Thursday, 23 January 2014

Hatred for Reagan

Political Cartoon on Ronald Reagan

Former President Ronald Reagan has been criticised over the years and deemed an inadequate leader of the United States of America. In an article by Dr. Susmit Kumar, the reader is introduced to debate over how Reagan should be perceived as a President. The author recalls results from a poll in 1996 where "Ronald Reagan came in 25th out of 39 presidents, putting him in the “low average” category". In addition, the language used by Kumar implies that often it was not Reagan's actions that lead to improvements and triumphs for America, but luck and the help of others, for example, the fall of Soviet communism was more due to economic issues overseas not because of steps taken by Reagan and Japan who financed most of the United States debt. One critic of Reagan is Henry Kissinger, who stated "Reagan knew next to no history. He treated biblical references to Armageddon as operational predictions. Many of the historical anecdotes he was so fond of recounting had no basis in fact, as facts are generally understood. In a private conversation, he once equated Gorbachev with Bismarck, arguing that both had overcome identical domestic obstacles by moving away from a centrally planned economy toward the free market. I advised a mutual friend that Reagan should be warned never to repeat this preposterous proposition to a German interlocutor". To add Kissinger said, "The details of foreign policy bored Reagan. He had absorbed a few basic ideas about the dangers of appeasement, the evils of communism, and the greatness of his own country, but analysis of substantive issues was not his forte. All of this caused me to remark, during what I thought was an off-the-record talk before a conference of historians at the Library of Congress: 'When you talk to Reagan, you sometimes wonder why it occurred to anyone that he should be president, or even governor. But what you historians have to explain is how so unintellectual a man could have dominated California for eight years, and Washington already for nearly seven.' [3]" 

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