President Dan O’Doherty
Unsuprisingly my favourite President of the United States is… Ronald Reagan. The ‘gipper’ was quite frankly one of the most charismatic and accomplished occupants ever to grace the Oval Office. His steadfast opposition to Communism with his British counterpart Margaret Thatcher ensured that the millions of ‘slaves’ to that wicked and barren ideology were finally set free. Further to this he recognised like Thatcher, that America needed to radically adapt its economic policy that had fallen flat under the hapless Carter if it was ever going to achieve its potential.
Furthermore he realised early on, and coined the famous phrase, that ‘government is not the answer to the problem… government is the problem’ and set about reducing the role of the federal government. However what endeers me and many others to Ronald Reagan most was his uncanny ability to charm even his most vherement of opponents. Despite some clumsy foreign policy errors, ice cold relations with the Soviets, soaring budget deficits and rising unemployment he had a sheer charm and ability to woo his critics that seemed to evade his British counterpart.
In terms of the electoral college and popular support it is unquestionable that Ronald Reagan was an effecitve political machine. 1984 he won a landslide victory greater than that of ‘the saviour’ Barack Obama where he carried all but one state meaning he was able to effectively deal with the Soviet Union on a wave of popular political support. However despite all of his greater national and international achievements for me, as a British observer, the greatest achievement of Ronald Reagan and the reason why he is my favourite President lies in his relationship with Margaret Thatcher.
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were political soulmates. Together they presided over and shaped events that made the world what it is today. It is because of their steadfast and determined leadership that the slaves of communism were finally set free, the economies of their respective countries boomed and that bitter word ‘decline’ was cast aside for the next decade. Despite the fact he left office with a budget deficit larger than the combined total of all of his 39 predecessors Ronald Reagan is still adored by the American people and his legacy lives on. Whilst I do not believe he is as strong a leader as Thatcher I certainly believe he was the greatest occupant of the Oval Office due to his ability to do radical things whilst retaining his personal popularity.