United States After Civil War
The 1960s are often looked at as a time of great change in American culture. Many issues were at play, Consumer advocacy, environmental reform, organic foods, the sexual revolution, personal growth groups, feminism, gay rights, the antiwar crusade, and dozens of other issues clamored urgently for attention (Cobbs, 378). While many persons were looking to make changes in their own lives, inspiration from leaders inspired many to work to improve the lives of large groups of people.
President Kennedy called for Americans to help others. He said, Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country (Cobbs, 378).
Other leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy and Malcom X sought social changes so that the lives of many downtrodden people could be improved. Gay rights became a new hot topic. From out of the closet, their voices were being heard, We have pretended everything is OK, because we havent been able to see how to change it weve been afraid (Cobbs, 390). Now they were making headlines. The individual pursuit of fulfillment and happiness also occurred alongside social reform. Particularly in California, the Human Potential Movement asked Americans not what they could do for their country, but what they should do for themselves (Cobbs, 378). Both social responsibility and pursuit of individual happiness were occurring simultaneously in the 1960s. Demonstrations against racial bias, the Vietnam War, feminism, gay rights and other causes saw substantial support as thousands turned out in protest or support.
When President Johnson entered his presidency, American presence in South Vietnam had been long established by administrations preceding his. He was faced with a choice of either finding a way out of the South Vietnam conflict or to escalate the U.S. presence there in the hopes of victory and independence for South Vietnam. Many believe that Johnson could have chosen either path, he had the opportunity to make a choice, it seems undeniable that Johnson, fated to be president when the key Vietnam decisions had to be made, could have chosen differently. He could have avoided this war… (Cobbs, 403). In addition to stopping the domino effect of communism, some persons in the foreign service thought that the U.S. could improve Vietnam Or, as LBJ put it, I want to leave the footprints of America in Vietnam… (Cobbs, 405).
President Johnson had other reasons to escalate the conflict in Vietnam that may have been more compelling. Johnson worried about the harm that failure in Vietnam could do to his domestic agenda; even more, he feared the personal humiliation he imagined would inevitably accompany a defeat (and for him, a negotiated withdrawal constituted defeat) (Cobbs, 405). Advisers closest to him also had their own reasons to support the war, Top aides, meanwhile, feared for their reputations and careers should they abandon their previous support for a staunch commitment to South Vietnams survival (Cobbs, 405). Johnsons approach was to quietly intensify the war efforts without involving Congress or the American people. [Nevertheless, Johnson] … opted, as George C. Herring has put it, to wage war in cold blood. There would be no national debate on Vietnam, no call- up of the reserves, no declared state of emergency. The United States would go to war on the sly (Cobbs, 404). And Johnson did escalate the war, sending more troops and equipment to the region with the loss of tens of thousands of American lives, unfortunately he was not deterred, it was a war that he had committed to and he felt that he would be viewed as a failing leader if he accepted any outcome other than victory.
In the 1970s and into the 1980s, Americans went from trusting the government and embracing liberal reform to distrust of the government and a renewed interest in conservatism, the New Right. The liberalism that began with the New Deal ended following the Cold War. In modern America, liberalism was a consequence of the Cold War, a side effect of the national security state. The Cold War was now dead and buried, and Americans had reverted to their historic skepticism of big government…. (Cobbs, 432). The tragedies of the Vietnam War and the lies by President Richard Nixon furthered their distrust of big government. Americans who discovered that their leaders had been tragically wrong about Vietnam began to wonder whether those same leaders could have been right about anything (Cobbs, 425). With distrust of the government by Americans also came a disliking of the government and the bigger the government, the worse it was. Spending on New Deal programs such as Social Security for dependents had increased government spending on welfare programs and had now become a target of the New Right. Nearly everyone Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives shook their heads at the runaway deficits. Democrats blamed Republicans for bloating defense and coddling capital; Republicans blamed Democrats for winking at wasteful social programs (Cobbs, 430).
Each side blamed the other for the deficit but the American instinct was that it was big government that was to blame and so the conservatives appeared to be in the right. Ironically, while speaking against big government, Reagan greatly increased the spending on the military. Between 1981 and 1985, American spending on defense leaped a third, from $179 billion in fiscal 1981 to $229 billion in 1985 (in constant 1982 dollars) (Cobbs, 430). At the same time, Reagan helped pass tax cuts, particularly for those in the highest tax brackets. This resulted in the need to borrow money to pay for government expenditures. Even while the Reaganites ridiculed Keynesianism as liberal looniness, they practiced the Keynesian formula of deficit spending (Cobbs, 430). In a relatively short time, liberal reform died when distrust of the government began following the end of the Cold War a New Right developed, bringing in a conservative movement to reduce the size of government and usher in President Ronald Reagan. Reagans massive build-up of the military and tax reforms led to an ever larger government budget with a resultant deficit spending. Americans however, continued to support the New Right as their ire against the government ruled above all else.
When Ronald Reagan was elected president, conservatives rejoiced. The so-called Reagan Revolution heartened conservatives who had railed against big government for several generations (Cobbs, 408). While campaigning, Reagan complained repeatedly about the government being too large and wasteful. Yet there was a curious discontinuity in Reagans message. The country was as great as ever, he said, but its government was awful. Government is not the solution to our problem he stated in his first inaugural. Government is the problem (Cobbs, 427). Americans, with their distrust of the government, embraced his message. The conservatives were willing to accept Reagans massive spending on defense and the resulting deficits, in exchange for tax cuts and anti-government rhetoric. They preferred to blame the deficits on liberal reform expenditures, too many New Deal reforms, including Social Security and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (welfare) (Cobbs, 408). Republicans blamed Democrats for winking at wasteful social programs (Cobbs, 430). The conservatives had wanted a smaller government for a long time and were finally hearing their president repeatedly share their views.
Many Americans, resentful of government actions, came to believe that the government was too large, too generous and taking too much of their money in taxes. President Reagans deficit spending could easily be blamed on his inherited big government and its welfare state but it was also his own doing, due to tax cuts and exorbitant military budgets.
Ronald Reagan: An American Hero
When it comes to presidency character is everything. In the early 1980’s Ronald Wilson Reagan never thought he would grow up to be one of the most famous icons in history that was known as a true American hero. Many people would have to say that Reagan was one of the greatest presidents of all time, while others might differ to this claim.
Regardless of peoples political views it was obvious that Reagan changed the world and will forever be remembered in history books. He was a strong president who cared dearly for his country and transformed the American spirit to make people feel more at ease with all the crises that the country was facing. Before his presidency he was a sports commentator and actor in Hollywood but shortly after that served two terms as governor of California.
Reagan dealt with many challenges that helped shape his legacy and why many people looked up to him.
Ronald Wilson Reagan he was born on February 6th 1911 in Tampico Illinois in a five room flat above H.C. Pitney General Store where his father worked. The nickname Dutch was given to Ronald as a kid by his father because he said he looked like a fat little Dutchman. He had an older brother named Neil and his parents were John Edward and Nelle Reagan who didn’t come from a lot of money and struggled throughout his childhood. His father was of Irish decent and worked as a shoe salesman while his mother was of Scottish- English decent and stayed at home as a homemaker.
Since Reagan’s father was alcoholic he could never keep a job, which meant they were constantly moving throughout Illinois searching for a new job. Once Ronald reached the age of nine they finally settled in Dixon Illinois but he didn’t really fit in since he never really had friends from always being on the move. He was boy who liked to be by himself and play with his tin soldiers but really enjoyed reading books about natural history. As a boy, Reagan’s life was filled with scrapes and adventures. He once narrowly escaped death while playing under a train that suddenly began moving. Reagan graduated from Dixon High School in 1928, where he played on the football and basketball teams, became president of the student body, acted in school plays, and wrote for the yearbook. Reagan, an accomplished swimmer since early boyhood, worked six summers as a lifeguard in Lowell Park in Dixon on the treacherous Rock River. According to newspaper reports of the time and later research, he saved 77 people from drowning (Lou Cannon).
After high school Reagan decided to enroll in Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois where he majored in economics but ended up graduating with only a C average. While attending Eureka he played football, cheered during basketball season, swam for the swim team and was apart of the drama club. Not only did he do all that but also joined the debate team, was a reporter for the school newspaper, worked on the college yearbook and was president of the student council. With all the activities he had going on in his life at such a young age he was very driven to participate in many things that made him happy. At home Jack Reagan’s fashion Booty Shop staggered under the depression and finally went out of business. Regan had to provide for himself, and in addition to washing dishes at the fraternity, he was the school’s swimming coach and teacher and worked in the kitchen of the girl’s dormitory (Bill Boyarsky 1981 pg. 40). He also had an early taste of politics: while still a freshman he made a dramatic oration on behalf of Eureka students who were striking to restore classes that the school administration had eliminated because of financial strains caused by the Great Depression. After the strike, the college president resigned (Cannon).
