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An Essay: Reagan & His Legacy

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Ronald Reagan Picture – 40th President.

Ronald Reagan’s presidency was a time of pride and hope for a bright future in America, It is important that we take every opportunity to preserve and cherish the liberty and prosperity he brought our country – Grover Norquist, chairman of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project.

Ronald Reagan was President from 1981 – 1989

An Essay: Reagan & His Legacy

Synopsis

At the end of his two terms in office, Ronald Reagan viewed with satisfaction the achievements of his innovative program known as the Reagan Revolution, which aimed to reinvigorate the American people and reduce their reliance upon Government. He felt he had fulfilled his campaign pledge of 1980 to restore “the great, confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism.”

On February 6, 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born to Nelle and John Reagan in Tampico, Illinois. He attended high school in nearby Dixon and then worked his way through Eureka College. There, he studied economics and sociology, played on the football team, and acted in school plays. Upon graduation, he became a radio sports announcer. A screen test in 1937 won him a contract in Hollywood. During the next two decades he appeared in 53 films.

From his first marriage to actress Jane Wyman, he had two children, Maureen and Michael. Maureen passed away in 2001. In 1952 he married Nancy Davis, who was also an actress, and they had two children, Patricia Ann and Ronald Prescott.

As president of the Screen Actors Guild, Reagan became embroiled in disputes over the issue of Communism in the film industry; his political views shifted from liberal to conservative. He toured the country as a television host, becoming a spokesman for conservatism. In 1966 he was elected Governor of California by a margin of a million votes; he was re-elected in 1970.

Ronald Reagan won the Republican Presidential nomination in 1980 and chose as his running mate former Texas Congressman and United Nations Ambassador George Bush. Voters troubled by inflation and by the year-long confinement of Americans in Iran swept the Republican ticket into office. Reagan won 489 electoral votes to 49 for President Jimmy Carter.

On January 20, 1981, Reagan took office. Only 69 days later he was shot by a would-be assassin, but quickly recovered and returned to duty. His grace and wit during the dangerous incident caused his popularity to soar.

Dealing skillfully with Congress, Reagan obtained legislation to stimulate economic growth, curb inflation, increase employment, and strengthen national defense. He embarked upon a course of cutting taxes and Government expenditures, refusing to deviate from it when the strengthening of defense forces led to a large deficit.

A renewal of national self-confidence by 1984 helped Reagan and Bush win a second term with an unprecedented number of electoral votes. Their victory turned away Democratic challengers Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro.

In 1986, Reagan obtained an overhaul of the income tax code, which eliminated many deductions and exempted millions of people with low incomes. At the end of his administration, the Nation was enjoying its longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity without recession or depression.

In foreign policy, Reagan sought to achieve “peace through strength.” During his two terms he increased defense spending 35 percent, but sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union. In dramatic meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he negotiated a treaty that would eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Reagan declared war against international terrorism, sending American bombers against Libya after evidence came out that Libya was involved in an attack on American soldiers in a West Berlin nightclub.

Ronald Reagan was President from 1981 – 1989.

Ronald Reagan

Introduction

Between 1975 and President Reagan’s election in 1980, Angola, Afghanistan, Laos, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Somalia and South Vietnam — to name a few — had come under Soviet domination. A Soviet naval base was established on the island of Socotra, capable of intercepting vital shipping in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Many believed that after the Vietnam defeat, the United States would lose the Cold War.

Mr. Reagan turned everything around. Working with Mr. Reagan’s clear and compelling overview, his team designed a complex strategy of defeating the Soviets. As the renowned Chinese strategist Sun Tsu taught, he won the Cold War (which can be compared to World War III) without firing a shot — a great strategic feat. A man of vision compassion and courage, he is missed by hundreds of millions.

Ronald Reagan won the Republican Presidential nomination in 1980 and chose as his running mate former Texas Congressman and United Nations Ambassador George Bush. Voters troubled by inflation and by the year-long confinement of Americans in Iran swept the Republican ticket into office. Reagan won 489 electoral votes to 49 for President Jimmy Carter.

The Reagan Presidency began in a dramatic manner: On January 20, 1981, Reagan took office and just 30 minutes into his inaugural address, 52 American hostages, held by Iran for 444 days were set free. . Only 69 days later he was shot by a would-be assassin, but quickly recovered and returned to duty. His grace and wit during the dangerous incident caused his popularity to soar.

