Republicans have continued their push to pass a bill that would replace President Ulysses S. Grant on fifty dollar bill with Ronald Reagan, but a new Marist poll found that people not only dislike the idea, but reject it soundly. 79% of those surveyed replied that they do not want Ronald Reagan’s smiling mug on their money. Most surprisingly, 71% of Republicans did not like the idea either.
The Marist Poll also uncovered a surprising result. When the results of the poll were broken down by party affiliation, 71% of Republicans thought that the switch was a bad idea, 83% of Democrats, and 79% of Independents didn’t like the idea either. The idea of Reagan on our money was rejected by both those who make over $50,000 (78% disapprove), and those who make under $50,000 (81% disapprove).
The support for the change was strongest with those age 18-29 (15%), and those who live in the Western part of the United States (15%). Men and women almost equally thought that putting Reagan on the fifty is a bad idea (77%-80%), as well as college grads and non college grads (78%-81%). The whole idea of replacing Grant with Reagan is being pushed by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who said, “Every generation needs its own heroes. One decade into the 21st century, it’s time to honor the last great president of the 20th and give President Reagan a place beside Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy.”
Unfortunately for Rep. McHenry, the vast majority of the American people don’t agree with him. As I laid out in a post last month, 5 Reasons Why Ronald Reagan Should Never be on the $50 Bill, the right wing myth of St. Ronnie of Conservatism doesn’t match up with the facts of his presidency. Time has not distorted the public perception of Reagan. It has sharpened it, and it is clear to most people that no matter how much the right wingers build a mythology around Reagan, he will never be in same class as Kennedy and F.D.R.