Once he graduated college he didn’t have any job opportunities he was very confident and optimistic that something would turn up. He believed that there was more to college than just books and felt that knowledge was associated with facts and stated what good is it to teach someone all the facts if they don’t know how to live and if they don’t use them for the solutions of the problems that people are going to deal with as life goes on. Eventually he decided to enter radio broadcasting and got turned down by many big stations but MacArthur at WOC in Davenport offered him a salary of $100 a week to be a staff announcer and his job was to play records and sometimes make public service announcements such as the weather or reading a commercial but he was later fired for making too many errors. Regan was given a chance to read out a play action between the Chicago cubs or White Socks game and had to give a brief description of the play going on and loved what he brought to announcing. After all of that Reagan moved to Des Moines, Iowa to start working at WHO studios where he began all his training, which eventually would lead him to Hollywood California. Working at this job also helped him perfect his speaking abilities and learned how to sell soap, cars and major- league baseball by the power of his voice. Ronald Reagan was one of the best play-by-play men in the Midwest, a nonstop talker who was so talkative that he wasn’t even nervous when the wire occasionally break down and would just improvise until it was repaired.
When it came to his acting career and how he became a Hollywood star all began when he went out to Los Angeles, California to follow the Chicago Cubs to their spring training camp while being out there he ended up reading for a casting director in Hollywood who offered him no hope in the acting industry. Later he met up with a friend who introduced him to an agent named Bill Meiklejohn who got him to meet with a casting director at Warner Brothers Studios. Warner Bros. gave him a screen test and was so impressed to offer him a contract starting at $200 a week since he resembled Robert Taylor an actor who died in a car accident and needed a replacement. The first film he appeared in was Love Is on the Air which ended up not being one of the best films ranging in the B average. In many of his roles Reagan was a victim of the poorly written movies grounded out by Hollywood’s film factories in the thirties, forties and fifties by useless writers, directors and producers. By 1938 he met a talented woman named Jane Wyman during the filming of Brother Rat about 2 years he was later married to Wyman on January 26 and had a daughter named Maureen by 1941 and just a few years later adopted a son name Michael in 1945. In 1948 Regan and Wyman’s marriage ended up in a divorce because she did not share the same interest and her acting career was taking off. The next four years were going to be the toughest years of his life especially with his movie career failing which made him start getting into politics.
Once he began seeing actress Nancy Davis he knew she was the one and wanted to share the rest of his life with. Reagan’s political view started to change once he married Nancy being that she came from a conservative family. Her father was a wealthy conservative surgeon who retired after his long career in Chicago. Shortly after their wedding in 1952 Nancy announced she was pregnant with a daughter who they named Patricia Ann Reagan. With all this going on Ronald needed to figure out how he was going to produce money being that his acting career was falling apart. In 1954 the General Electric Corporation was looking for a host for a new television series who could sell the products to build the company’s corporate image and visit G.E. plants to improve employee self-confidence by delivering inspirational speeches. In 1958 Nancy was in labor with a son who they named Ronald Prescott and Reagan was in relief that his wife survived. Reagan During those eight years of working for General Electric Company would be a very crucial part of his political development. To him it felt like a political campaign to him since he was meeting and shaking hands with these people but was very concerned with how these people felt. Many people were dissatisfied with the union, company and government. Eventually, however, his speeches became too controversial for the company’s taste, and he was fired as both spokesman and television host in 1962 (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica). He was more than ready to do something else with his life and felt that working for G.E. helped him sharpen his political philosophy.
In the year of 1962 Reagan changed his registration from democrat to republican and started to campaign actively for Richard Nixon delivering more than 200 speeches and a couple years later he was appointed state co-chairman of citizens for Goldwater- Miller. Shortly after in 1966 Ronald had the confidence to run for governor in California but had to go up against two- term, Democratic governor Edmud G. Brown of San Francisco who had plenty of experience. Brown wanted to go up against Reagan and leaked photos of the other republican opponent George Christopher that ended up backfiring on Brown. Christopher was angry he backed Reagan to unify the republicans. The Reagans heard the news of Ronnie’s victory over the radio on their way home from the Jorgensen’s’ to the Biltmore. In the end Reagan carried all three counties. The final tally: Reagan, 3,742,914; 2,749,174 (Bob Colacello 2004). Four years later he won a second term and became a successful governor that many liberal democrats didn’t expect but he showed compromise to the Republican Party. He made promises during his campaign that he would squeeze, cut, and trim the growth of state government. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to get much done during his first term but made sure to get things done during his second. Reagan knew his political problems would get better if he could get the tax increase approved by coming to terms with Unruh. His political skills improved and his administration was able to change the direction of the welfare policy through laws and regulations. During his two terms as governor (1967“1975), Reagan erased a substantial budget deficit inherited from the Brown administration (through the largest tax increase in the history of any state to that time) and instituted reforms in the state’s welfare programs (The Editors Encyclopedia Britannica). With all the risk he took to make the country a better one he would soon find himself interested in a presidency.
After leaving the governor’s office at the end of 1974, Reagan decided to write columns that appeared in 175 newspapers, recorded commentaries that aired on more than 200 radio stations and gave speeches. Fast-forward to the election of 1980, which was a big one for Reagan since he defeated Carter and John Anderson who both ran as independents. Ronald Reagan was elected the 40th president of the United States and inaugurated on January 21, 1981 and stated “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” There were many things he got done during his presidency such as advanced domestic policies that featured a reducing of federal government responsibility in solving social problems, reduced restrictions on businesses and implemented tax cuts also known as Reaganomics. Not only did he do all that but also during the cold war he challenged soviet Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall since it represented the repressive communist era. On November 9, 1989 East and West Germans broke down the wall, which meant an end to the Cold War. There was so much to admire about Reagan he had a funny personality and said what he felt no matter what others thought. A few years later after his presidency, Ronald Reagan developed Alzheimer’s disease and decided to breakaway from the public eye. Unfortunately Ronald Reagan passed away at the age of 93 at his home on June 5, 2004 in Bel-Air, California.
In conclusion Ronald Reagan was a man who was looked at as an American hero who was able to do so much in a short amount of time. He spoke his mind whenever he felt it was necessary. People were surprised that this man was able to accomplish a lot since they thought he was going to fail. Ronald Reagan once said, Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. This quote he stated is such an important part of history today especially with everything going on in the world. If people don’t change their ways and care about what’s more important for the future generation to come this country will fall apart. Reagan cared deeply for this country and fought for what he thought was right to help better this country and was by far one of the most influential presidents of all time.
Analysis Of Ronald Reagan’s Election Eve Speech
On November 3, 1980, Ronald Reagan delivered what is called the Election Eve Address to engage America by discussing the issues approaching America. Reagan provided answers for these problems and focused on the idea that America was once unique and superior because of their freedom and liberty. People praised America all over the world, striving to become it, and have watched it take a turn downhill, representing the idea: American Exceptionalism.
Reagan focuses on this in his address and breaks up his speech into four key parts in order to present a clear perspective to the nation and leave the audience with something to think about.
The first division of his address begins with the many disappointments both Reagan and the nations people hold with their government. Reagan responds to temporary liberalism and the issue of government intervention, while exercising individual freedom over federal power. Both Reagan and agreeing citizens, discussed their overall dissatisfaction with the federal government as the time of the 1980 election approached. They believed their dissatisfaction was caused by previous events, leaders, and matters building up. Reagan stated, Many of us are unhappy about our worsening economic problems, about the constant crisis atmosphere in our foreign policy, about our diminishing prestige around the globe, about the weakness in our economy and national security that jeopardizes world peace, about our lack of strong, straight-forward leadership (Reagan, p.1). He emphasizes the idea that things are still worsening if there is no change introduced and that the government contains too much control. Reagan focuses his attention to leaders from the past and his belief that they are the reason for the nations breakdown. The nation experienced a period of extreme inflation and this effected many people, in addition to the economy. America’s economy was suffering and many people were taken from their jobs, leading to a high unemployment rate and many bankrupt businesses. Reagan’s idea of this mention was to explain that he was here to help the United States through this downfall. He wanted to present the distressing matters in the economy to clearly show the nation they were facing a difficult time. He promises to bring the best leaders he can to government in order to improve the nation for the American people.
