Ronald Reagan and Communism

3036 Words Feb 6th, 2018 12 Pages
The organizing principle of Reagan's defense and foreign polices was anti-Communism, and Soviet policy to him pervaded every part of the globe. Each of Reagan's predecessors, from 1945 onwards, had been occupied with the possible Soviet threat towards America but Reagan was obsessed with it. Unlike his predecessors, too, he saw no possibility of compromise with the USSR, simply discounting communism as "a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written" (Dallek, 129).
Interestingly enough, Harper's editor Lewis H. Lapham commented that Reagan's anti-Soviet rhetoric may have reflected concerns about his own country. America was suffering from big government, atheism, and relaxed moral standards. America saw in the USSR "what it most fears in itself… Americans portray [it] as a monolithic prison, a dull and confined place where nobody is safe and nobody is free." The America of the 1980s portrayed Russia as a land of coarse commissars and exploited peasants where "cruel ideologies bent on world domination" flourished and produced victims of a repressive and greedy government. How different does this sound to capitalist America of Reaganism? Indeed, Lapham concluded that "Americans aim at the targets of their own despotism." (quoted by Scheer,…

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