When Reagan entered office, the American economy’s inflation rate stood at 11.83%, and unemployment at 7.1%. Reagan implemented policies based on supply-side economics and advocated a laissez-faire philosophy, seeking to stimulate the economy with large, across-the-board tax cuts.

During his Presidency, Ronald Reagan pursued policies that reflected his optimism in individual freedom, expanded the American economy, and contributed to the end of the Cold War. The “Reagan Revolution,” proponents claimed, would reinvigorate American morale, and reduce the people’s reliance upon government.

During Reagan’s tenure, income tax rates were lowered significantly, with the top personal tax bracket dropping from 70% to 28% in seven years, although effective payroll tax rates increased. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth recovered strongly after the 1982 recession and grew during Reagan’s eight years in office at an annual rate of 3.4% per year, slightly lower than the post-World War II average of 3.6% .

In foreign policy, Reagan sought to achieve “peace through strength.” During his two terms he increased defense spending 35 percent, but sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union. In dramatic meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he negotiated a treaty that would eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Reagan declared war against international terrorism, sending American bombers against Libya after evidence came out that Libya was involved in an attack on American soldiers in a West Berlin nightclub.

By ordering naval escorts in the Persian Gulf, he maintained the free flow of oil during the Iran-Iraq war. In keeping with the Reagan Doctrine, he gave support to anti- Communist insurgencies in Central America, Asia, and Africa. Overall, the Reagan years saw a restoration of prosperity, and the goal of peace through strength seemed to be within grasp.

Ronald Reagan’s efforts to eradicate Communism spanned the globe, but the insurgent Contras’ cause in Nicaragua was particularly dear to him. Battling the Cuban-backed Sandinistas, the Contras were, according to Reagan, “the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.” Under the so-called Reagan Doctrine, the CIA trained and assisted this and other anti-Communist insurgencies worldwide.

A renewal of national self-confidence by 1984 helped Reagan and Bush win a second term with an unprecedented number of electoral votes. Their victory turned away Democratic challengers Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro.

In 1986 Reagan obtained an overhaul of the income tax code, which eliminated many deductions and exempted millions of people with low incomes. At the end of his administration, the Nation was enjoying its longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity without recession or depression.

As president, Reagan kept a series of leather bound diaries, in which he talked about daily occurrences of his presidency, commented on current issues around the world (expressing his point of view on most of them), and frequently mentioned his wife, Nancy. The diaries were published in May 2007, into the bestselling book, The Reagan Diaries.

In his first inaugural address on January 20, 1981, which Reagan himself wrote, he addressed the country’s economic malaise arguing: “Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.”

What made Reagan so special, and it is often overlooked, is that he was a whole man. He put God above all else. As a natural consequence of the importance of God in his personal life was his belief in the divine purpose of marriage and family. As a result, he was a man with a genuine love of life. Images of a happy man whose life was not just politics. It is in large part – what a full life should be. And so God, family, the brotherhood of man, the joy of living — all of these values together made Reagan.

But Reagan was a man of many gifts, and it was not his gifts alone that made him great. What made him great was his certainty of moral purpose and absolute fearlessness in defending without equivocation what he knew was right.

The term Reaganism – is complex. Domestically, he understood that marginal tax rates were too high. And as president he lowered marginal tax rates and stimulated the economy. And Reagan understood that many federal programs were counter-productive. In foreign policy, Reagan set the country, and the world, on a new trajectory.

The Reagan Revolution ushered in “Family Values” conservatism. He dismantled regulatory bottlenecks. He understood the self-correcting tendencies of free markets and the fundamental wealth-creating capacity of capitalism. In short, he held a strong distrust of the destructive government intervention in the marketplace. And, his spirit never wavered. To be certain, no American President, with constitutionally limited powers, has been able to mold a nation as complex as the United States to his set of values.

Interestingly, Reagan did not speak to the core of conservatives. Reagan spoke his conservative principles to the core of America as a whole. And, he left a legacy of values worthy of reviving. The Reagan Revolution was as much a governing philosophy as a political movement. Yet, probably the greatest thing Reagan gave to the future was the legacy of his person, a deeply American image that will continue to inspire untold numbers of people.

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This is from the 1964 Republican Convention.

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine.

