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The Republican Governors’ Association last Saturday unanimously approved a proposal to rename Washington National Airport after former president Ronald Reagan. The renamed airport would join Federal Triangle’s new, $800 million Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, as well as George Washington University’s Ronald Reagan Institute for Emergency Medicine, as monuments to the still-living conservative icon. And across the country, the right-wing organization Americans for Tax Reform has its sights set on a variety of mountains, schools, and highways to dedicate to the 40th president’s memory.
So long as they’re at it, how about adding a few other choice local landmarks to Reagan’s living legacy?
•Ronald Reagan Liquors For decades, Dixie Liquors, at the foot of Key Bridge, has been a favorite spot for Virginians to come, stock up on booze, skirt taxes, and flee back to the suburbs. What better tribute could there be to the darling of the white-flight voting block than renaming this venerable establishment after the Gipper?
•Ronald Reagan of Arc The Joan of Arc statue in Malcolm X Park looks down on the cityjust as Reagan did. And any tax-slashing Republican will tell you that the capital of the United States deserves a good, red-blooded American actor-politician, not some pâté-eating French warrior-saint. Ship Joan back to Jacques Chirac and give us a statue to be proud of: Ron D’Arc.
•Ronald Reagan Fried Chicken Reagan acolytes present their hero as the quintessential American everymanjust like the homespun Kentucky native who founded a fried chicken empire. Sure, RRFC doesn’t trip off the tongue the way KFC does. But what other president was as responsible for the changes that turned fast food into the dominant industry of the urban economy?
•Ronald Reagan’s Dominion Who needs some silly rides and a bunch of stupid Paramount Pictures icons when you can have the nonstop thrill ride that was the Reagan era? Ride MX missiles! Dodge toxic spills! Visit the Central American Safari Park!
•Ronald Reagan Barry Reagan and Marion Barry fed off each other. So long as Reagan, the enemy, was beating up on urban America, no one paid attention to the mayor’s own malfeasance. No surprise, then, that Barry’s decline began with Reagan’s retirement. In the nine years since, Barry has abandoned just about everything else in a vain effort to recapture his glory dayswhy not change his name, too? CP