Ed Driscoll

Everything Old is New Again, Part I

As transcribed by Kiron Skinner in Reagan, In His Own Hand, and heard near the end of her C-Span Booknotes interview with Brian Lamb, in his final radio speech before announcing his candidacy for the White House in 1979, Ronald Reagan gave his listeners the audio equivalent “desk cleaning day,” his thoughts on some of the news items of the day, which included these items:

In Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the City Council has ruled that from now on those metal-covered holes in our streets we’ve long called manholes will henceforth be known as person holes.

And in Missoula, Montana, a Peeping Tom ordinance is now a `Peeping Person’ law.

Well, that’s all the desk cleaning for today. And as I indicated when I began, it’s been my last such chore. This is my final commentary. I’m going to miss these visits with all of you. I’ve enjoyed every one. Even writing them has been a lot of fun. I’ve scratched them out on a yellow tablet in airplanes, riding in cars, and at the ranch when the sun went down.

Whenever I’ve told you about some misfortune befalling one of our fellow citizens, you’ve opened your hearts and your pocketbooks and gone to the rescue. I know you have because the individuals you’ve helped have written to let me know. You’ve done a great deal to strengthen my faith in this land of ours and its people. You are the greatest.

Sometime later today if you happen to catch me on television, you will understand why I can no longer bring you these commentaries. This is Ronald Reagan. And from the bottom of my heart, thanks for listening.

What began in the 1970s is a trend that has done nothing but snowball, as this post at the Corner today highlights: “College Demands Construction Crew Remove ‘Sexist’ ‘Men Working’ Sign.”

A construction crew working on the campus of Ohio’s Sinclair Community College was forced to halt work until it removed a “Men Working” sign that was deemed “sexist” by a college administrator. A spokesman for the college told National Review Online that the incident, which occurred on November 21, stemmed from the school’s “deep commitment to diversity,” and that it takes that commitment “very seriously.”

But of course they do.