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Reagan’s Top 10 Legacies

Preamble

Before we start looking at the Reagan legacies, we should recall what America was like in 1981 when Ronald Reagan became president. It was a dreadful, terrible time in America and for America. In the 1970s, the U.S. had been on the retreat on almost every front. We retreated in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Angola, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and in the face of the OPEC oil cartel. We surrendered the Panama Canal. We closed our eyes to Soviet violations of important treaties.

By our actions, we allowed the Soviets to invade Afghanistan. And then there was Iran. There we allowed the overthrow of the Shah’s government, which was our good friend and vital to our security. And we allowed ourselves to be held hostage for 444 days.

At home, too, things were terrible in the 1970s. The U.S. surrendered to high taxes, inflation, gasoline shortages, to massive government interference in the economy and in the lives of individual Americans. We surrendered to crime on the streets and to low standards in our schools.

Perhaps worst of all, we seemed to abandon the most important dream in American history: the dream that we can make tomorrow better than today and that America’s children are entitled to believe that they will lead better lives than their parents. Instead of traditional American optimism and dreams of hope, we were told-and we began to believe-that less is more, that small is beautiful, that resources are disappearing and never will be replaced, and that yesterday was better than tomorrow ever will be.

The 1970s were a dreadful decade for my country. The 1980s were much better, thanks in large measure to Ronald Reagan’s leadership and the 10 most constructive and important legacies he leaves behind.

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Legacy No. 1 – Formula for Economic Growth

Growth, as we know, is very important. It is economic growth that makes it possible for living standards to increase for nearly every American. It is growth that defeats poverty. It is growth that fuels technological, scientific, and medical progress. It is growth that enables us to have more options in life, to have more leisure, to learn and do more things-to become the well-rounded, creative human being about whom Karl Marx wrote in 1844 in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts.

Reagan reminded America that government cannot create economic growth and that government generally is the enemy of economic growth. Yet Reagan also taught us that there is something that government can do. It can create an environment that is friendly to growth. Government can help unleash human imagination and creativity. It can encourage men and women to take economic risks and then allow them to get big rewards when they succeed. Of course, it also must allow them to fail and pay the price of failure.

Reagan taught us that the hero of economic growth is the entrepreneur. This is a French word that technically means someone who undertakes to do something. 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. Bureaucracies do not take risks; they are not pioneers; they do not get new ideas; and they cannot move quickly. But government can 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. And what are the results? We had the longest period of economic growth in peacetime in American history-probably world history. A record number of new American businesses were created; a record number of new jobs were created (and, in fact, experts worried about a labor shortage in America); we produced more new products and new ideas and did so more efficiently than at any time in our history. There was a new dynamism in America. And Ronald Reagan once again proved that capitalism works – that free market economics succeeds. This is a wonderful legacy for America-and the world. Now, lets bring it back!

The Reagan Wit

This video is 5 minutes long…. Titled: Reagan wit.

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Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 1 – Formula for Economic Growth

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 2 – New Federalism

As you may know, federalism has been the political principle upon which our nation has been organized and governed. Our country is called, after all, the United States. This name reflects the fact that the various states united together to create a nation. When the states did this they gave some important powers to the new national government. But they also kept many powers for themselves. This arrangement, this division of powers, is known as the federal system.

This is not just some abstract political theory for professors and philosophers. The federal system has determined who has had power in the U.S. and has given a great deal of power to the states. This is a good idea because the states are much closer to the people than is the national government. Thus, the states are more responsive to the people. Giving great powers to the states also is a good idea because it recognizes the enormous diversity of the U.S. What is good for one section of the nation, after all, may not be good for all sections.

For America’s first 150 years as a nation, the federal system was balanced and worked well. But things began changing in the 1930s and 1940s. The huge national economic programs during the Depression and the huge effort to fight World War II gave the national government great new powers. This weakened the federal system. What we saw in Washington was the growth of hundreds of new government agencies with huge new bureaucracies. These were unfriendly to the people, unsympathetic, unresponsive, and, of course, uncreative.

At the same time, because so much power had shifted to Washington, Americans, and even state and local officials, began losing their confidence in their own ability to solve problems. They began looking to Washington for solutions for almost everything. This was something new in America-and something dangerous.

