Essay on Reagan's Changing Views on The Soviet Union

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Seven American presidents over the course of 44 years engaged the Soviet Union in cold war prior to Reagan’s election in 1980. They used policies such as containment and Détente to contain Soviet aggression and win the Cold War. Ronald Reagan came to power at the pinnacle of the Cold War, following, what he saw, as the failures of Détente. Reagan was a tireless cheerleader of American patriotism in a time when America had lost faith in its national institutions and its position on the world’s stage. An ardent anti-Communist, Reagan often invoked anti-Soviet rhetoric, calling them an “Evil Empire” and challenging Soviet leadership to “tear down” the Berlin Wall. More than any other American president, Ronald Reagan took saber-rattling to a …show more content…
Who would have predicted a man who came from humble beginnings, a Midwesterner born in Tampico, Illinois, on February 6, 1911, would become one of the most revered and respected presidents in recent American history. Prior to 1964, Ronald Reagan had described himself as a Truman Democrat, a man who was staunchly anti-communist but embraced New Deal like programs at home. By 1964, however, Reagan had undergone a political transformation and came out for Barry Goldwater in a televised speech that was titled, “A Time for Choosing” but is more often known as, “The Speech.” It was Reagan’s political introduction to the American people. Though he had been an actor and spokesman for General Electric, he was not considered a politician.
October 27, 1964 changed Reagan’s image for good. “A Time for Choosing” focused on the nation’s domestic ills and the results of a social-welfare state created by President Johnson. Though not a speech on foreign policy or U.S. -Soviet relations, this speech made Ronald Reagan look like a man who could play a significant role nationally, but more importantly on the world’s stage. He took shots at the Soviet Union by accusing American “Liberals” of going weak on communism, “You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, ‘There is a price we will not pay.’

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