Brainless of the Millennium
The Sunday Times (London) 26 September
It is too late for the politburo to gloat, but Ronald Reagan,
slayer of the "evil empire," tried to join the Communist party
as a young man and was rejected for being too dim.
The revelation is made in the authorized biography done by
friends who knew the former president when he was an actor.
One of them, Howard Fast, the writer, said Saturday that
Reagan "was passionate" about enlisting with the American
Communist party in 1938.
"They thought he was a feather brain and turned him down,"
Fast told The Sunday Times.
Reagan always portrayed himself as a former left-leaning
Democrat who moved to the political right after seeing the
communists in action in Hollywood. It now emerges that some of
his closest friends were communists. "He felt if it was right for
them, it was right for him," said Fast.
In 1938, the 27-year-old actor announced he wanted to sign up.
The party conducted an investigation, said Fast, and "word came
back he was a flake ... who couldn't be trusted with a political
opinion for more than 20 minutes."
Fast said the party sent Reagan a delegation who "convinced
him he could do more for the various causes that the party
represented in Hollywood as an outsider, as a friend of the party,
than as a member.
"It took hours to talk him out of it."