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What is your opinion of Ronald Reagan?

Ronald Reagan  

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What is your opinion of Ronald Reagan?

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As with just about all President's, there are good and bad things they have done. Overall, I believe (as it says above) the positives outweighed the negatives.

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His strategy was a major reason for the fall of the Soviet Union. For that reason alone, he was a great president.

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I think his ideology was wonderful for the most part. What I do not agree with was his execution. He raised taxes when he promised to lower them, he raised spending when he promised to lower it. Those are things that I do not just overlook. Anybody can be good at speaking and promising things, it takes a special person to follow through. 

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On the whole, I would say I'm generally positive on Reagan and that's coming from someone who's center-left.

 

His part in helping bringing about the fall of communism is definitely commendable. However, I think some of his actions in foreign affairs were questionable, if not illegal. I'm thinking of the Iran-Contra Affair. I'm less enamoured of his domestic policies.

 

His wit and ability to employ humour is something I definitely admire about him. It's for this reason I admire politicians even like Thatcher, even though I'm almost completely opposed to her policies. However, I agree with Dark Wizard that wit and presentation really shouldn't be a cover for a lack of substance. There's a reason he was called the "Teflon President". Presentation of one's agenda is a necessary condition of being a successful politician but it is not a sufficient condition - substance is also required.

 

If you're really interested in Reagan, I would recommend an interesting documentary I watched on him once.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz4BvgTKQIE

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I think his ideology was wonderful for the most part. What I do not agree with was his execution. He raised taxes when he promised to lower them, he raised spending when he promised to lower it. Those are things that I do not just overlook. Anybody can be good at speaking and promising things, it takes a special person to follow through.

 

Every president breaks promises, just look at the current one.

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He's left a terrible legacy in my opinion.

 

Two of the most crippling issues to face America, issues that are so huge that it can (and probably will) end America's global dominance, can be traced back to Reagan. 

 

1) Economic Inequality

 

Reagan loved the phrase "Trickle Down Economics". Basically reward the rich and everyone else down on the ladder will benefit. Reagan's policies reflected that belief and it's been very influential on modern American conservative politicians  Except... it doesn't work. At all. For example, America had a so called "recovery" after the Great Recession of 2008, but it was mostly by the top 1% and not everybody else. And the suppressed wages and economic hardship can be clearly seen today.

 

2) Racial Disparity 

 

The conditions that has led to race riots in Ferguson can be largely contributed to the so called "War on Drugs". While Nixon was the one that started the "War on Drugs", Reagan took it to a new level with mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug crimes, the kicker is that in practice it is only enforced on minorities. And gosh darnit who woulda thought  it would absolutely wreck minority communities when you put black men in jail for 10 years for the heinous crime of smoking weed. That guy isn't learning economically valuable skills that will benefit his community, the only thing he learns is how to be more criminal. Cue vicious cycle.

 

Furthermore, "minority" populations in the US aren't that small. In fact, by 2042 white people will be less than 50% of the American population. That means on the current path we are now, we're going to have a pretty significant disenfranchised population in the future.  

 

 

Now Reagan didn't act in a vacuum, but it can't be denied he played a big role in where America's precarious state is today.  

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Yeah, I'm neutral to negative to Reagan. He did reduce to amount of nukes in the world and and granted amnesty to approximately three million illegal immigrants during his 2nd term. His contribution to the end of the Cold war is overrated. the Soviets were on there way out and he was just there during the fall. The war of drugs is a failure that still continues today. His economic policy was terrible. Iran-Contra affair was awful scandal.

 

Reagan was influential, but i think that more nostalgia plays into that then his actual leadership 

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Good leader, bad liar. He raised taxes 11 times during his presidency yet his leadership led to the dissolution of the USSR that's really the only great thing he did that stands out in the history books. That and he was the first actor to be elected president. His westerns were pretty good ;)

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I think his ideology was wonderful for the most part. What I do not agree with was his execution. He raised taxes when he promised to lower them, he raised spending when he promised to lower it. Those are things that I do not just overlook. Anybody can be good at speaking and promising things, it takes a special person to follow through.

Every president breaks promises, just look at the current one.

If he'd done half the things that President Obama has done he'd have been in prison. I'm in total agreement with you though, all politicians lie, and one side doesn't lie more than the other. They both lie like crazy but not all of them are caught and/or called out on it.

