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Mark Maitland AllenB424 Jan 2018Ronald ReaganUntil he was the age of 51, Mr.Ronald Reagan voted as a Democrat; same as his father before him and his father’s father. In 1962, however he joined the Republican Party. This party change resulted from his growing attachment to conservative political ideas including constitutional limits on the power of government, unfettered freedom of economic enterprise, and ordered liberty’s. Reagan stated,”I did not leave the Democratic Party, the party left me.”In 1964, Reagan favored the republican Barry Goldwater in the presidential race. He even agreed to make a televised speech for Goldwater. Although Goldwater lost the election to Lyndon Johnson, Reagan’s speech won over a large majority of the republicans. The speech Reagan made was called “A Time for Choosing” and started the jolt to his rapid rise in politics;  becoming the president of the United States.    Before going straight to the presidency Reagan first had to prove himself holding a political office. He ran and won two terms as governor of California, which he held from 1967 to 1975. While in office his achievements attracted National attention and he decided to seek the Republican Party’s nominations in the presidential election of 1976. The other Republican nominee was Gerald Ford, who acquired the presidency after Richard Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal. Ford barely defeated Reagan to win the Republican Party nomination. When Democratic Nominee Jimmy Carter defeated Ford, Reagan decided to pursue the presidency again by 1980.    The biggest issue with Ronald Reagan becoming President was his age, since he was not elected in the 1976 race when he was 65 years old, he would be the oldest person to serve as president. His public appearances, countered his age issue. A second issue was Reagan’s need to maintain contact with the public prior to the 1980s election. In 1975, he met that challenge, when he produced a brief radio broadcast that aired five times a week. This broadcast discussed his views on current events and issues happening in the world. Adding on to that he also wrote a biweekly editorial published in over 200 newspapers across the country. In addition he gave several speeches each month to Americans which, provided a positive public image among a growing number of voters.    In 1980, after Competition from several opponents, Reagan won the Republican Party nomination. George H.W. Bush accepted the Vice President nomination. Reagan’s competition was against the current Democratic President Jimmy Carter, and an additional third party candidate; liberal/republican John Anderson running as an independent. Ronald Reagan combined his conservatism with the liberalism of his two components, Reagan claimed he would conserve the core principles of America’s founders and use them to solve current problems. He charged President Carter with the failure to stop the declining American power and prestige in the world. Furthermore, accusing President Carter’s administration for America’s sluggish economy, high unemployment rate, rising prices over the nation, and to add on a declining standard of living. One main theme of Reagan’s campaign was to ask the voters if they were better off in 1980 than four years earlier, when Jimmy Carter became president. Reagan won the presidency with a landslide victory. Many Independent and Democrat voters switched to the republican party before the election of Ronald Reagan.On January 20, 1981, while President Reagan was taking his oath of office, 52 American prisoners that were held captive in Iran were immediately released.  These men and women were held for 444 days during the Carter administration. Iran released the hostages because of the fear that President Reagan would take care of the situation forthwith using the powers of his office.During Reagan’s first inaugural address, he expressed an optimistic view of the nations problems, stemming from the advancing presidential powers taken during previous administrations. He felt this could be overcome this by using conservative policies. Reagan’s said “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”. By that he meant that the over expansion of powers were taking away from “We the people”. Democrats controlled the House 244 to 191 Republicans. The Senate there were 53 Republicans, 49 Democrats, and 1 Independent.   These statistics required that Democrats in Congress must vote to approve bills including Reagan’s budget and immigration plan; which were approved.In August of 1981, the President  wheeled his powers during the Air-Traffic controller strike.  It is a violation of federal law for federal government employees to go on strike. This strike was crippling millions of American travelers.  President Reagan gave the striking employees 48 hours to return to their positions or be fired.  After 48 hours there were 11,000 federal employees that did not return to work were fired.  These employees were replaced by military and non-striking workers. President Reagan went further and banned the striking workers from being rehired. In October of 1983, the Country of Grenada’s government was overthrown by communist military forces.  