PresidentialPlayoffsEssay-KylieStine

PresidentialPlayoffsEssay-KylieStine - Stine 1 Kylie G...

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Stine 1 Kylie G. Stine Mrs. Alayna Isgrigg AP US History 20 May 2016 Ronald Reagan Regains Respect At the end of the 1970s, confidence in “the land of the free and the home of the brave” was minimal. However, Ronald Reagan, a World War II veteran, B-list actor, and governor of California, restored patriotism across the United States of America. Because of his light-hearted spirit, his determination in ending the Cold War, and his policies that greatly reduced national debt, Ronald Reagan was, without a doubt, the best President of the United States. Born February 6, 1911 in Illinois to John Edward Reagan and Nellie Wilson Reagan, Ronald Reagan moved often during his childhood. His summer job as a lifeguard symbolizes his ever-present desire to help others. After graduating from Dixon High School (where he was student body president) in 1928, Reagan continued his education at Eureka College, majoring in economics and sociology. This is where his background in politics sprouted. In 1937, Reagan became an actor for Warner Brothers. His humor and optimism, both key traits essential to his success as a President, aided him in his acting career as well. Reagan was drafted to serve in World War II, but was disqualified from fighting in combat due to poor eyesight; nevertheless, he served wholeheartedly by acting in training videos. Upon return in 1947, Reagan was president of the Screen Actors’ Guild, helping actors receive fair benefits and protection. It was in 1947 that the infamous Hollywood Ten, producers, directors, and screenwriters suspected of supporting communist principles, went before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Reagan testified against the Ten, witnessing that a “small clique [of communists] has attempted
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Stine 2 to be a disruptive influence” (Latson). His original leftist views turned conservative as he toured the country as a host and public relations officer for The General Electric Theater. It was on this tour where his political ideals were shaped--advocating against government spending, Reagan developed his platform for future campaigns. Asked later about his altered views, Reagan claimed, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me” (Walker). In context, leaving the Democratic Party was what secured Reagan’s position as President. Amidst a time of political distrust, a lack of confidence, and overall shame throughout the United States under Democrat Jimmy Carter, John Q. Citizens were drawn to Reagan’s conservatism. Throughout the 60s and 70s also came the student rebels, a major increase in drug use, the loss of the Vietnam War, and advocates for both LGBT rights and the legalization of abortion. The Watergate Scandal during Richard Nixon’s presidency contributed greatly to the feelings of mistrust Americans had toward their government. While Nixon and his incumbent successor, Gerald Ford, were Republicans, both lacked the true conservative and optimistic spirit Reagan so effortlessly exuberated.
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