Next Reagan focuses on his strong plan for reconstruction and turns his focus towards a hopeful and successful future. This is a great strategy for a presidential candidate and he begins to talk about America as you and me. Reagan introduces strategies to strengthen the nation and begins with limiting the federal government’s spending, which contributes to lowering the citizens tax rates. This small improvement will provide many benefits for the people and will help with all aspects of the economy over time. Businesses will begin to get back up on their feet as saving money and investing become more relevant. He discusses that any politician could make these changes, yet he touches upon his past accomplishments and performance as the Governor of California to point out that he is an experienced man. He expresses his confidence in reform by stating, That’s why I am confident we can affect the reforms I have mentioned ”reforms that will get government off our backs, out of our pockets and up to the standards of decency and excellence envisioned by the founding fathers (Reagan, p. 2). The nations urgency for a strong and motivational leader could be fulfilled by Reagan’s goals to achieve peace and renew the nation. The dreams and aspirations that America particularly wanted are the ideas and solutions that Reagan could provide as their Republican candidate.
Throughout the third subdivision, Reagan suggests the people and government will begin to unite more as a group which will facilitate the renewal of a strong economy. Reagan expresses desire for America if they unify, Together, tonight, let us say what so many long to hear: that America is still united, still strong, still compassionate, still clinging fast to the dream of peace and freedom, still willing to stand by those who are persecuted or alone (Reagan, p. 4). He illustrates that the nation is capable of uniting as one and living in harmony with one another. Reagan wants an enduring peace with all other nations without the interference of government. If the federal government and the citizens were to become unified, the safety of the American people would increase as an equilibrium is discovered. Reagan ends this division by bringing concern to the future and the children of America, he believes citizens will make the right choice to improve the vision of the future.
In Reagan’s final subdivision, he travels back in time pointing out many of America’s successors and monuments remaining in remembrance of such great men. The Great men of the past are remembered in America and the people around the nation will always come back to these men who provided hope and freedom. Reagan states, These visitors to that city on the Potomac do not come as white or black, red or yellow; they are not Jews or Christians; conservatives or liberals; or Democrats or Republicans. They are Americans awed by what has gone before, proud of what for them is still…a shining city on a Hill (Reagan, p. 6). At this point all Americans are considered united no matter their different views because of everything the great men of Washington have offered.
Reagan’s Election Eve speech demonstrates the sophistication, intelligence, and great judgement that Reagan beholds. He proposes his ideas for change while providing hope for the citizens and their children. As a presidential candidate, Reagan introduces the nations issues and the need for change in order for society to thrive with government and not be overpowered by them. He offers solutions to the problems that the United States is facing and does so with an ambition for confident change. Reagan concludes his speech with complementary arguments which authorize him to gain the votes of the audience and win their approval.
A Life Of Ronald Reagan
To many, the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, is considered to be one of the greatest presidents who have ever lived. Many even suggested that his face be carved into Mount Rushmore. While most of the United States remembers Reagan as a tremendous leader, others are often skeptical of the amount of credit he has earned for his success while in office.
Critics may question the positive reception that has generally been affiliated with his name, very seldom deny the achievements garnered in both the social and political arena. The admiration and skepticism that Reagan has received could be due to a variety of similar sources. Reagan’s achieving 8 years in office is likely derived from his charismatic and likeable personality, his ability to affectively communicate, and simply being in the right place at the right time.
- 1 Early Life
- 2 The Charismatic Politician
- 3 The Great Communicator
- 4 Overrated or Effective?
Ronald Reagan was born on February 6th, 1911 in Tampico Illinois. At a young age, Reagan witnessed his family economically suffer through the 20th century recession, The Great Depression. Former President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, introduced an economic plan known as The New Deal, which supported Regan’s family through these those trying times. As a result of Reagan’s admiration for President Roosevelt and the poverty that he and his family had endured, he grew up with very progressive political views.
Reagan was raised by a caring mother and an alcoholic father, whose influence played a huge factor on shaping him into who he was as a leader. Due to the trauma that he experienced while growing up in a home with a neglectful and often abusive father; he always strived to maintain a positive outlook in life, even in the most stressful of times. He was very non-confrontational person and his emotional intelligence allowed him to easily get along with others.
Reagan utilized his charismatic personality in many occupational fields he was involved through out his early life. He served in the military during World War 2, but due to his poor eyesight, he spent most of his service acting in American propaganda films. Shortly after the War ended, Reagan was made president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, where he met his wife, Nancy. 3 years after dating, they got married in March of 1952.
He was also a popular actor in Hollywood and eventually signed a contract with Warner Brothers Studios. He played a part in over 50 films, which made his attractive personality highly notable throughout the nation. He was entrenched to the Hollywood lifestyle, which shifted his already progressive views even further left.
As Reagan began to distance himself from the celebrity culture that often accompanies the film industry, his interest in politics began to grow, and his political views seemed to gradually shift further right. Following World War 2, Communism was on the rise. Most conspicuous at the time was the Soviet Union and their adoption of the communist regimes. Theis led to the Cold War and consequently, Reagan developed very anti-communistic views. As the Cold War intensified, so did Reagan’s conservative values, both politically and socially, and officially became a registered Republican in 1962.
The Charismatic Politician
A few years later, Reagan was convinced to run as Governor of California by a few small business owners. He was elected as Governor in 1967 and served 2 terms. His time in state office helped him develop political experience and solidify his political beliefs.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States, defeating the unpopular incumbent, Jimmy Carter. Winning both the popular vote and the Electoral College, he took office in January of 1981. Reagan commenced his time in office with higher favorability ratings than his 3 most recent predecessors, and his go lucky, cheerful personality helped him get along with almost everyone in the White House. He was kind, humorous, inspirational and an eternal optimist. Although Reagan was elected as a Republican, due to his time as a democrat, his views were fairly bi-partisan, which assisted him in working well with Congress and passing his proposed legislation such as his economic plan which was coined the name Reaganonmics.
Reaganomics was President Reagan’s first inaugural domestic priority, where he cut taxes from major cooperations and the upper class, in order for wealth to be distributed down into the middle and lower class, essentially to boost the economy. Although the incorporation of this plan had a rocky start, the economy made a gradual improvement during his tenure in office.
Reagan’s commendable time in office eventually hit an obstacle when an executive political scandal was exposed to the general public. The scandal, known as the Iran-Contra Affair’, took place during Reagan’s 2nd term in office, which involved unelected officials of the Reagan Administration illegally dealing weapons to Iran in hope to release several of United States hostages. Reagan publically claimed that he was unaware of the events that were taken place; nevertheless, this took a toll on his general approval ratings, dropping it from 63% to 47%.
Although Reagan experienced some negative press during his presidency, it is plausible that the results could have been much worse for a president who was not as amiable or trustworthy as Reagan was.
Because of his bi-partisanship, his relationship with those of Congress and in the White House, and his sunny disposition, Reagan was able to receive success in the presidency, despite some unfortunate events that took place, which even may have been out of his spectrum of knowledge.
The Great Communicator
President Reagan was no rookie when it came to addressing the public. After he graduated college, he was a radio announcer for a few different stations and later on became a sports announcer for the Chicago Cubs baseball games. These occupations of course helped him develop an ability to effectively communicate, and his time in Hollywood only strengthened his abilities. Reagan also served as a conservative spokesman for the Barry Goldwater campaign in the 60s. Likewise, his time as Governor of California helped him develop his political communication skills and cognitive abilities.
On January 28th, 1986, 7 astronauts were killed in NASA’s failed space mission known as the Challenger Disaster. This traumatic event came as a shock to many Americans, as many mourned over the fatalities of the NASA crewmembers. For the sake of the unfortunate occurrence, President Reagan postponed his State of the Union address in order to publically reach out to the American people in regards to what had recently taken place. Some of his most impactful words were as stated:
For the families of the seven: we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we’re thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, “Give me a challenge, and I’ll meet it with joy.” They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us. We’ve grown used to wonders in this century. It’s hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We’ve grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we’ve only just begun. We’re still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers (Ronald Reagan).
The words of Reagan struck the hearts of the American people, as he was able to council them in a time of need. His ability to mourn with the American people and provide them with hope created greater confidence between Reagan and his constituents.
Although Reagan was sympathetic towards the American people in many of his addresses, he also had the ability to be witty and humorous. In March of 1981, the newly elected President was shot in his side and wounded by John Hinckley Jr. Although Reagan suffered with a punctured lung and internal bleeding, he was able to maintain his humor during the recovery process, even telling the doctors who were treating him that he hoped they were all Republicans. His humor and optimism was appealing to the American people, and always seemed to know how to make someone laugh, even in the worst of times.
Reagan was also a firm and straight shooter when necessary. During his Presidency, he dealt with several serious issues such as homelessness, abortion, civil rights, and the Cold War. Reagan took a hard stance against the spread of communism and often publically expressed his concern of communist influence in the world. In the first few years of his presidency, he took a rather unyielding approach in attempt to end the Cold War, such as building up the military and even going as far to publically title the Soviet Union as an evil empire. On March of 1983, Reagan addresses the American people regarding the nuclear tension that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union. Some of his most impactful words were as follows:
I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last“last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man (Reagan, 1983).