Ronald Reagan had reversed this. His policies restored power to the states and cities, and reduced the power of the central government in Washington. Though state officials at first hesitated and were reluctant to accept this new power, they were enthusiastic about it. Once again the states are the laboratories of new ideas. And great new ideas are coming from the states-in housing issues, education reform, help for the poor, and ways to clean the environment.

Restoring the balance to America’s federal system wass a great Reagan legacy.


It’s Morning in America Again…
… This video is 1 minute long.


Reagan at Brandenburg Gate – “Tear down this wall”
… This video is 1 minute 43 seconds long.

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Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 1 – Formula for Economic Growth
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 2 – New Federalism

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 3 – Privatization

Privatization is a clumsy, terrible word for a rather simple and sound idea. Privatization is a process by which private companies and groups provide services that had been provided by the government. There are many advantages to this. First, it reduces the size of the government and its role in society; in itself, this is a very good thing. Second, it reduces government expenses because private firms almost always can provide services at lower cost than can government agencies. And third, it is more efficient and more responsive to the needs of the people.

Various states and cities have been pioneers in privatization. Former government services now provided by private firms include fire protection, garbage collection, bus service, prison management, and even neighborhood court systems to resolve minor disputes.

Ronald Reagan began the privatization of federal services and programs. For example, he sold Conrail, one of America’s largest railroads, to a private firm. Reagan also began the process of allowing private companies to build rockets to launch payloads into space.

While much remains to be done with privatization, Reagan demonstrated that the president can use the private sector to deal with problems that in the past would have been addressed by government.

“Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.” — Ronald Reagan

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Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 1 – Formula for Economic Growth
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 2 – New Federalism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 3 – Privatization

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 4 – Checking Judicial Activism

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I realize that the appointment of American judges is an issue to which many people, especially foreigners pay little attention. Yet it is very important because court decisions have a great impact on government policies.

For most of American history, the courts respected the Constitution’s division of powers. According to this division, the Congress makes the laws, the president enforces the laws, and the courts rule when there is a dispute about the laws. In recent decades, however, the federal courts, particularly the highest court, called the Supreme Court, have become more aggressive. They have taken some of the power from the Congress and president and even have begun to make laws. This violated a long tradition in the U.S. and threatened to upset the delicate balance between the different parts of the central government.

Ronald Reagan promised to stop this. He did so by appointing judges to the court who respect the traditional role of the court. He appointed judges who are against the activist role of the court. Reagan appointed three of the Supreme Court’s nine judges and he appointed 361 of the federal court system’s 743 judges. You may know that these judges keep their jobs for the rest of their lives and cannot be removed by new presidents. Thus, they will influence court decisions for decades. Indeed, Reagan deliberately appointed young people as judges.

Many federal appeals judges appointed by President Reagan are now at the height of their power, issuing conservative opinions on hot-button issues like affirmative action, so-called partial-birth abortions and gun rights. As a recent article in the USA Today points out: Reagan appointed 83 appellate judges, and 66 are still hearing cases. The first President Bush appointed 42 appeals judges, President Clinton appointed 66, and the second President Bush appointed 58, the story says. Many of Reagan’s judges, formerly law professors and other legal luminaries, are now “superstars of the conservative movement,” the story reports.

Article by USA Today, May 2008: Reagans Influence Lives on Click here.

CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin examines ongoing efforts to “conservatize” the Supreme Court, starting with judicial appointments made by the Reagan Administration.

Reaganisms – This video is one minute and 53 seconds long.

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Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 1 – Formula for Economic Growth
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 2 – New Federalism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 3 – Privatization
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 4 – Checking Judicial Activism

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 5 – Rebuilding America’s Military Might & Grappling with the Bear.

Hammer & Tickle – Ronald Reagan

Rebuilding America’s Military Might

Throughout the 1970s, under Republican and Democratic presidents, the U.S. became militarily weaker.

What did this mean? It 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 changed this.

Today we can keep our promises. Today we again can be trusted as allies. Though many would argue that point in todays climate. 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 changed what the Soviets at one time liked to call the “global correlation of forces.” This correlation at the end of the Reagan era tilted toward the U.S. reassuring America’s friends around the world-and. We were a more reliable friend and again a true superpower that blocked Soviet aggression and expansion. This, of course, gave the new U.S. president Georg H. Bush valuable flexibility in dealing with Moscow.

