Leiter’s comments on the retroactive valorization and collective historical amnesia on the Reagan years are most telling. Though I was young, I recall them fairly well and cannot explain this ridiculous mythology that surrounds his reign.
Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future sums up an appropriate sentiment when quizzing young Michael J. Fox about the “future” president (you can’t express it in writing, but the tone of his voice when he says “The actor?!” is hilarious):
Dr. Emmett Brown: Then tell me, “future boy,” who is president in the United States in 1985?
Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan.
Dr. Brown: Ronald Reagan? The actor?! Who’s vice president? Jerry Lewis?