Reagan did all that was in his political power to educate the citizens of the United States of the evils of communism and fight against the U.S.S.R. However, his aggressive approaches seemed to decrease when Mikail Gorbachev was put into power as the General Secretary of the Soviet Union. Due to the new communist leader, the endurance of the Cold War, and influence from the First Lady, Reagan decided to take a more subtle approach in handling the international contention. He was able to develop a strong and civil relationship with General Gorbachev, which relieved nuclear tension between the 2 countries. Many would argue that the relationship that Reagan and Gorbachev developed played a huge factor in setting the path to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.
Ronald Reagan is remembered was one of the greatest public communicators to take office in the history of the United States. His background as an actor, announcer, spokesperson and politician likely improved and developed his abilities to communicate both politically and casually. It is reasonable to assume that his verbal aptitude helped him push his political agenda as president, as played a crucial part in gaining the trust of the American people and setting a path to the end of the Cold War.
Overrated or Effective?
Reagan experienced an exceptional amount of success while in office. Regardless, many would argue that he has received a lot more credit for his major accomplishments than deserved, and that he is, simply put, and overrated president, and was just in the right place in the right time. So the question remains, is Reagan an overrated president or was he a truly effective and influential leader?
In 1976, shortly after Reagan decided he would not seek reelection as Governor of California, he ran for president against Gerald Ford in the primaries, however, Ford barely succeeded him and advanced to the general election. Jimmy Carter, a democrat from Plains, Georgia, then defeated Ford and became the 39th President of the United States. Jimmy Carter was a president known to have poor managerial skills and organizational capacity. Due to his unpopularity, a Conservative movement began to grow in the United States, and Carter left office with an average approval rating of 45.5%.
Due to the growth in the conservative movement and the low approval rating, this was the perfect opportunity for the highly favorable Reagan to seek reelection. For these reasons was Reagan able to win the general election by a landslide. Winning 489 electoral votes and 50.7% of the popular vote.
One of Reagan’s most crowning achievements was that he was very influential in bringing the Cold War to an end. However many political scientists and politicians would dispute this, arguing that the ending of the healing of United States’ relation with the U.S.S.R. is a result of hard work and diplomacy from the presidents and non-elected officials that proceeded Reagan’s administration.
Additionally, as mentioned previously, Reagan’s first approach to settle relations the Soviet Union was firm and somewhat confrontational, however, this approach did not seem to bring about any success. Within the first half of Reagan’s presidency, 3 of the General Secretaries of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, had passed away consecutively. In March of 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev was made General Secretary of the Soviet Union. It was then that Reagan started to take a more subtle approach on handling the contentious relations between the 2 countries. The positive relationship that Reagan developed with Gorbachev, and Gorbachev’s belief that the U.S.S.R. needed a new political approach, lead to the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was a peace treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union, in which they would eliminate their intermediate range weapons and nuclear forces that served as a potential threat between the 2 countries. In December on 1991, shortly after Reagan left office, the Soviet Union collapsed, granting independence to its citizens.
Given the information provided, it is reasonable to assume that Reagan was just extremely fortunate on how the events played out during his presidency. Although he lost the Republican primaries in 1976, this could be considered an advantage to him. As a result of his defeat in 1976, he ran again in 1980 against an unpopular democratic president during a large Conservative movement, which provided him with populous advantage.
As President, his initial approaches to dissolve nuclear tension with the Soviet Union was unsuccessful, however 2 of their General Secretary’s died within the first half of his time in office. It wasn’t until Gorbachev was the Soviet Leader that Reagan was able to make progress with international relations. It almost is as if he had 3 chances to take the correct approach in handling these relations.
On the other hand, Reagan was a great leader. He was a man with vision, emotional intelligence and extremely effective political skill and ability to communicate. He was able to provide the American people with hope and optimism, while working with Congress to push forward his agenda. Although Reagan may have caught a few lucky breaks when handling the relation with the Soviet Union, he still was able to take the steps to acquire a positive relationship with Gorbachev and learn from his past mistakes.
It is no question that Reagan had several of advantages that helped him obtain success in his presidency, but he was able to take the steps to obtain his success. It is justifiable to believe that President Ronald Reagan receives too much credit for his accomplishments, and that he was simply in the right place at the right time, but it is illegitimate to assume that he was not a successful leader of our nation. With the hypothetical absence of President Regan, the United States would not be where it is today. He, a common man, was able to show the United States that success can be accumulated through our optimism, our methods of communication, and a little bit of luck.
Ronald Reagan’s Impact on American Politics
Ronald Reagan’s Impact on American Politics
Ronald Reagan was undoubtedly one of the most remembered presidents in United States history. Although much of his term in office controversial, Ronald Reagan redefined the purpose of government during the Reagan Revolution, which hardened the conservative agenda for years after he left office. His negotiations with Soviet Union’s Gorbachev at the Reykjavik Summit were the turning point for the Cold War.
Ronald Reagan’s term in office is commonly known as the Reagan Revolution. Within this revolution, the Reagan Boom occurred, which according to the Editors of Congressional Quarterly in U.S. Foreign Policy the Reagan Imprint resulted in 92 consecutive months of economic growth. The fruits of this boom included a 31% increase in gross national product and the creation of 18.4 million jobs by 1990. Reagan lowered taxes but increased the budget from 144 billion dollars in 1980, to the 290 billion dollars by 1988. (Presidents and their Decisions Ronald Reagan.) This raise in budget caused a deficit to the government. Reagan’s philosophy was known as supply-side economics. In theory, if he lowered taxes the American people would spend more as well as save and invest.
Although it is to be believed that Reagan’s policies created one million jobs in one month (https://www.businessinsider.com), that is far from the truth. September 1983 had a massive increase in hired employees, however, the bulk of these employees were returning members from striking against the American Telephone and Telegraph company. So, while Reagan’s policies did create thousands of jobs, it was not as impactful as many believe today. The combined jobs Reagan’s policies created, along with workers going back to work from being on strike, led to the unemployment rate falling from 7.6% to 5.5%. With the average American family’s net worth increasing by 27% annually, more money went back into the economy making it even stronger. Now many Americans could live by the supply-side economic philosophy. Reagan’s policies did not just affect the average white male American either, the employment of African Americans rose more than 25% as well as over half of the jobs created were filled by women. Much of Reagan’s policies, he believed, would be difficult for the economy in the beginning, then in the long run display ample development overall. Reagan’s belief was, by cutting taxes, reducing the size of government, reducing government expenditures equivalent to amounts of taxes being cut, was the best way to attain a stable budget. Though, during his term in office he failed to cut federal spending, he only increased it for his strong-arm maneuvers against the Soviet Union in an arms race.
During his first term, Reagan had one major goal in mind as far as foreign policy, that was to shift the Soviet Union from being a communist nation. Reagan wanted to stop the spread of communism and used the peace through strength strategy to attempt to do so. Reagan expanded the United States Military to the largest it had been in history in a time the United States was not actively in a war. He used the increased budget to enforce the increase in production drastically in nuclear missiles, and to deploy many of them across the West. Reagan also reinstituted the building of the B-1 Bomber and started the production of the MX peacekeeper missile.
Throughout his presidency, Reagan faced much opposition from Congress. For example, Reagan’s eight yearly budget proposals were deemed unworkable and rejected by Congress. Additionally, Congress rejected an amendment that in Reagan’s opinion would permanently prevent the government from accruing more debt. Perhaps stoking opposition, Reagan expressed strong beliefs about the type of people who should serve in Congress. Reagan thought that congressional seats should be filled by those who had to be convinced to serve, rather than people who sought a career in government. Reagan believed that Congress often acted outside the constraints of the U.S. Constitution, which further galvanized his assertion that it be free of career politicians.
Ronald Reagan although having many ideas for reforms and policy ideologies, failed to enact many of them during his presidency. One of which was the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (SART). It was founded in 1982 by Reagan himself, and quickly failed due to the proposition being that the Soviet Union would deplete their arms inventory while the United States continued building inventory. Conversely, a successful and very well-known negotiation between Reagan and Gorbachev involved the agreement that Gorbachev would withdraw most of his nuclear arsenal and troops from Soviet controlled states, while Reagan had to abandon his idea of Star Wars and a space defense program. Both nations would also be reducing the number of nuclear weapons. In 1985 Gorbachev stopped nuclear testing, and deployment of intermediate range missiles.
The few policies that Reagan did get passed by Congress had a lasting impact on the economy. The Economic Tax Recovery Act is a reform put in place by the Reagan administration which implemented a 25% reduction in income taxes over a period of three years. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 simplified the income tax code and provided an incentive for growth in the economy by reducing the maximum rate on an ordinary income while raising tax rates on long term capital gains. Together these two tax acts reduced the maximum federal incomed tax rate to less than half of what it was before Reagan began his term in office.
