Historical Figure (by firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ronald Reagan’s actions as president, while seemingly standard and normal, were actually deeply important to him and result of immense influences on him throughout his life. His actions and his political views all came from major figures and beliefs he knew in his life.
For example, A person who influenced Reagan was Calvin Coolidge, or “Silent Cal.” Reagan adapted lots of Coolidge’s economic policies into his plans. Instead of raising taxes. Reagan took a play out of Coolidge's playbook and cut them, resulting in increased revenue (Ronald Reagan, 244). Also, Reagan would mention Ibn Battuta, a Muslim scholar and traveler, who explained that when taxes were low, revenue would be greater in the end. Reagan admired this logic, and felt he needed to honor Coolidge. When he started living in the White House, he writes “I did my part by hanging up a picture of Calvin Coolidge” (Reagan 244).
Also, his upbringing shaped who he is. His mother was a Protestant, and his father was Catholic (God and Ronald Reagan, 4). His faith was shaped during his younger years. Although he was raised in a Christian household, there were still problems. Sometimes Reagan’s dad would be very drunk and his mother would often tell Ronald to be patient with his father and that he’s actually going through problems and needs help. His mother was also active in helping the community. The charitable and helpful nature of his upbringing probably affected how he made policy. He had to be patient with other countries’ and understand they may be trying their best to cooperate. Reagan had to trust but verify.
His Christian life impacted his views and motivations throughout life, more than one might think. He was more than just a Christian. He actually believed he was doing God’s will and trusted in Him to help him. To Reagan, the Cold War was a crusade, and he was actually fighting the evil of Communism.
“I was raised to believe that God has a plan for everyone and that random twists of fate are all part of His plan,” Reagan writes (Reagan 20).
Reagan talked to God multiple times, asking Him for help. Contrary to the strong persona of Reagan, he sometimes doubted if he was ready to be president and take on his important responsibilities (Regan 11, 229).
These influences defined who Reagan was, and perhaps changed the course of history.
"If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under." ~Ronald Reagan
I think Reagan would be perceived as too strong and “radical” in these days. People and the coming generations don’t understand the world as it is/was. They don’t understand why Reagan wanted to limit government, lower taxes, and have strong foreign policy. These days, the legacy o Reagan and what he did has almost been lost and the political spectrum has shifted. I think people would see him to radically right wing and as some sort of American Imperialist for his foreign policy, not to mention people now are actually turned off by the idea of a devout Christian being in the Oval Office. If he was president now, he would still be very successful and save the country, but he just wouldn’t be perceived that way and it would be a lot harder to get people to recognize that.
If I had Reagan’s persuasive skills, his wit, and his wisdom and character, I’d probably do exactly what he did. He ran for public office in an attempt to save the country he loved from hard times and ever-present danger. Although the Cold War “ended” decades ago, the country is still facing the same problems, economic problems and foreign problems. Reagan may have been from a different time, but his character is eternal.
"Make America Great Again"
"Build Up This Wall"
Evans, Michael. 198527. 1982. National Archives and Records Administration. Wikipedia.
Web. 10 Mar. 2016.
Kengor, Paul. God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life. New York: Regan, 2004. Print.
Lowry, Rich. "Op-ed: The End of Reagan Nostalgia?" Peninsula Clarion. Peninsula Clarion, 6
Mar. 2016. Web. 12 Mar. 2016.
Reagan, Ronald. Ronald Reagan: An American Life. United States of America: Simon and Schuster, 2002. Print.
In conclusion, Reagan took to heart traditional American values and principles, and used them as the cornerstone of his legacy. He was deeply influenced by his faith and his patriotism, and those led him to fight for freedom and protect America from a notorious enemy at the gates. He fought for the rich and the poor. He fought for the common American. To him, it was simply his duty, and that passion to complete one’s duty is all that is necessary to have a truly extraordinary American Experience.