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I would like to debunk another theory. The USSR dissolved mainly because of the decisions of MikhailGorbachev to give the people of the USSR more choice when it comes to free speech and economic decisions. The country was so unstable that when Mr. Gorbachev made these reforms, everything else came crashing down. Anybody could have said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.". I would also tend to disagree with lonzo on this one when it comes to he would have been in jail if he did what Obama has done. Obama has most definitely overstepped his boundaries with his power and not followed through on many promises, but he is unquestionably the most scrutinized President in our recent history. 

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I would like to debunk another theory. The USSR dissolved mainly because of the decisions of MikhailGorbachev to give the people of the USSR more choice when it comes to free speech and economic decisions. The country was so unstable that when Mr. Gorbachev made these reforms, everything else came crashing down. Anybody could have said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.". I would also tend to disagree with lonzo on this one when it comes to he would have been in jail if he did what Obama has done. Obama has most definitely overstepped his boundaries with his power and not followed through on many promises, but he is unquestionably the most scrutinized President in our recent history.

 

More scrutinized than Bush? Lol the second one not his dad. I'll agree that he does face lots of scrutiny, but every president in history has.It comes down to what they do while in office that determines how much people pay attention to what choices they're making. If you're thinking or suggesting that his race is the reason for the scrutiny, then there's nothing further I can say. Nixon got impeached for bugging the Democratic Party headquarters, Obama puts bugs in and on everything and the only guy in trouble for it is the one that told the public about the program. I mean there's LOADS more I can point out, yeah he gets a tough break but you kinda know that's gonna happen when you put your name on the ballot. Back to Reagan, you may be right that just about anyone could have told Gorbachev to tear his little wall down, but not just anyone did. If the US hadn't had a person in leadership that had some real nuts,the Soviets wouldn't have done it because they wouldn't have thought that if they didn't, they'd go to war with a stronger country and lost.The air of leadership may just be a facade but there's a big difference between a leader that's taken very seriously and one that has questionable testicular fortitude. :D Putin is still looking at Ukraine isn't he?

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I think it's a fairly weak argument that Reagan wasn't a key factor in the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. Obviously Gorbachev played a role as well, but Reagan's decision to radically increase defense spending during a time of critical weakness in the Soviet economy had a major impact. Couple this with Reagan's personal diplomacy by starting out as a fierce critic of the USSR but slowly developing a relationship with Gorbachev was also critical. Thinking that Reagan was an empty shell is like thinking that the switch from FDR to Truman at the end of WW2 didn't have a huge impact on post-war USSR-American relations. Personal diplomacy by world leaders can and does have a huge impact on critical international events.

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I think it's a fairly weak argument that Reagan wasn't a key factor in the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. Obviously Gorbachev played a role as well, but Reagan's decision to radically increase defense spending during a time of critical weakness in the Soviet economy had a major impact. Couple this with Reagan's personal diplomacy by starting out as a fierce critic of the USSR but slowly developing a relationship with Gorbachev was also critical. Thinking that Reagan was an empty shell is like thinking that the switch from FDR to Truman at the end of WW2 didn't have a huge impact on post-war USSR-American relations. Personal diplomacy by world leaders can and does have a huge impact on critical international events.

 

Except estimates by the CIA indicate that the Soviets didn't increase their defense spending in response to Carter's and Reagan's military buildup.

 

So in other words the Soviets saw what America was trying to do, and was like: "Nah".

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I would like to debunk another theory. The USSR dissolved mainly because of the decisions of MikhailGorbachev to give the people of the USSR more choice when it comes to free speech and economic decisions. The country was so unstable that when Mr. Gorbachev made these reforms, everything else came crashing down. Anybody could have said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.". I would also tend to disagree with lonzo on this one when it comes to he would have been in jail if he did what Obama has done. Obama has most definitely overstepped his boundaries with his power and not followed through on many promises, but he is unquestionably the most scrutinized President in our recent history.

