“It’s morning again in America” this was President Ronald Reagan’s slogan for reelection campaign in 1983 that can be seen here. According to Reagan, his first term had reversed much of the economic hardships that had gripped the country during the Carter years. Reagan also ushered in the new Religious Right and brought about America’s “Spiritual Reawakening”. Reagan has entered the America psyche, especially among the conservatives, as a great American president, who reasserted America’s global dominance, and fixed the country economic troubles.
|Reagan campaign poster courtesy of lamecherry.blogspot.com|
When it came for foreign issues Reagan initially did not seem to live up to the image that he now conjures. An example of this was on his return in 1982 from Latin America, were he said, “You’d be surprised. They’re all individual countries.” It almost seemed the Reagan was in over his as president and sometimes “displayed a striking inability to differentiate between reality and fantasy.” Ronald Reagan had a very up and down record when it came to foreign affairs from the releasing of the American hostages in Iran just weeks after his inauguration and the taking down of the Berlin Wall to Iran-Contra. Iran-Contra, which was the CIA illegal, selling of arms to Iran and using that money to fund forces in Nicaragua. This could be considered the biggest stain on Reagans image, however he claimed not to know many of the things his administration did. Regan also failed to agree on a proposal to eliminate the American and Soviet nuclear arsenal.
Ronald Reagan’s domestic record was not much better for a majority of the country. Reagan increased military spending and cut taxes for the wealthy and paid for it by cutting many social programs. He perpetuated the myth of the welfare queen a women with “ eighty names, thirty addresses, and twelve Social Security cards” and had “a tax-free income of over $150,000.” The Reagan years also witnessed a tripling of the national debt and massive stock market crash.
The Reagan that many remember and conservatives refer to when making a point does not seem to have existed. The real Reagan was an old retired actor who was out of his depth much of the time.
 Robert Griffith, and Paula Baker, eds. Major Problems in American History Since 1945. 360
 Stone, Oliver, and Peter Kuznick. The Untold History of the United States. 495
 Stone, Oliver, and Peter Kuznick. The Untold History of the United States. 496
 Stone, Oliver, and Peter Kuznick. The Untold History of the United States. 541
 Stone, Oliver, and Peter Kuznick. The Untold History of the United States. 497