The Ronald Reagan that I most respected, was the Ron Reagan before he became President. Even though he did some good things as President as well. Like ending the Cold War with the Soviet Union and getting the economy going again after inheriting an awful economy from the Carter Administration. He of course didn’t do that alone, no President or government can of course. But the Ron Reagan that I respect most, was anti-Washington, anti-big government, pro-individual freedom. Believed in things like keeping government out of our wallets and bedrooms, he was even pro-gay rights.
Reagan pro-gay was rights after he became President in 1981. Pro-strong military, but only use when it was in our National Interest. He wasn’t a Neoconservative which is something else I respect about Ron Reagan. But as much as Reagan spoke out against big government, he expanded the Federal Government almost as much as President. And not just in the Defense Department, but he expanded the War on Drugs, more Americans than ever were in prison during his administration. A big reason for that to do with his expansion of the War on Drugs. And of course the record debt and deficit he piled up as President, because of his defense spending and his unpaid for tax cuts were a big part of that as well.
Ron Reagan was a classical Conservative, (just not fiscally conservative) perhaps even a small libertarian even when he was running for President. But as President even though he kept some of those principles, he was more of a pragmatist than anything else. “What do I have to do to get the job done, what do we have to negotiate. He had a Democratic House the whole eight years as President. Democrats had a large Minority in the Senate for six years and controlled the Senate the last two years. I give President Reagan credit for ending the Cold War and turning the economy around. But we paid a heavy price for it in debt, deficit, high interest rates and inflation in the early 1990s.
If you look at President Reagan’s accomplishments as President, the economy, the Cold War, getting three Conservatives on the Supreme Court. Sandra O’Connor, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy. As well as appointing a Conservative to Chief Justice in William Renquist. All this alone makes Ronald Reagan one of the most successful conservative president’s we’ve ever had politically. As well as winning the presidency in a landslide, being reelected in a landslide, his Vice President George HW Bush succeeding him. Actually I don’t know of a more successful Conservative President than Ronald Reagan politically. Dwight Eisenhower would be then only other one I would consider. As far as being able to get his policy’s put in place and having a positive record to show for them.
George W. Bush wasn’t a Classical Conservative, but a Neoconservative as President. With his borrow and spend fiscal policy and neoconservative foreign policy. To call Ronald Reagan perfect as President, you have to be either the president of his fan club and vowed to never say anything negative about him, or not have been alive during his presidency and never read, or seen anything about his presidency. Ronald Reagan was the most successful Republican President of the 20th Century, with only President Eisenhower would be someone I would consider. And that’s all the credit I’ll give him.