Another Controversial part of Reagan’s term in office was the fact that he proposed budget cuts for programs including Medicare, child nutrition programs, public service jobs, mental health subsidies, college education benefits, and unemployment compensation, while the First Lady Nancy Reagan bought china for their personal affairs at $2000 a setting. The Reagan’s wanted to cut federal funding for programs of those in need, while dining on luxurious plate ware, along with spending ample amounts of money on clothing accessories and redecorating the White House. The Reagan administration went so far as to declare ketchup as a vegetable for public schools to allow it to cut more funding.
Reagan believed he was helping other nations, as well as setting the United States above other countries by being involved in battles that involved fighting communism. Reagan also believed aid could be used in strengthen the United States relationship with allies. Reagan believed that dollar for dollar, our security assistance contributes as much to global security as our own defense budget. (US Foreign Policy) The Reagan Doctrine sent United States Military over to other countries which were thought to be committing human rights abuses, as well as to aid countries that rejected communism. Reagan’s actions regarding this doctrine are one of many reasons the United States has become an imperialistic nation today.
The Iran Contra affair was an incident that occurred under the Reagan Doctrine which caused much controversy against the Reagan administration. Reagan supplied aid to the anti-communist governments in Central America which were embroiled in civil war in order to gain freedom for the hostages being detained in Lebanon. This was an undisclosed trade agreement that caused pandemonium when it came to light because it appeared the President was assisting terrorists. Once Democrats gained control of Congress they passed the Boland Agreement, discontinuing any additional aid to the Contras in Nicaragua. Reagan’s administration was obligated to admit that it covertly funded the Contras by selling weapons. Not only was this an unlawful exchange, it was also a grave breach on the trade embargo against Nicaragua. Debate continues to this day about whether Reagan knew that he was indeed aiding a terrorist group. Although temporary, the United States lost much credibility because of this affair.
In learning in his second term that the only defensive strategy the US had against a nuclear attack was to retaliate with a nuclear attack, Reagan believed nuclear weapons should be abolished, if both nations being the Soviet Union and United States agreed. Arguably the United States had more technologically advanced and sophisticated weapons than the Soviet Union, even though the Soviet Union spent more money on their defense system. In discovery of the fact that the United States had no defense against nuclear attacks, Reagan created what he called my dream, which was later named the Strategic Defense Initiative. The Strategic Defense Initiative was an idea of a defense element that could take down nuclear missiles before ever reaching their target. This division of defense would be stationed from Space, which is how it got its nickname, Star Wars. Reagan gained confirmation that this was a realistic ideology from the joint chiefs of staff, and once he gained that reassurance that it was practical he preceded to start the funding for such program.
During the time of his leadership of the Soviet Union, Mikael Gorbachev sought out communications and negotiations with the United States. The first meeting was held in Geneva, and the two leaders were able to make a civil relationship unlike many leaders of the opposing countries before them. The Geneva Summit established rapport between the two leaders and allowed them to realize that they both were interested in the reduction of nuclear weapons. They could not reach an agreement during this summit because Reagan would not budge on his development of the Strategic Defense Initiative.
The second meeting took place in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 11 October 1986. Many proposals were put on the table that day. Gorbachev proposed for the immediate elimination of half of each country’s supply of strategic nuclear weapons, as well as the complete abolition of all intermediate range missiles in Europe. Gorbachev also proposed the need of Reagan to eliminate the request of USSR removing all its missiles from Asian territory. Gorbachev wanted both sides to promise to follow all rules of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and was willing to agree to allow the United States to research and test on the ideology of anti-ballistic defense projects, if it took place within laboratories. Reagan himself knew these were better proposals then he could have ever hoped for, but standing his ground was a tactic used by Reagan in hopes to not have to make a compromise. Reagan showed no emotions towards these proposals and instead brought up several matters such as the USSR having the option to take the situation and turn it around by relocating Asian based intermediate range nuclear missiles and relocate them to western Europe. Reagan requested to follow a very vague perception of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty but gave his word to share any findings and success in the Strategic Defense Initiative, as well as promising that the United States would only deploy SDI once all nuclear weapons had been abolished. Reagan ensured that the United States would not make a first strike by nuclear missiles. The proposals are said to be The best Soviet Union offer in a quarter of a century. (213)
Despite agreements reached that half of the nuclear missiles were to be destroyed, there was much argument over the issues of SDI. On the second day in Reykjavik the proposals made by Gorbachev included asking for one hundred warheads to be left in Asia, requesting both countries follow the Anti-Missile Treaty for a period of ten years, and ensured the goodwill of the USSR by proposing that lab-based research on SDI was agreed upon. Reagan argued that fact and insisted that the entire purpose of SDI was to make the need for such treaty disappear. Reagan believed that the Strategic Defense Initiative was the best chance of ridding the world of those weapons.(RR) Both parties were set in their ways and could not reach a compromise. Reagan started bringing up irrelevant issues such as the long-term grain agreement and asked why the USSR had not fulfilled the purchase agreement.
The final proposal by Gorbachev showed that he indeed wanted to find a middle ground for agreement. He proposed the limitation of research, testing, and development of SDI meet the guidelines of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty for a minimum of five years. Gorbachev proposed the abolishment of half of each country’s nuclear weapons if it was done parallel to one another, with the understanding that all nuclear weapons be eliminated in ten years. Reagan came back to this proposal with the request that America, at the ten-year mark, would be allowed to deploy Strategic Defense Initiative. At this point it became a standstill and neither party was offering any more proposals. Reagan misunderstood Soviet’s rejection to SDI, and Gorbachev didn’t understand why America needed SDI after ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Gorbachev had ideas of the next president changing any treaties or agreements made between them, while Reagan warned that another leader could develop nuclear weapons. Although both parties agreed on nuclear missile abolishment, they could not agree on the SDI, and left under the impression they would not meet again. This was a turning point for the Cold War.
The directness of Gorbachev surprised Reagan but did not delay Reagan’s quick response time to such matters. There were numerous meetings between Gorbachev and Reagan, many of which caused controversy among the American people. The Soviet Union and the United States spent many years competing in an arms race against each other, the United States outspent the Soviet Union and ultimately won the race. This amount of spending caused much tension between Reagan and Congress throughout the bulk of his presidency. President Reagan, and Mikael Gorbachev met on many different occasions in attempt to put an end to such a race. During one of the meetings Ronald Reagan walked out without agreeing or signing any type of treaty due to Mikael Gorbachev insisting Reagan give up and stop all funding of the Strategic Defense Initiative. This put the American people in a turmoil and panic, with the thought that the Soviet Union were going to drop missiles, and atomic bombs on the United States.
While much controversy during his time in office as with any leader, Reagan overall made much progress in foreign affairs. In developing a relationship with Soviet Union’s Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Reagan had a significant impact on the ending of the Cold War. The many negotiations held between Reagan and Gorbachev opened the communication door between the United States and the Soviet Union and led to the abolishment of many nuclear weapons held in both countries. Ronald Reagan redefined the purpose of government through his policies and tactics during his two-term presidency. Reagan’s negotiations with The Soviet Union’s leader Gorbachev at Geneva Summit were the turning point in the Cold War and opened the door for the reduction in nuclear arms.
The Presidency Of Ronald Reagan
From Hollywood actor to Governor and finally the 40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan was a Republican with a charismatic style that help both domestically and foreign. Reagan a Democrat in his young days was an admirer of President Franklin Roosevelt because his father had found work in the New Deal Office. Reagan took over office after defeating one term President Jimmy Carter who like Reagan was also a Washington outsider that became President.
In the 1980s going against Carter, Reagan ran on the ideas of increasing the military spending, cutting taxes, balancing the budget, and banning abortion. Reagan and his administration changed the presidency, set examples for future presidents, and became a dominant figure that presidents today talk about his footsteps. In this research I will be looking into the structure of the Reagan administration and how he used his powers to accomplish the things he had set forth in his agenda.