Grappling with the Bear

For too long America gave Moscow the advantage in negotiations. Those who were making U.S. policy seemed to feel that any treaty with the Soviets is better than no treaty. As such, Americans were always willing to make concessions to Moscow; we were afraid of sticking to our position if this would mean that the negotiations would break down. The result of this was the series of Soviet gains at the bargaining table: SALT I, the ABM Treaty, cultural exchanges, SALT II.

Ronald Reagan changed that. His lesson to future presidents is simple, but it requires determination and self-confidence. There are two parts to this lesson. First, you can only deal with Moscow from a position of strength; this is why it is so important that the U.S. arsenal has been rebuilt. Reagan, after all, delayed serious negotiations with the Soviets until near the end of his first term – until the U.S. again was militarily strong. In China, they know very well that you cannot deal with Moscow if you are weak; the Soviets will not be generous, will not be compassionate, will not do you kind favors.

Second, Reagan was willing to allow negotiations to collapse, He did not panic when Moscow used its typical technique of bluster, threats, and intimidation. If the Soviet delegates wanted to get up and walk away from the negotiating table, Reagan let them do it. In the past, however, Americans would have made new concessions simply to keep the Soviets from walking away; this is what happened at the 1972 and 1979 SALT talks.

It was very different with Reagan. When Moscow gave Reagan the ultimatum that it would stop negotiating arms reductions with the U.S. if the U.S. deployed intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe, Reagan did not bend. He responded by deploying the missiles. Liberals in the U.S., and many experts at the State Department, were shocked by this. They said that Reagan would destroy the entire “arms control process.” But Reagan said that if the Soviets wanted to walk away from the talks, then let them walk away. They would come back to the table, he said. And he was right. They came back. And they ultimately accepted the INF Treaty that the U.S. originally had proposed.

Then remember what happened at the Reykjavik summit? There Gorbachev issued his ultimatum: there could be a dramatic arms reduction only if the U.S. would abandon the Strategic Defense Initiative, or SDI. Some previous presidents probably would have bowed to this Soviet pressure. American liberals were urging Reagan to do so. But Reagan again stood firm. He said again: Let the Russians walk away; they will be back. And again he was right. They have come back and they resumed the START talks for deep arms reductions.

To many, all of this may seem obvious and simplistic. You long ago learned that you have to be strong and firm when dealing with Moscow. But this has not been so obvious to American presidents and to American diplomats in the past half-century. Reagan set a very important example for future presidents.

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Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 1 – Formula for Economic Growth
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 2 – New Federalism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 3 – Privatization
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 4 – Checking Judicial Activism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 5 – Rebuilding America’s Military Might & Grappling with the Bear

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 6 – The Reagan Doctrine

The Reagan Doctrine was a strategy orchestrated and implemented by the United States to oppose the global influence of the Soviet Union during the final years of the Cold War. While the doctrine lasted less than a decade, it was the centerpiece of American foreign policy from the mid-1980s until the end of the Cold War in 1991.

The Reagan Doctrine followed in the post-World War II tradition of U.S. Presidents developing foreign policy “doctrines,” which were designed to reflect these Presidents’ global challenges and proposed foreign policy solutions to them.

The tradition started with the 1947 Truman Doctrine, under which the U.S. provided support to Greece and Turkey as part of a Cold War strategy to keep these two European nations out of the Soviet sphere of influence. The Truman Doctrine was followed by the Eisenhower Doctrine, the Kennedy Doctrine, the Johnson Doctrine and the Nixon Doctrine, all of which defined the foreign policy approaches of these respective U.S. Presidents on some of the largest global challenges of their administrations.

The Reagan Doctrine was a policy of true liberation. It recognized that national liberation movements in the Third World can be on the side of freedom and democracy and that the U.S. can help these national liberation movements win. It breaks with the 1970′s policies when the U.S. had become isolationist and was unwilling to remain involved in the world.

Instead, the Reagan Doctrine proclaimed that the U.S. was ready to challenge and even roll back the Soviet Empire. This is what we did in Grenada. And, with efforts in Afghanistan and Cambodia. And, in Nicaragua. There, too, Soviet expansion was to be blocked. The Reagan Doctrine was a true revolutionary policy. It proclaimed that the future belonged to democracy, not to Soviet-imposed dictatorships. And rather than being on the retreat, as they were in the 1970′s, the world’s democracies were on the offensive. This is a marvelous legacy for Reagan to leave.

