From Reagan to Obama: Turning Points in Presidencies

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From Reagan to Obama Turning Points (ONE) Two Major Turning Points From Reagan's Through Obama's Presidency Two major turning historical turning points during the era from Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama were: a) the end of the Cold War as Mikhail Gorbachev introduced democratic institutions into Soviet society; and b) the terrorists attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., changed the way Americans think about protecting their homeland and motivated the president (Bush) to launch a disastrous war in Iraq. The end of the Cold War (and the democratization of the Soviet Union) came about in 1991, as president Gorbachev put "perestroika" and "glasnost" into place; perestroika means "restructuring" and glasnost meant "open discussion and democratization" (Nye, 2006). Joseph Nye, Harvard "Distinguished Service Professor," writes that Gorbachev actually wanted to "reform communism, not replace it" but the reforms that Gorbachev put into place actually "snowballed into a revolution driven from below rather than controlled from above" (Nye, p. 1). The Soviet Union was also ripe for change because Nye points out that the huge military budget for the Soviet Union was undermining important social aspects in the country, like healthcare; also, the "soft power of liberal ideas" was spreading throughout the world with the advance in communications. The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, resulted from the shrew planning by the terrorist group al

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