In the administration Reagan would allow the people working inside of it to do there job. Many called it the hands-off approach because Reagan wanted to delegate a lot and he did that with his Chief of Staff because he was only interested in the outcomes and did not want to be bothered with details. Reagan’s hands-off approach frustrated his administration because it didn’t give the staff the policy guidance. I don’t believe a chief executive should supervise every detail of what goes on in his organization. The chief executive should set broad policy and general ground rules, tell people what he or she wants them to do, then let them do it… Set clear goals and appoint good people to help you achieve them. As long as they are doing what you have in mind, don’t interfere, but if somebody drops the ball, intervene and make a change. The president had an agenda and many top advisors at this time, but the ones that were Reagan’s go to guys to really push the agenda were three men known as The Troika they were Edwin Meese, James Baker, and Michael Deaver. Reagan’s first counselor Meese was someone that had a lot of expectations to push Reagan’s agenda because they were so close from running his campaign, running the transition team and his governor’s office. Meese had power on foreign and domestic policy and fully joined and participated in cabinet meetings. In his first term with Reagan, Meese was highly relied on being given charge of coordination and supervision of the domestic policy staff and the National Security Council. Messe was seen as more conservative than Reagan and may have wanted to push some of his own agenda. It seems as Meese would be given the chief of staff title but there was a lot of distrust between his staff and Reagan’s’ other adviser Baker was given the Chief of Staff and like Meese had over the domestic policy, Baker had that power over the White House staff. Baker was the saler and he was able to get some of the agenda through congress. Deaver had also been with Reagan sine his governor days. He was seen as a son to the Reagan’s and was given the title deputy chief of staff because of his lack of charm that couldn’t get to the public. Deaver also had the closet office to Reagan and had easy access to him, Deaver says that I always felt it was my responsibility to tell Reagan when I thought he was wrong. As we know presidents have a busy job and we wonder how they get to spend time with their family, unlike Meese and Baker, Deaver had a close connection to the East Wing with the First Lady he would talk to Nancy about Ronald that was she could keep up with him. Collectively you could say the troika was Reagan’s chief of staff as a group. Dick Wirthlin, Reagan’s pollster and strategist had explained in his memoir that at sometimes Reagan didn’t know what was going on in the White House, he would tell the staff his agenda and he wanted the staff to get it done in the best way. In the administration’s first term Wirthlin did a poll and more than have of people who respond thought the troika made the big decisions in the White House.
Things wouldn’t stay the same for long. During Reagan’s second term he had a shift in his administration Donald Regan who was Reagan’s Treasury Secretary in his first term became his chief of staff and Baker the chief of staff became the Treasury Secretary. But this was not decided by Reagan but by the troika and Nancy Reagan. Regan wanted to change the style of the White House when he came into office, he wanted too reduce collegiality because he thought it should be a hierarchy. Regan didn’t allow access to Reagan and treated Reagan as the only person he would listen too. Regan was a Marine and CEO of Merrill Lynch, he used that training and style of his life into the White House. A former coworker of Regan had said His weakness is that his ego was so strong he did not pick good subordinates. Or if they were, he broke them. He couldn’t stand the competition. I’m a Marine so I know from that, that Regan was taught to have a strong ego and to think of being better than everyone else and that’s why he had a strong ego and didn’t want competition in his way. But his ego caused people to leave the White House, Regan wanted to be known when it was time for accomplishments and in big pictures and when it came to times of trouble he would push the blame on the president and this caused Reagan to ask for his resignation in 1987. Reagan gave the chief of staff job to Howard Baker who was a former senator in order to get back into good terms with congress that Regan had caused tensions with.
During most of Reagan’s administration he had shifts as who controlled the Senate between Democrats and Republicans but in the House side during his entire administration it was controlled by Democrats. Reagan would have to work with Congress in order to fulfill his agenda and get things passed. After defeating Jimmy Carter by a landslide in electoral votes and coming in with a hostage crisis, the Democrats were willing to work with Reagan. Reagan used his charm to work with Congress and people wouldn’t challenge to vote against him at this time either. Reagan used what Fred Greenstein called the hidden-hand leadership by having member’s constituents call first, then White House staff, and eventually the president himself to pressure them. The economy was in a mess at this time and Reagan had the Senate to back him he just needed the House which was controlled by Democrats to help him pass his economic plan. Southern Democrats known as the Boll Weevils were blocking these efforts, the president decide to go public to get to them by making formal addresses to the nation and informal remarks to the media. After lobbying by the Reagan administration they finally got to Democrats to vote with them and pass a new fiscal plan but it took efforts by the president himself to get them fully on board by direct phone call and telegraph. Reagan was able to push and get passed the largest spending cuts in history, largest tax cut, and largest military peacetime expansion. All this came early in the administration by efforts from the White House and the president himself but it would decline slowly after the shift in the administration and lack of relationship the second term of the administration had with congress. In the end they had seen Reagan as the lame-duck president and congress knew he wouldn’t be able to get much done.
Ronald Reagan came out as a very successful president mainly from his first term. He was able to rely on the Troika and a sometimes used the power of his office in order to really push his agenda. But the shift in his administration caused a downfall for him and his administration and decline in relationship with Congress caused a bump in his presidency that he tried to fix near the end by shift his administration back to one that could work with Congress and it ultimately helped a bit because it allowed his Vice President George H.W. Bush to follow in his steps and win the presidency after Reagan’s term came to an end.
Ronald Reagan VS Richard Nixon
After Reagan’s inauguration, two months later, there was an assassination attempt. Though the bullet passed through on of Reagan’s lungs, just 7-8 weeks later he was working again. Reagan’s first acts as president were focused on the domestic issues such as working to reduce the government’s control of the people’s daily lives and their money.
He also made tax cuts that were known as Reaganomics. Though Reagan reduced taxes, he increased the spending on military armaments. He was fixated on making the United States a respectable power house. Another of his domestic changes was his work to deregulate the workings of businesses. Though at first the people had thought that the tax cuts Reagan had made were beneficial, the public soon found the flaw of Reaganomics. The flaw being that it created budget deficits and added to a significant amount of national debt. Another of its flaws was that its policies were in what would seem to have been a trickle effect, meaning that the public would receive benefits a lot slower than they had originally imagined.
These flaws became one of Reagan’s failures as a President. Reagan impacted history in 1981, when he appointed the first woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor. Reagan’s major failure as a president consisted of three things: The mistake to send Marines to Lebanon resulting in 241 casualties, the amount of money that he had thrusted into the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union during the Cold War resulting in increasing the National Debt, and the shady incident in which Reagan had been thought to have negotiated with Iran the trade of weapons for hostages.
Richard Nixon is one of the most negatively iconic presidents in U.S. history. This was because the public viewed him as a crook for his participation in illegal activities and his almost impeachment. Nixon was the 37th president of the United States and he will be remembered only as a criminal. Born on January 9th, 1913 in Yorba Linda, California, Richard Nixon was one of five siblings. Nixon grew up with anger towards his working circumstances and had a very heavy sense of ambition. Nixon attended Whittier College, where he was elected student president. In 1934, Nixon graduated and went on to earn a law degree from Duke. After his time in college Nixon returned to California where he began working as an attorney.
Richard Nixon married in 1940 to Thelma Ryan and ended up having two children, Patricia and Julie. When World War II started he joined the Navy, where he served as operational officer in the Pacific Ocean. After World War II, Ricard Nixon began down the path of his political career. This started after he beat a Democrat for representation of California in the United States House of Representatives. He served on the HUAC and rose to political spotlight through a investigation concerning Alger Hiss. Nixon worried some people with his conflicts on Communism and other political adversaries, but the Republicans started to like him more. He received his nomination to the vice presidency in 1952. This campaign was the beginning of Nixon’s reputation as a criminal, for his campaign was thought to have been gifted to him by industrial lobbyists.
Nixon was elected as the vice president in 1952. During his time in the vice presidency, Eisenhower (the president at the time) suffered from many different illnesses including a stroke. This enabled Nixon to be able to make calls in Eisenhower’s place and this occurred many times. To this affect a bill was passed in order to increase the vice president’s power in times that the president can’t make decisions.
Who Is Ronald Reagan?
Ronald Wilson Reagan was born February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois to Edward and Nelle Reagan (History.com Staff, 2009). Reagan grew up with his entire life spent in Illinois and attended Eureka College (History.com Staff, 2009). As a young adult Reagan had Democratic views, campaigning for Democratic candidates.
As time passed his views became more conservative and by the 1960’s he was officially a Republican (History.com Staff, 2009). In the mid 1960’s, Reagan set out for his first race in public office, running for the Governor of California. He was elected governor from 1967 to 1975, serving two terms (History.com Staff, 2009). Shortly after, Reagan was elected the 40th United States President in 1981, winning against President Jimmy Carter (History.com Staff, 2009). Reagan ended up serving two terms as President, ending his presidency in 1989. During this time, he was often referred to as the Great Communicator (History.com Staff, 2009). The major events that impacted Reagan’s presidency were his ability to cut taxes (known as Reaganomics) to reduce the impact the federal government had on American’s pocketbooks, increase defense spending by building up U.S. weapons and troops, and he negotiated a nuclear arms reduction agreement which resulted in a quicker end to the Cold War (History.com Staff, 2009).
