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Dusty Lee Laughery 11/14/18

Dusty Lee Laughery 11/14/18


Period 2

Wesley Heckman

Presidential Essay

Ronald Reagan, originally an American actor and politician, became the 40th President of the United States serving from 1981 to 1989 as a double term. His term saw a restoration of prosperity at home, with the goal of achieving “peace through strength” a big but understandable slang that had tons of other great things that boosted that slang that helped him be remembered as such a good president. The president had a vast vision for the nation he is represented for and in which he carried out this vision to the fullest way possible that he could. His plans were not perfect however, but he did far better than most that had the seat in previous and future of all presidents. He did his best and for the few faults he did he majorly regretted them. Reagan had a clear social, economic, and foreign policy agenda, and with political guile and personal persuasiveness he was able to achieve many of his goals allowing his bison to be brought to life.Overall, He left the country better than he found it, better then some presidents. We can better understand the presidency of Ronald Reagan by looking at his early life, major decisions, and legacy that impacts the U.S even today.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois, to Edward “Jack” Reagan a shoe salesman, and Nelle Wilson Reagan. He also has older brother named Neil Reagan, that resided in an apartment that lacked indoor plumbing and running water. While his family lived in a series of Illinois towns as his father switched sales jobs constantly, then finally settled in Dixon, Illinois, in 1920. Only 8 years later, Reagan graduated from Dixon High School, where he was an athlete, student body president and performed in school plays. During summer vacations, he worked as a lifeguard in Dixon. Reagan went on to attend Eureka College in Illinois, where he played multiple sports from footballto swimming, served as student council president, and acted in school productions like he did in his high school days practically. After graduating in 1932, he worked as a radio sports announcer in Iowa.

In 1937, while in Southern California to cover the Chicago Cubs’ spring training season, Ronald Reagan did a screen test for the Warner Brothers movie studio.Over the next three

decades he appeared in more than 50 movies. Among his best-known roles was that of Notre Dame football star George Gipp in the 1940.In 1940 also, Reagan married actress Jane Wyman (1917-2007), with whom he had daughter Maureen (1941-2001) and an adopted son, Michael (1945-). The couple divorced in 1948. In 1952, he married actress Nancy Davis (1921-). The pair had two children, Patricia (1952-) and Ronald (1958-).

In his younger years, Ronald Reagan was a member of the Democratic Party and campaigned for Democratic candidates; however, his views grew more conservative over time, and in the early 1960s he officially became a Republican. In foreign affairs, Ronald Reagan’s first term in office was marked by a massive buildup of U.S. weapons and troops, as well as an escalation of the Cold War (1946-1991) with the Soviet Union, that the present hated. The main key to his administration’s foreign policy initiatives was the Reagan Doctrine, under which America provided aid to anti communist movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 1983, Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a plan to develop space-based weapons to protect America from attacks by Soviet nuclear missiles.

One of the best strategies that he is known for is his Cold War strategy, which was well established in his first year in office, did not change to make absolutely sure in the minds of the Soviets that they too would be destroyed in a nuclear war even Reagan sought an alternative through strategic defense to make nuclear missiles obsolete and thus eliminate the possibility of an all-out nuclear war.

In November 1994, Reagan revealed in a handwritten letter to the American people that he had been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Nearly a decade later, on June 5, 2004, he died at his Los Angeles home at age 93.The legacy this legendary man proves to us United States citizens even to today is quite great. There has been more Republicans in Congress than there ever were during Reagan’s lifetime. In the 2008 contest for the Republican presidential nomination, virtually all the candidates proclaimed that they would follow in Reagan’s footsteps. This man had done so many things in his life time to help America it’s hard to keep track of every single one.

The major most prominent thing that this man made and touched was “The Reagan Doctrine” which is a true revolutionary policy. It proclaims that the future belongs to democracy, not to Soviet-imposed dictatorships. Now rather than being on the retreat, as they were in the 1970s, the world’s democracies are now on the offensive. This is a marvelous legacy for Reagan to leave. As his eighth Big legacy, Reagan has ended the so-called Brezhnev Doctrine. Now for two decades, we in the U.S., in the West, and in Asia were told by Moscow that the global correlation of forces had shifted in the Soviet favor and that this shift was permanent. We often believed this. This, in effect, is what the Brezhnev Doctrine was proclaiming which is that once a country joins the Soviet camp, it must remain forever in the Soviet camp. The most dramatic example of this, of course, was the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia twentyish years ago which we often believed the Brezhnev Doctrine. It seemed that it would be impossible for a nation to leave the Soviet camp. This however, the President Ronald Reagan had said

nonsense. This is the meaning of the Reagan Doctrine and this is the meaning of Grenada, Angola, Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Nicaragua. The message here is that the Soviets are not invincible. And the reality here is that Moscow has been on the retreat. With this legacy, Reagan has reversed the momentum of a full generation.

Reagan taught us that there is a hero of economic growth and that is the entrepreneur. This is someone who undertakes to do something in French but when translated into the American language, entrepreneur means much more. It is the entrepreneur who gets the new ideas, takes the risks, tries the new things. It is the entrepreneur who works long and hard, who finds the money for risky ventures, who breaks the rules, who is the pioneer and the inventor. Truly, entrepreneurs are the heroes of a growing economy. Government, of course, cannot be an entrepreneur. They can however encourage individuals to be entrepreneurs. Ronald Reagan did this by lowering taxes, by reducing government regulation and interference in the economy, and by making it easier for individuals to accumulate the money they can use for new economic enterprises.

This is what Reagan did. The results is that we had the longest period of economic growth in peacetime in American history-probably world history. A record number of new American businesses have been created and also record number of new jobs have been created. Ronald Reagan once again proved that capitalism works-that free market economics succeeds.

Throughout the 1970s, under Republican and Democratic presidents, the U.S. become militarily weaker. This meant that the U.S. would find it increasingly difficult to fulfill its security commitments to other nations. It meant that it was becoming increasingly questionable whether the U.S. would be able to keep its promises to Western Europe or Japan or Israel or Southeast Asia. It meant that the U.S. was not able to deal with Moscow from a position of strength. Ronald Reagan has and did changed this.

Today we can keep our promises. Today we again can be trusted as allies. And today we certainly can deal with Moscow from a position of strength. Because of what Ronald Reagan did, the U.S. has a greater military capability than at any time in a quarter-century.

The rebuilding of the American arsenal has changed what the Soviets at one time liked to call the "global correlation of forces." This correlation now has tilted toward the U.S. This should please and reassure America’s friends around the world-and certainly here in China. We now are a more reliable friend and again a true superpower that can block Soviet aggression and expansion. This, of course, gives the new U.S. president valuable flexibility in dealing with Moscow.

Reagan’s final Big legacy is that he has re-ignited Americans’ optimism and has restored Americans’ faith in the presidency. We had become very pessimistic in the 1970s.”Never let the

things you can’t do stop you from doing what you can.” (Ronald Reagan / Ronald Reagan Quotes (Author of The Reagan Diaries).” Goodreads, Goodreads).

Works Cited

“Ronald Reagan Quotes (Author of The Reagan Diaries).” Goodreads, Goodreads,​.

“The Ten Legacies of Ronald Reagan.” Hoover Institution,​., A&E Television Networks, ​​. “Ronald Reagan.” The White House, The United States Government,​.

“Ronald Reagan.” Miller Center, 15 Sept. 2018,

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