Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ronald Reagan - Hagiography

An article posted on the website Big Government by contributor Burt Folsom sheds an interesting contemporary view of Ronald Reagan's presidency and hails it as one of the most positive and far-reaching influences in American politics of the 20th century.
The major driving factor behind his argument is that Reagan's time in power yielded more positive and sustainable outcomes for the United States than previous presidents (name-dropping Woodrow Wilson and FDR in particular) despite perhaps surpassing him in their extent of political impact.
The author pinpoints several reasons for this to be:
  1. The fact that he was a "visionary", devoting himself to the ideology that "people wanted freedom and would do well when mpre of it was given to them." Stating such examples of this as "Undermining the Soviets, challenging an unlawful union," and "diregulating oil production". He argues that what made Reagan so popular were the ways he looked at the world differently, aiming for a publically popular strife for "more freedom, less government" and strategizing realistic goals enabling for more successful ligislations.
  2. He also had great character, with a bold personality which made for popular and desired leaders. "Courage, kindness and persistence" were said to be his windfall when his polls were low. It is also stated that even his honesty was a winning trait.
  3. Third that he was able to accept advice, making him "teachable" allowing for "course corrections" despite coming into his presidency at an age where people were considered to have life figured out for themselves.

Another argument he makes is that Reagan had seen past democracys fail and succeed - and knew what worked and what didn't. He had supported FDR, and was a part of one of those families which had benefitted when he had created jobs. Reagan also saw the flaws in price controls and restrictions on oil production. He realized the tyranny in federal power and that a nation "could not spend its way to prosperity."

Implementing new ideas into his vision meant that he could adjust for a changing climate, and due to the tax cuts he implemented when he became president, this alligated a sense of freedom that Reagan had envisioned which would come to more enhanced fruitition under the future Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush which were further expanded by capital gains cuts. The author quotes that between the periods of 1982 to 2007, "the US economy more than doubled in economic growth" under a substancially low unemployment rate and increasing standard of living.

Article and image available from: http://biggovernment.com/bfolsom/2010/02/06/why-was-ronald-reagan-the-greatest-president-of-the-20th-century/

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