Reagan, Ronald Wilson (1911- ),the 40th president of the United States (1981-1989), enforced the policies that reversed a general direction of movement toward greater government involvement in economic and social regulation. Reagan as the younger of two sons, was born in Tampico, Illinois and spent most of his childhood in Dixon, Illinois.
After studying at Eureka College,a small Disciples of Christ college near Peoria, Illinois, he majored in economics, and became the president of the student body, a member of the football team, and captain of the swimming team. He had special drawings toward acting, but after the graduation in 1932 the only job available related to show business was as a local radio sportscaster. In 1936 he became a sportscaster for station WHO in Des Moines, Iowa. A year latter, Reagan went to Hollywood and began an acting career that spanned more than 25 years. He played in more than 50 films, including “Knute Rockne”-All American (1940), “King’s Row” (1942), and “Bedtime for Bonzo” (1951).
Reagan’s first political activities were associated with his responsibilities as a union leader. As union president, Reagan tried to remove suspected Communists from the movie industry. When the U.S. House Committee. Began an investigation in 1947 on the influence of Communists in the film industry, Reagan took a strong anti-Communist stand testifying before the committee. Reagan emerged on the national political scene in 1964 when he made fervent television speech supports for the Republican presidential candidate, United States Senator Barry Goldwater from Arizona. Although the election was lost, Reagan’s speech brought in money and admiration from Republicans around the country. After the speech a group of Republicans in California persuaded Reagan to run for governor of California in 1966. Reagan appealed to traditional Republican voters. He defeated Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, Sr., Democrat, by almost a million votes.
Reagan spent years making political friends at party fund-raising dinners around the country. In the election of 1980 for the president, the candidates were Carter and Reagan. The contrast between the television personalities of two candidates was very important to people. Carter’s nervous manner had never been popular to people, while Reagan’s charm and happy face was a call for return to patriotism, which appealed to the public. Many voters believed that Reagan was forceful leader who could get their lives in shape and who could restore prosperity at home. In 1980 Reagan won the election , receiving 51 percent to Carter’s 41 percent.
As president, Reagan defined his management style as “to identify the problem, find the right individuals to do the job, and then let them go to it.” Reagan’s main function in his presidency was described as “the great communicator.”
Reagan also received strong support from religious groups, who were unhappy about what they saw as decreasing respect for religion in public life and about increasing respect to sex and drugs, that had emerged in the late 1960s. These groups had little in common, and stood on Reagan’s side to make changes.
Reagan also controlled a solid majority over middle class and working class Americans, many of them were the once who had supported the Democratic Party. He won their support with his positive declaration that the federal government imposed taxation high and had grown too large to control over people. Reagan spoke out in public against what overgrown government bureaucracy, expensive social programs, and federal regulatory agencies that interrupted in the private lives and business dealings of U.S. citizens.
His strength in the 1980 election helped the Republicans win a majority in the Senate for the first time in 26 years. With more control of the House, Democrats had the ability to stop and block many of Reagan’s plans but his strengths of approaching to people directly and his abilities as a speaker did a lot to influence public.
On March 30, 1981, John W. Hinckley shot Reagan in the chest during an assassination attempt. John has santed to court and later they found Hinckley was not guilty because of insanity. Hinckely was sented to a mental hospital. After the assassinations attempt the support for Reagan increased public support for Reagan.
In 1984 the Republicans nominated Reagan and Bush for a second term. Reagan promised to keep taxes down, and won 59 percent of the popular vote and carried 49 states. In the 1986 elections the Democrats regained control of the Senate. During his last two years in office, unable to run for reelection himself, Reagan found it harder to get his legislative proposals finished.
In the Middle East, Reagan came out several times with U.S. forces to help out with army and military needs. In the early 1980s, armed conflict broke out in Lebanon between the Christian government and a number of Muslim groups. In effort to strengthen the Christian government, Reagan sent marines to Lebanon to help out. In October 1983 a bomb killed nearly 250 marines and other U.S. service members at their Beirut headquarters. In 1986 a bomb in a West German dance club killed an U.S. soldier and injured others. Reagan claimed that Libya was responsible for the bombing activities, retaliated with air strikes against several Libyan cities on April 15, 1986 and related to the supporting of Christian government in Libya.
The President Reagan was one of the greatest presidents. Majorities of people were amassed of how great union leader he was. I was impressed with his courage and motivation that he gave to American people. More Americans were working than ever before and new businesses were being started up in the country. The President Reagan always had sense for humor and smile on his face. He was a great leader for our country. His great courage was shown during the assassination when he was very close to dying. Still then, in the hard moments of life, he had sense of humor. When he arrived at the hospital he made his famous comment to doctors; “I hope somebody is a Republican in this crowd.” He was a great dictator and communicator. Reagan explained in his own words; “ I was not a great communicator, but I communicated great things.” He also said; “everyone can rise as high and as far as his ability will take him,” and he pointed his own beginnings as proof.