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Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 1 – Formula for Economic Growth
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 2 – New Federalism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 3 – Privatization
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 4 – Checking Judicial Activism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 5 – Rebuilding America’s Military Might & Grappling with the Bear
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 6 – The Reagan Doctrine

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 7 – Demise of the Brezhnev Doctrine

The Brezhnev Doctrine was a Soviet foreign policy, first and most clearly outlined by S. Kovalev in a September 26, 1968 Pravda article, entitled “Sovereignty and the International Obligations of Socialist Countries.” Leonid Brezhnev reiterated it in a speech at the Fifth Congress of the Polish United Workers’ Party on November 13, 1968, which stated:

“When forces that are hostile to socialism try to turn the development of some socialist country towards capitalism, it becomes not only a problem of the country concerned, but a common problem and concern of all socialist countries.”

This doctrine was announced to justify the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 to terminate the Prague Spring, along with earlier Soviet military interventions, such as the invasion of Hungary in 1956. These interventions were meant to put an end to liberalization efforts and uprisings that had the potential to compromise Soviet hegemony inside the Eastern bloc, which was considered by the Soviets to be an essential defensive and strategic buffer in case hostilities with the West were to break out.

In practice, the policy meant that limited independence of communist parties was allowed, but no country would be allowed to leave the Warsaw Pact, disturb a nation’s communist party’s monopoly on power, or in any way compromise the strength of the Eastern bloc. Implicit in this doctrine was that the leadership of the Soviet Union reserved, for itself, the right to define “socialism” and “capitalism”.

Following the announcement of the Brezhnev Doctrine, numerous treaties were signed between the Soviet Union and its satellite states to reassert these points and to further ensure inter-state cooperation. The principles of the doctrine were so broad that the Soviets even used it to justify their military intervention in the non-Warsaw Pact nation of Afghanistan in 1979

So 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: 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 20 years ago.

We often believed the Brezhnev Doctrine. It seemed that it would be impossible for a nation to leave the Soviet camp. To this, however, Ronald Reagan 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 reversed the momentum of an entire generation. George Bush continued challenging the Brezhnev Doctrine-and carried the challenge to Eastern Europe, to the Baltic states and even to the “republics” inside the Soviet Union itself.

Video – “Let us be shy no more” -Reagan

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Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 1 – Formula for Economic Growth
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 2 – New Federalism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 3 – Privatization
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 4 – Checking Judicial Activism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 5 – Rebuilding America’s Military Might & Grappling with the Bear
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 6 – The Reagan Doctrine
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 7 – Demise of the Brezhnev Doctrine

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 8 – Defense Technology with a Human Face

The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was a proposal by Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983 to use ground and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic offense doctrine of mutual assured destruction (MAD).

The Strategic Defense Initiative may turn out to be the one of most important Reagan policies because it could of changed the world – and stilll may. Even today, it could end the nightmare of nuclear holocaust. SDI is a moral and humanitarian policy. After all, if government has any legitimate function it is to protect its citizens. This SDI would do that.

SDI also is a policy that would end Moscow’s ability to intimidate and blackmail the U.S. and the rest of the world. We all know the little secret about the Soviet Union. It is a superpower only because of its nuclear arsenal, its ability to destroy the United States. SDI would deny Moscow this ability. With SDI, the Soviet Union no longer would be a superpower. It instead would be seen for what it really is-economically and politically just a large Third World nation less it oil reserves.

Though it was never fully developed or deployed, the research and technologies of SDI paved the way for some anti-ballistic missile systems of today. Of course, Reagan merely launched SDI. The program still has very far to go.

In 2002, President Bush ordered the deployment of a modest missile defense system by 2004, with interceptors based at sea and at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and several interceptor missiles were emplaced by the end of 2004.

Also in 2002, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is working to develop missile defenses for the battlefield as part of the Theater Missile Defense program. In 2007 the MDA reported that, although missile defense system was still under development and not officially operational, it was ready for use. And if it does ever go to use, the shadow of nuclear nightmare that has darkened the world since 1945 will begin to lift. Can there be any better legacy that Reagan began than this?


1983: The Brink Of Apocalypse…. This video: One of eight parts.