- 1 Who is Ronald Reagan
- 2 Historical Conditions Surrounding His Leadership
- 3 Weakness and Criticism
- 4 Impact on Americas
Who is Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan was known to be a man of optimism, amiability, graciousness, and a remarkable politician. He was able to connect with the average middle-class citizen, which was not an ability all presidents and leaders had. His ability to do this eventually earned him the title of the Great Communicator (Procon.org, 2018). He had previous experience with radio, television, film, advertising and public relations. It was an era in which politics focused on media and images, attracting more public appeal (Raphael, 2009). In the end, this was great for Reagan’s own character and image. It gave him the ability to exploit his political authority. In his inaugural speech, he focused on government being the problem rather than the solution. This was somewhat appealing or pleasing to the people of the United States. He presented the concept of a new revival to the America’s and picking up what was left behind from the previous administration. And while he was a republican, Reagan was popular with conservatives as he lacked the political baggage of a being part of a discredited Washington establishment (Cannon, 2018). He had a comprehensive vision with clear direction. He believed in law and order, he had a willingness about him, and he was open to compromise knowing that he would not abandon his ideas of certainty and confidence.
Historical Conditions Surrounding His Leadership
Prior to Reagan stepping into the political spotlight and announcing his candidacy for president, people did not understand his principles, power, or political skills. He was entering a time when the winds of change were blowing in the direction of conservatives (Cannon, 2018). The New Deal coalition that was brought about by President Roosevelt in the 1930’s was still the dominant political movement, but was unraveling as time passed, especially during the Vietnam War (Cannon, 2018). Although, even after the Vietnam War had seized, the United States global power was still waning (Drury, 2014). In the midst of all this, there was an oil shortage that was depressing the economy and Iran government was holding 52 Americans hostage (Drury, 2014). There were multiple reasons for the people of the United States to doubt the security and strength of their own nation but yet they had faith in Reagan to turn our country around.
Weakness and Criticism
Throughout Reagan’s presidency, he experienced many criticisms from the American people. Often these weaknesses or criticisms are better remembered than his successes. During Reagan’s presidency and even after his death, his weaknesses and criticisms are recognized by the people of today. Reagan’s economic strategy (Reaganomics) was not well looked upon, despite his intention being to decrease the amount of money that was taken out of the people’s pockets. His tax reductions and the tightening of interest rates led to a period of economic growth, but they were also accompanied by a record-breaking growth in the national debt, the federal budget deficit and the trade deficit (Cannon, 2018). While this is true, the increase in the debts and deficits of this time were likely due to the massive increase in military spending that Reagan was doing to help strengthen the United States Military, increasing the military spending by 7.2 million dollars (Kleinknecht, 2010). Once the military was well-defined, the increased spending declined and thus the federal budget deficit and national debt decreased. In terms of the tax cuts implemented, they did not produce the additional revenues that were predicted.
Aside from the economic standpoint, Reagan also received some criticism surrounding his priorities in terms of the AIDS epidemic, civil rights, and unions. Reagan was not very responsive to the AIDS epidemic in terms of leadership. The disease which was first reported in 1981 by the Centers for Disease Control, however, President Reagan did not make public comment on the AIDS epidemic until 1987, 6 years later (Toner & Pear, 2004). This significant delay thwarted the research and education that was needed on this subject which was detrimental to the American people in understanding what this disease was and how it could be prevented. Reagan was also known for decreasing health, education, and social welfare programs. A total of 41.4 million dollars were cut from these programs resulting in 400,000 households being removed from food stamps alone (Kleinknecht, 2010). It has been said that Reagan broke the New Deal notion that government could — and should — be an instrument of social equity (Toner & Pear, 2004). Regan thought that the poor and middle-class societies were better served by his ideas of economic growth than with government programs. This arrogance, so to speak, gave him a reputation for being a mean spirited individual rather than the caring individual he portrayed himself to be. In the midst, of these cuts, Reagan wanted to make a positive impact on the environment. However, the people of the United States fought back stating that people without jobs, houses, income, support, etc. could not very well support a healthy environment without these vital necessities in life (Troy, 2005).
Similarly, his policies on civil rights were not well thought of. He vetoed to extend the reach of civil rights laws in 1988 as he thought it was unnecessary to expand the power of the federal government (Toner & Pear, 2004). This, however, should have not been surprising given the low number of black individuals that voted for him both in 1980 (11 percent) and in 1984 (9 percent) (Toner & Pear, 2004).
As noted previously, shortly upon entering his presidency there were American hostages in Iran. His tactic to free the Americans was to trade arms with Iran. In his efforts do this he received much criticism noting that he violated the Arms Export Act as well as the Hughes-Ryan Act of 1974. He was going against or neglecting the American Constitution, knowing that this did not fit with his own convictions and beliefs. He had to use negotiating tactics that were not typical in order to keep peace. Even so, he was viewed upon by the public as bargaining with a terrorist (Pfiffner, 2013). He ultimately broke his own vow to not make deals with terrorists, although, we would come to find that it would be of benefit to the United States.
Impact on Americas
Regan received many criticisms throughout his presidency. However, we must not forget what he contributed to the United States and the impact that he had. While much of his tax efforts were criticized, specifically his economic tactic, Reaganomics, it was very successful in many aspects. Reagan was able to reduce the inflation rate from 12.5 percent to 3.9 percent and was able to decrease interest rates from an astounding 21.5 percent to 3.9 percent (Siracusa & Coleman, 2002). He also succeeded in reducing the marginal income tax rate which was 70 percent when he took office after the Carter administration to a staggeringly low 28 percent when he left office (Cannon, 2018). These efforts and successes were key in creating a stronger economy. He proved that decreasing tax rates results in stimulated economic growth, activity, and boosts tax revenues with the government revenue income tax rising from $244 billion in 1980 to $446 billion in 1989 (Procon.org, 2018). Reagan’s economic strategy also resulted in a 7.5 year long (1982-1990) economic boom with expansion in the gross domestic product (GDP), increased employment opportunities, and the stock market averages increasing. While he was criticized for cutting education and health programs, he did make positive changes as well. He increased the budget for the Department of Education by $6 billion dollars over the course of a 3-year time span and signed the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), which is still in effect today (Procon.org, 2018).
From a military and foreign policy perspective, he was also successful, despite the criticisms in terms of breaking the constitution. He did view the Soviet Union as an evil empire and ordered for the wall of communism to be tore down, but even so, he did have a good relationship with their leader, Mikhail Gorbachev (Drury, 2014). He even at some point considered his relationship with the Soviet Union as the center of foreign policy. It was his opportunity to work towards nuclear safety and close the window of vulnerability (Siracusa & Coleman, 2002). While in negotiations with the Soviet Union, there were approximately 700,000 people that rallied against nuclear weapons (Troy, 2005). He presented the United States as a country that was a steadfast to terrorists and communism. He increased defense spending in order to increase our country’s defensive power but was the first president to agree to an arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union (Drury, 2014). Despite the rallies and his firm stance, it did not result in a reduction of nuclear weapons. Although, with his strong relationship and negotiating abilities with Mikhail Gorbachev, he was able to reduce the Cold War tensions that ultimately ended the war sooner than it may have otherwise. He strived to keep his promise of negotiating peace and fostering a changed political idealism by better defining national security measures and ensuring more opportunities for peace between countries that would last through time. The Reagan administration also funded research and development of weapons systems such as stealth technology and precision weaponry (Procon.org, 2018). This was one of his greatest defense hypes costing $1.5 trillion over a period of 5 years (Siracusa & Coleman, 2002). This effort resulted in larger training facilities, military pay increases, and even helped to revitalize the military after the Vietnam War.
In 1982, he implemented the War on Drugs that helped to decrease the casual drug use that was also lingering from the previous administration. He increased the funding for this program from $1.5 billion in 1981 to $2.75 billion in 1986 (Procon.org, 2018). In addition to this, he also signed multiple executive orders related to crime and justice including the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, Nation Narcotics Leadership Act of 1984, Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and 1988.
There is really a lot to be said about Reagan’s presidency that cannot be possibly covered in this short paper. He was a highly criticized president but did make positive changes in our country that have left a legacy. The take away is that every president and/or leader will have strengths and weaknesses, even making errors. But even so, we need to look at the tools and resources that were provided and political and economic climates that are at hand. Reagan was able to restore the confidence of the American people through many of his speeches, but more so by his actions. Reagan truly is a political legacy that has had successors following in his footsteps since he first stepped foot as president into the White House.
Rivarly Between Ronald Reagan And Richard Nixon
Ronald Reagan vs Richard Nixon
Ronald Reagan has been respected as a standout amongst the best and famous leaders of the United States. He was the 40th President of the United States and was additionally the most seasoned to have at any point been chosen into office at 69 years old. Ronald Reagan was conceived in Tampico, Illinois on February sixth, 1911.