More scrutinized than Bush? Lol the second one not his dad. I'll agree that he does face lots of scrutiny, but every president in history has.It comes down to what they do while in office that determines how much people pay attention to what choices they're making. If you're thinking or suggesting that his race is the reason for the scrutiny, then there's nothing further I can say. Nixon got impeached for bugging the Democratic Party headquarters, Obama puts bugs in and on everything and the only guy in trouble for it is the one that told the public about the program. I mean there's LOADS more I can point out, yeah he gets a tough break but you kinda know that's gonna happen when you put your name on the ballot. Back to Reagan, you may be right that just about anyone could have told Gorbachev to tear his little wall down, but not just anyone did. If the US hadn't had a person in leadership that had some real nuts,the Soviets wouldn't have done it because they wouldn't have thought that if they didn't, they'd go to war with a stronger country and lost.The air of leadership may just be a facade but there's a big difference between a leader that's taken very seriously and one that has questionable testicular fortitude. :D Putin is still looking at Ukraine isn't he?

 

I would argue he is scrutinized more than Bush. There was never a Bush controversy over a marine holding his umbrella. This is just one silly example. I agree that Bush was a very highly criticized President, but the majority of his scrutiny was political, which is different than the current administration, and me saying this is in no way related to race. The USSR would have fallen even without the fall of the Berlin Wall. As to the current Ukraine situation, the United States has no leverage in the situation. The US has standing armies in Iraq and Afghanistan, therefore, it is logical that Russia and Putin fails to respond to American demands. What more would Reagan do in this situation? The US condemned Putins actions, they strategically moved warships to flex military might, and they put hefty sanctions that are DESTROYING the Russian economy upon Putin and his inner ring. What more- while avoiding war- would Reagan do? Its easy to call Reagan a strong leader, but its harder to prove he would do anything different than the current administration. 

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I think it's a fairly weak argument that Reagan wasn't a key factor in the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. Obviously Gorbachev played a role as well, but Reagan's decision to radically increase defense spending during a time of critical weakness in the Soviet economy had a major impact. Couple this with Reagan's personal diplomacy by starting out as a fierce critic of the USSR but slowly developing a relationship with Gorbachev was also critical. Thinking that Reagan was an empty shell is like thinking that the switch from FDR to Truman at the end of WW2 didn't have a huge impact on post-war USSR-American relations. Personal diplomacy by world leaders can and does have a huge impact on critical international events.

Its widely acknowledged that the Soviet economy stalled in the 1970s, long before Reagan came to the White House. On top of that, during the time before Gorbachev while Reagan was in office, relations with the USSR got significantly chillier due to Reagan policy. It was dumb luck that Gorbachev came to power (the premature deaths of two Soviet Leaders) when he did. When Gorbachev came to power THAT was when relations began to thaw. I have no doubt that personal diplomacy is important in international relations, but I am a strong believer that ANY President would have been able to facilitate the collapse of the USSR. 

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I think it's a fairly weak argument that Reagan wasn't a key factor in the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. Obviously Gorbachev played a role as well, but Reagan's decision to radically increase defense spending during a time of critical weakness in the Soviet economy had a major impact. Couple this with Reagan's personal diplomacy by starting out as a fierce critic of the USSR but slowly developing a relationship with Gorbachev was also critical. Thinking that Reagan was an empty shell is like thinking that the switch from FDR to Truman at the end of WW2 didn't have a huge impact on post-war USSR-American relations. Personal diplomacy by world leaders can and does have a huge impact on critical international events.

Its widely acknowledged that the Soviet economy stalled in the 1970s, long before Reagan came to the White House. On top of that, during the time before Gorbachev while Reagan was in office, relations with the USSR got significantly chillier due to Reagan policy. It was dumb luck that Gorbachev came to power (the premature deaths of two Soviet Leaders) when he did. When Gorbachev came to power THAT was when relations began to thaw. I have no doubt that personal diplomacy is important in international relations, but I am a strong believer that ANY President would have been able to facilitate the collapse of the USSR. 

 

Personal diplomacy is a very important factor in IR.  Just look at Obama and Putin today.  There was a meeting in China that both leaders attended, if you look at pictures with both of them or look at their interaction with one another you can tell that the two don't like each other.  Our relations with Russia would be in the opposite direction our president was "good" friends with theirs.