An extremely powerful program, this documentary focuses on November 8, 1983, a date now recognized as one of the most dangerous moments in the entire history of the Cold War. On this near-fateful day, a series of accidents nearly unleashed the Third World War. Senior figures in the Soviet Union had convinced themselves that they were about to come under nuclear attack from the West, and the vast Soviet nuclear arsenal of missiles, bombers and submarines were put on maximum alert, ready to launch a full nuclear retaliatory attack on Western Europe and the US. Armageddon beckoned. This documentary tells the dramatic story behind this sequence of events when Soviet fingers hovered perilously over the nuclear button.

The intelligence communities in the US, Europe and the former USSR have never before admitted to the scale of this crisis. If you have the time… this video is both fascinating and frightening.

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Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 1 – Formula for Economic Growth
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 2 – New Federalism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 3 – Privatization
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 4 – Checking Judicial Activism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 5 – Rebuilding America’s Military Might & Grappling with the Bear
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 6 – The Reagan Doctrine
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 7 – Demise of the Brezhnev Doctrine
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 8 – Defense Technology with a Human Face

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 9 – Restoring Confidence in the Presidency

One of Reagan’s final legacies is that he reignited Americans’ optimism and restored Americans’ faith in the presidency. We had become very pessimistic in the 1970′s. We saw one president after another fail-Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. We started believing that America’s best days were behind it.

The mood in the 1970s was tragic. It reversed two centuries of American thinking. The history of my country, as you probably know, has been a history of confidence and optimism. We have felt that frontiers are not limits or barriers, but rather that frontiers are to be conquered.

We have regarded our nation in the way that you often have viewed yours, as the Middle Kingdom, occupying the center of the universe. We have believed that the United States is a very special place, a promised land with a special mission. And we started doubting all of this during the dreadful 1970s.

Ronald Reagan reversed and healed this. He did this by his policies, by his successes, by his personal example and optimism, and by his inspiring words.

We’ve already discussed his policies and successes. Now we must note the example he provided as President. Unlike Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter, Ronald Reagan was not destroyed by the presidency. He was not ground down. He enjoyed being president; he was comfortable being president. This has helped Americans regain their confidence in the presidency.

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Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 1 – Formula for Economic Growth
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 2 – New Federalism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 3 – Privatization
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 4 – Checking Judicial Activism
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 5 – Rebuilding America’s Military Might & Grappling with the Bear
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 6 – The Reagan Doctrine
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 7 – Demise of the Brezhnev Doctrine
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 8 – Defense Technology with a Human Face
Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 9 – Restoring Confidence in the Presidency

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy No. 10 – Touching American Hearts

And then, of course, there are Ronald Reagan’s words. But Reagan has invoked words, thoughts, and images that have touched American hearts and have recalled a special pride we long had in our country.

Frequently, Reagan talked about America as a promised land. He called America a “Zion in the wilderness,” and “a city on the hill.” He said often, in speaking to Congress or on television addressing the nation, that America is “the last best hope of man on earth.”

You may remember what Reagan said at Fudan University when he visited Shanghai in 1984. He said: “We’re an optimistic people. Like you, we inherited a vast land of endless skies, tall mountains, rich fields, and open prairies. It made us see the possibilities in everything. It made us hopeful.”

These may be only words, but they are words that have been combined with dynamic action and successful policies. And thus, these words have been powerful and have had a powerful influence. George H. Bush was lucky to find himself leading a people again that was both confident in America and again proud of America.

This then is the legacy that Ronald Reagan leaves his people. It is an impressive legacy. It is a marvelous legacy. And it will influence the direction and policies of America for years to come.

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The Challenger 1/28/1986

The Assasination Attempt

Reagan Tribute

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Reagan Revolution

When Reagan left office in 1988, he thanked each and every member of the “Reagan Revolution” with these words:

“We’ve done our part. And as I walk into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan Revolution, the men and women across America who for eight years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made a city stronger. We made a city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad … not bad at all.”

Truer words were never spoken.

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Ronald Reagan Quotes

“Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.”
- Ronald Reagan

“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
- Ronald Reagan

“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant: It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
- Ronald Reagan

“Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U. S. was too strong.”
- Ronald Reagan

“I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment’s would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U. S. Congress.”
- Ronald Reagan

“The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.”
- Ronald Reagan

“Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”
- Ronald Reagan

“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
- Ronald Reagan

“The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.”
- Ronald Reagan

“I’ve laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it’s in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.”
- Ronald Reagan

“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”
- Ronald Reagan

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
- Ronald Reagan

“Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.”
- Ronald Reagan

“No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”
- Ronald Reagan

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President Reagan’s Farewell Address… Part I and Part II

Broadcast to the American people from the Oval Office. Reagan mentions two triumphs from his presidency: the economic recovery and the recovery of American morale. He discusses America’s changing relations with the Soviet Union and shares his regret for the deficit that deepened during his time in office. He concludes by addressing America’s sense of patriotism and refers to the nation as “a shining city on a hill.”