He experienced childhood in Dixon, Illinois since his family moved around the territory of Illinois as his dad more than once exchanged occupations. He moved on from Dixon High School and went to learn at Eureka College. There, he played football, track, was a commander on the swim group and filled in as understudy board president. He graduated in 1932 and started to fill in as a radio games commentator. While he was working in South Carolina, Reagan completed a screen test for Warner Brothers. The studio gave him an agreement and he went ahead to star in numerous motion pictures. He wedded in 1940 to performing artist Jane Wyman and had two children, Maureen and Michael. In 1948, they separated. Reagan is the main leader of the US that has ever been separated.
In 1952, Reagan wedded performer Nancy Davis and they likewise had two youngsters, Patricia and Ronald. Backpedaling to World War II, Reagan had been precluded from battle since he had awful visual perception. He invested whatever is left of his energy in the Army making preparing recordings for the troops. Presently in light of the fact that he didn’t get the endorsement for battle, Reagan went ahead to star in publicity films that extremely edged on the battle against socialism and the war. Through 1947 “ 1952 and 19591960, Reagan filled in as the leader of the Screen Actors Guild. While he was serving, he affirmed before the HUAC or the House Un-American Activities Committee. The declaration involved the examination of performing artists scheming with communists and taking part in radical exercises. In spite of the fact that Reagan declined to name names before the HUAC, numerous trust that he did as such secretly outside of general society eye. Amid the traverse of 19541962, Reagan facilitated a week after week TV program called “The General Electric Theater”. He always voyaged everywhere throughout the Unites States as an advertising rep for GE (General Electric).
He gave business converses with the everyday citizens and laborers where he stood up on subjects, for example, the legislature having excessively control and inefficient spending of cash. Those subjects were to be later known as the numerous things that Reagan would center around amid his administration. Reagan amid his more youthful years was known to be a Democrat and battled for the Democratic competitors yet he later developed more moderate and in the long run joined the Republican party in the mid 1960s. In 1964, Reagan came into the political world after he put forth a strong effort, surely understood discourse for the crusade of the Republican applicant Barry Goldwater. In two years, he would overcome Democrat Edmund Brown Sr. in the race for legislative leader of California by around a million votes. He got re-chose in 1970 for a moment term. In 1968 and 1976, Reagan unsuccessfully had relations with for the Republican presidential selection. In spite of the fact that in 1980, Reagan got the endorsement of his gathering.
That year, in the general race Reagan kept running against President Jimmy Carter. Reagan won the race by a discretionary edge of 489-49 by a 51% of the prevalent vote. After Reagan’s introduction, after two months, there was a death endeavor. Despite the fact that the shot went through on of Reagan’s lungs, only 7 two months after the fact he was working once more. Reagan’s first goes about as president were centered around the local issues, for example, attempting to decrease the administration’s control of the general population’s day by day lives and their cash. He likewise made tax breaks that were known as “Reaganomics”. Despite the fact that Reagan decreased duties, he expanded the spending on military deadly implements. He was focused on making the United States a respectable power house. Another of his household changes was his work to deregulate the workings of organizations. In spite of the fact that at first the general population had suspected that the tax breaks Reagan had made were gainful, the general population soon found the blemish of Reaganomics. The imperfection being that it made spending deficiencies and added to a lot of national obligation.
Another of its defects was that its arrangements were in what might appear to have been a stream impact, implying that people in general would get benefits a considerable measure slower than they had initially envisioned. These defects wound up one of Reagan’s disappointments as a President. Reagan affected history in 1981, when he selected the principal lady to the U.S. Incomparable Court, Sandra Day O’Connor. Reagan’s significant disappointment as a president comprised of three things: The mix-up to send Marines to Lebanon bringing about 241 setbacks, the measure of cash that he had thrusted into the atomic weapons contest with the Soviet Union amid the Cold War bringing about expanding the National Debt, and the shady occurrence in which Reagan had been thought to have consulted with Iran the exchange of weapons for prisoners. Richard Nixon is a standout amongst the most contrarily notable presidents in U.S. history. This was on account of people in general saw him as a criminal for his interest in unlawful exercises and his nearly reprimand.
Nixon was the 37th leader of the United States and he will be recalled just as a criminal. Conceived on January ninth, 1913 in Yorba Linda, California, Richard Nixon was one of five kin. Nixon grew up with outrage towards his working conditions and had an overwhelming feeling of aspiration. Nixon went to Whittier College, where he was chosen understudy president. In 1934, Nixon graduated and went ahead to gain a law degree from Duke. After his opportunity in school Nixon came back to California where he started filling in as a lawyer. Richard Nixon wedded in 1940 to Thelma Ryan and wound up having two kids, Patricia and Julie. At the point when World War II began he joined the Navy, where he filled in as operational officer in the Pacific Ocean. After World War II, Ricard Nixon started down the way of his political vocation. This began after he beat a Democrat for portrayal of California in the United States House of Representatives. He served on the HUAC and rose to political spotlight through an examination concerning Alger Hiss.
Nixon stressed a few people with his contentions on Communism and other political enemies, yet the Republicans began to like him more. He got his assignment to the bad habit administration in 1952. This crusade was the start of Nixon’s notoriety for being a criminal, for his battle was thought to have been skilled to him by mechanical lobbyists. Nixon was chosen as the VP in 1952. Amid his opportunity in the bad habit administration, Eisenhower (the president at the time) experienced a wide range of sicknesses including a stroke. This empowered Nixon to have the capacity to make brings in Eisenhower’s place and this happened ordinarily. To this influence a bill was passed to expand the VP’s energy in times that the president can’t decide. In the wake of losing to JFK in the 1960 Presidential Election, Nixon came back to California. In 1962, Nixon likewise lost to Pat Brown for the administration.
On January twentieth, 1969, Nixon’s initiation address was held, and he turned into the 37th president. Nixon’s first arrangements that he presented were for local issues, for example, the “New Freedom” arrangement, which was an integration demonstration. It was effective when actualized and by 1970 more dark kids started going to blended schools. Just around 18% of the past 70% were all the while going to every dark school. Another issue that Nixon had started to address was the female work drive and sexual victimization of ladies. He made numerous female arrangements and he additionally made the “Presidential Task Force on Women’s Rights”. This team would bring the Dept. of Justice sexual separation cases and add rules to the government courts around the Nation.
Biography Of Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan was born in Tampico Illinois in 1911. Ronald Reagan graduated from Eureka College in 1932. He was governor of California from 1967 to 1975. Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, he was the 40th president. He completed his two terms in 1989. Ronald Reagan died on June fifth 2004. (Wikipedia.org Ronald Reagan)
Ronald Reagan was born on February 6th 1911 in Tampico Illinois to John and Nelle Reagan. His nickname was Dutch because of his haircut. During his childhood he lived in many places throughout the state of Illinois including Chicago. (Encyclopedia of presidents – Ronald Reagan)
Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois. He majored in sociology and economics, but had a C average. He also participated in many school sports and activities. (whitehouse.gov) Ronald Reagan graduated from Eureka in 1932 when he was 21. He then became an actor and acted in several movies. He was in the army reserves during World War II. Reagan became a politician later in his life. He was a democrat but became a republican, when he started politics. Ronald Reagan became recognized as a political figure by supporting republican politicians in their candidacies. He was married to Nancy Reagan in 1952. Reagan was governor of California from 1967 to 1975. (Encyclopedia of presidents – Ronald Reagan)
Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1980. His campaign slogan was Let’s Make America Great Again. His running mate was George H.W. Bush. Reagan won up against Jimmy Carter. He received 43,903,230 of the popular vote and 489 of the electoral votes. (Wikipedia.org) on March 30th 1981 he was shot in an attempted assassination by John Hinckley J.R., but made a full recovery. During Ronald Reagan’s first term as president he did many things. He lowered income taxes and reduced the unemployment rate. He decreased spending on government welfare programs and increased military spending because he believed that the United States needed a better and stronger military. Reagan was very anti – communist and disliked the idea of the Soviet Union. The Supreme Court justices he appointed were Antonin Scalia, Sandra O’Connor, who was the first woman to be in the Supreme Court, and Anthony Kennedy (Britannica.com). Ronald Reagan ran for president again in 1984. His running mate was the same as before, George H.W. Bush. He ran against Walter Mondale. Reagan received 54,455,472 of the popular vote and 525 electoral votes. He also did many things during his second term. Ronald Reagan talked about nuclear weapons with the Soviet Union and made an agreement to cut down on nuclear arsenals. In 1986 he signed a bill to start a war on drugs, which reduced drug use in teenagers. Also in 1986 he delivered a very important speech after the space shuttle challenger disaster where seven people were killed.(Wikipedia.org)
After finishing his second term Ronald Reagan moved to Los Angeles, California. In 1994 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It was difficult for him to communicate. Ronald Reagan suffered through the disease for ten years. He died on June fifth 2004 in Los Angeles, California.(Brittanica.org)
Ronald Reagan was born to John and Nelle Reagan. He became an actor and later a politician. He served two terms as president of the United States. Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and passed away ten years later.