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I think it's a fairly weak argument that Reagan wasn't a key factor in the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. Obviously Gorbachev played a role as well, but Reagan's decision to radically increase defense spending during a time of critical weakness in the Soviet economy had a major impact. Couple this with Reagan's personal diplomacy by starting out as a fierce critic of the USSR but slowly developing a relationship with Gorbachev was also critical. Thinking that Reagan was an empty shell is like thinking that the switch from FDR to Truman at the end of WW2 didn't have a huge impact on post-war USSR-American relations. Personal diplomacy by world leaders can and does have a huge impact on critical international events.

Its widely acknowledged that the Soviet economy stalled in the 1970s, long before Reagan came to the White House. On top of that, during the time before Gorbachev while Reagan was in office, relations with the USSR got significantly chillier due to Reagan policy. It was dumb luck that Gorbachev came to power (the premature deaths of two Soviet Leaders) when he did. When Gorbachev came to power THAT was when relations began to thaw. I have no doubt that personal diplomacy is important in international relations, but I am a strong believer that ANY President would have been able to facilitate the collapse of the USSR. 

 

Personal diplomacy is a very important factor in IR.  Just look at Obama and Putin today.  There was a meeting in China that both leaders attended, if you look at pictures with both of them or look at their interaction with one another you can tell that the two don't like each other.  Our relations with Russia would be in the opposite direction our president was "good" friends with theirs.

 

I acknowledged that personal relations are important, but I think you are placing a bigger value on them than necessary. Merkel and Obama do not see eye to eye on many things, Merkel was very upset about the US spying on her,(which she has every right to be), but it has not really effected overall relations with the United States. Undoubtedly, it is hard to have two nations who don't see eye to eye reconcile while the leaders remain impersonal, but it is not impossible. 

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I think it's a fairly weak argument that Reagan wasn't a key factor in the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. Obviously Gorbachev played a role as well, but Reagan's decision to radically increase defense spending during a time of critical weakness in the Soviet economy had a major impact. Couple this with Reagan's personal diplomacy by starting out as a fierce critic of the USSR but slowly developing a relationship with Gorbachev was also critical. Thinking that Reagan was an empty shell is like thinking that the switch from FDR to Truman at the end of WW2 didn't have a huge impact on post-war USSR-American relations. Personal diplomacy by world leaders can and does have a huge impact on critical international events.

Its widely acknowledged that the Soviet economy stalled in the 1970s, long before Reagan came to the White House. On top of that, during the time before Gorbachev while Reagan was in office, relations with the USSR got significantly chillier due to Reagan policy. It was dumb luck that Gorbachev came to power (the premature deaths of two Soviet Leaders) when he did. When Gorbachev came to power THAT was when relations began to thaw. I have no doubt that personal diplomacy is important in international relations, but I am a strong believer that ANY President would have been able to facilitate the collapse of the USSR. 

 

Personal diplomacy is a very important factor in IR.  Just look at Obama and Putin today.  There was a meeting in China that both leaders attended, if you look at pictures with both of them or look at their interaction with one another you can tell that the two don't like each other.  Our relations with Russia would be in the opposite direction our president was "good" friends with theirs.

 

 

Not really, Bush and Putin had a really good rapport. But during their time was began the real divergence of contemporary US-Russian relations.

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Putin respected Bush because he demonstrated that we're willing to hit people hard.The Russians couldn't contain Afghanistan and gave up and Bush did a JOB containing that specific area (job meaning he bombed the sugar out of it just because he felt like it). The Russians aren't as civilized as the western world and when dealing with barbarians, they have to respect your authoritay. Reagan totally pulled it off. Putin sure didn't try that sugar in Ukraine when Bush was in office.

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What specifically would you have wanted Obama to do differently. Or a more specific question, in your ideal world, if Bush was President, how would he have reacted to the Ukraine crisis?

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Authoritay indicates supremacay, which leads to diplomacay. Honestly I don't think we should've done anything to support Ukraine. They didn't wanna be part of NATO so really we owe them nothing. And don't get me wrong, I don't care much for Bush either. America hasn't had a decent president since FDR.

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Authoritay indicates supremacay, which leads to diplomacay. Honestly I don't think we should've done anything to support Ukraine. They didn't wanna be part of NATO so really we owe them nothing. And don't get me wrong, I don't care much for Bush either. America hasn't had a decent president since FDR.

 

Stop it, Cartman.

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:D Love Cartman

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