Part I

Part II

View the full speech uninterrupted here.

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If you believe….by Ronald Reagan

If you believe that “ government is not the solutions to our problems; government is the problem”…and

If you believe that “we are a nation that has a government, not the other way around”..and

If you believe that, “man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is a neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts”…and

If you believe that, “outside of it’s legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy”…and

If you believe that, “nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for themselves”…and

If you believe that “the best possible social program is a job”…and

If you believe that, “the best view of big government is in the rearview mirror as we leave it behind”…and

If you believe that “God’s greatest gift is human life and that we have a duty to protect the life of an unborn child”…and

If you believe that “the rights of parents and the rights of the family take precedence over those of Washington-based bureaucrats and social engineers”…and

If you believe that, “when we speak of peace, we should not mean just the absence of war,”? that, “true peace rest on the pillars of individual freedom, humans, national self-determination, and respect for the rule of law”…and

If you believe that, “evil still stalks the planet. Its ideology may be nothing more than bloodlust; no program more complex than economic plunder or military aggrandizement. But it is evil all the same. And wherever there are forces that would destroy the human spirit and diminish human potential, they must be recognized, and they must be countered”…and

If you believe that, “evil is powerless if the good are unafraid”…and

If you believe that, “we’re too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams”…and

If you believe that “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under”…and

If you believe in the above, then you are a “Reagan Conservative.” Yay!

Congratulations!

* One of my favorite Reagan quotes: “It is easier to pull a rabbit out of a hat, than throw a jackass (democratic mascot ) out of Washington.”

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The Speech

A Time for Choosing

Given as a stump speech, at speaking engagements, and on a memorable night in 1964 in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign. This version is from that broadcast.

1964

I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this.
It’s time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, “We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government.”

This idea — that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power — is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream–the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.

Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.”

The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.

Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, “What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power.” But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.

Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we’re denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we’re always “against,” never “for” anything.

We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem. However, we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments….

We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world.

We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him…. But we cannot have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure….

Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? . . . Today in our country the tax collector’s share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.

Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor’s fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can’t socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he’ll eat you last.

If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what’s at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that “the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits–not animals.” And he said, “There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

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Key Events

1981

March 30-Assassination attempt by John W. Hinckley, Jr.

July 20-21-Economic Summit, Ottawa

August 13-Economic Recovery Tax Act

September 21-Sandra Day O’Connor confirmed as Justice of the Supreme Court.

1982

June 5-6-Economic Summit, Versailles

1983

May 28-30-Economic Summit, Williamsburg, Virginia

October 25-U.S. invasion of Granada

1985

June 7-9-Economic Summit, London

November 19-21-Reagan-Gorbachev Summit, Geneva

1986

May 4-6-Economic Summit, Tokyo.

September 17-William Rehnquist confirmed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; Antonin Scalia confirmed as Justice of the Supreme Court.

October 10-11-Reagan-Gorbachev Summit, Reykjavik

October 22-Tax Reform Act

November 6-Immigration Reform and Control Act

1987

June 8-10-Economic Summit, Venice.

December 8-Reagan and Gorbachev sign the Intermediate Nuclear
Force (INF) Treaty at the Summit in Washington, DC.

December 8-10-Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in Washington, DC.

1988

February 3-Anthony Kennedy confirmed as Justice of the Supreme Court.

May 29-June 2-Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in Moscow. The leaders exchanged ratifications of the INF Treaty.

June 19-21-Economic Summit, Toronto.

September 28-U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act.

November 18-Anti-Drug Abuse Act

December 7-Final meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev.

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Reagan 2020 is one of the Internet’s most comprehensive resource on Ronald Reagan.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Christopher Ade Akinremi permalink
    June 16, 2013 8:58 am

    This is a great compilation of records and events of a leader in century. His words lives forever. Roars On ……….Reagan……. The lion of our Nation.

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