I finally got around to leafing through the latest issue of the Atlantic today. In the back of each issue, they have a feature called "The Big Question" where they ask "experts" (or just people who return their calls, I don't know) who answer a general question.
This month the question is "Who is the worst leader of all time?" Of all time throughout history, keep in mind.
The answers from experts were as follows:
Jefferson Davis (Hitler mentioned)
George W. Bush
The Devil (with a subset of Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and Adolf Hitler)
Then Atlantic readers added:
Czar Nicholas II
Kaiser Wilhelm II
So if you're keeping score, it's Republican Presidents: 2 and Communists: 1 (Pol Pot under "The Devil").
The knock against Reagan was that he was insufficiently responsive to the AIDS crisis and let gay men to be "wiped off the map." This is worse than Mao Zedong systematically starving tens of millions of Chinese during the Great Leap Forward. Or Stalin sending millions to the Gulags. Or Fidel Castro's rule that compelled Cubans to launch rowboats to Florida. Or Kim Jong Il and his family who have created a modern-day prison country. I would have even taken that drunk Russian Khrushchev who took the world to the brink of nuclear war.
You would think that the editors of the Atlantic would find some new "experts" or at least realize they're beclowning themselves with the conspicuous and ahistorical bias in this list.