared to the size of the planet. I've seen studies that suggest that man-made pollution is nothing compared to what nature does herself, such as the impact of volcanoes. The 1883 Krakatoa eruption put so much particulate matter into the air, sunsets appeared a vivid red for upwards of 5 years, all around the world. How do you plan to outlaw volcanoes?
  11. As I said, "It's a great big universe and we're all really puny, we’re just tiny little specks about the size of Mickey Rooney", and there’s this big ball of burning hydrogen out there that might have an impact on our climate. How big is it? If you believe Wikipedia, 332,946 times bigger than Earth.
  12. There's only one monetary number mentioned in the entire FAQs document. $4.6 trillion minimum for infrastructure. I'd like some specifics on how you plan to pay for all this work. Who is our sugar-daddy?!
  13. You have the gall to suggest we are going to see a return on our investment? How exactly? Planning to take some tips from Bernie Madoff? You're backstopped by the tax system of the Federal government. Doesn't that mean we are the ROI?
  14. And you want to do this with union workers, create more union jobs. Doesn't that seem like a conflict of interest? Unions fill your re-election coffers and, "encourage" their members to vote for you and you use your power to force people to join unions?
  15. You want to include a guarantee of affordable housing. Well, how affordable is housing going to be if every building is going to be refit or rebuilt from scratch to maximize energy efficiency? And in a choice between union workers and affordability, which side do you take, because non-union workers will be the less expensive option.

So, those were my questions, I've updated them a little. Am I off base? Does this sound like socialism? I’ve done enough research on something that appears in this document to say yes, but that is my personal opinion. Perhaps in a future podcast I'll talk about how this Green New Deal document has integrated Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights and how it compares to a couple other historical documents.

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