President Reagan ordered military troops to invade Grenada to rescue thousands of Americans living on the island, to defeat communism, and restore their parliamentary government. Some felt the President should have received permission from Congress prior to deploying troops, but Reagan felt he was acting under his constitutional authority to swiftly end the situation, which endangered American lives. In this instance Reagan did not get permission from Congress to deploy troops.In what would become one of his most famous speeches President Reagan stood before the Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin Germany, June 1987.  He challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall”, which had been built in 1961 by communist East Germany.  The wall isolated West Berlin and prevented East Germans from fleeing to the West and had become a symbol of communism around the world.One of President Reagan’s greatest successes working with Congress were the tax cuts he created proposed in 1981. These enactments were a major reduction in domestic expenditures and the Economic Recovery Tax Act.  This act,signed into law in August, created lowed federal revenues over a five year period in the total amount of $737 billion. A second success and national security issue was the contraction of nuclear arms and signed Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union on December 8, 1987. This treaty eliminated all cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,000 kilometers. During his second term as President, Reagan made significant progress toward accomplishing an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union, which officially ended the Cold War. At the end of his term in 1989, Reagan was credited with making a strong contribution to the level of world peace at that time.As a result of President Carter’s policies, the American military had low morale, low pay, outdated equipment, and no maintenance on the equipment they currently had.  Reagan believed in “peace through strength” and rebuilt the armed forces.  He increased defense spending by more than 40% and increased number of military personnel. Those efforts ensured that America remained the military superpower that it had once been. Another reason Reagan worked with Congress to increase the military budget was to keep up with the Soviet Union.  The Soviets were outspending the U.S. in military weapons procurement becoming a grave national security issue. The Soviets had the advantage over America, which could have lead to a potentially dangerous imbalance of power.Reagan had very few failures to successes, one of them was the Robert Bork appointment to the Supreme Court. Reagan refused to withdraw the nomination even after it was a clear Bork he had a reputation of racism, sexism, and strong prejudices. This was not only embarrassing to the Reagan administration, but it also hurt his relationship with the Senate. The second failure was in Lebanon. Reagan encouraged the invasion of Israel and sent the Marines with insufficient forces for the mission. October 23, 1983 after a suicide bomber drove a vehicle with explosives into the U.S. embassy in Beirut killing 63 Americans. Reagan ordered the U.S. forces out of Lebanon on January 3, 1984.Ronald Reagan had very few controversies surrounding his presidency. In 1986, President Reagan found himself involved with the Iran-Contra affair where senior administration officials were accused of selling weapons to Iran. The plan was further exposed when money from the weapons sales were used to fund anti-communist death squads in Nicaragua. While there is little to no evidence that directly links Reagan with the horrors of Nicaragua, his administration has been accused of actively sabotaging the investigation by withholding or destroying evidence.During President Reagan’s first year, his approval rating was 57.6% and a disapproval only 39.9%, leaving only 2.5% unsure. By 1984, Reagan’s approval rating dropped slightly to 53.6% and his disapproval rating also dropped to 37%, leaving unsure to 9.4%. In 1988, Reagan’s final year in office, his approval rating was 54%; his disapproval rating was 36%, and people unsure were 10%.In previous administrations the military had become unable to fulfill their obligations by no longer holding in a position of strength in the world. After Reagan America again became a superpower that our allies could trust and communism would fear by using “peace through strength”.President Reagan understood that there was both good and evil in the world and that it must be confronted by being dealt with promptly not excused and avoided like past administrations. The message he left for future Presidents was a powerful one; stand for something and don’t back down from a fight.  Reagan left America with more economic growth and expansion than they had in decades, which made the standard of living improve for everyone. This growth improves poverty while increasing technology, medical, and scientific progress. He reminded the country that government cannot create growth successfully only the private sector can. Reagan encouraged entrepreneurs to created jobs, takes risks, and come up with new ideas that would grow the economy. He did this by lowering taxes and reducing government regulations. Reagan again proved that capitalism works better than government ever could.Works Cited-Ronald Reagan and Executive Power | Principles, Priorities, and Policies of President Reagan,”Ronald Reagan: Remarks on East-West Relations at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin – June 12, 1987.” The American Presidency Project,Stevenson, Freeman. “Top Scandals and Controversies of Each United States President | Deseret News.” DeseretNews.com,

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