The Greatest President: Ronald Reagan

President Dan O’Doherty

reagan_thatcher

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.

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7 thoughts on “The Greatest President: Ronald Reagan

  1. “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.” Oh that’s alright then.

    “It is because of their steadfast and determined leadership that the slaves of communism were finally set free…”

    What makes you think that?

  2. Wow. What a transparent choice. You chose Reagan because he’s basically like you: loves Conservatism and Thatcher, and hates Socialism.
    I’ll be honest, I’m going with Jefferson. Reagan being a charming Thatcherite doesn’t quite make him the greatest US President of all time in my eyes.

  3. haha… well like anything… it depends on how you look at it. For me Thatcherism is GOD lol. Not for some blind loyalty to the individual lady (although that too!) but for the principles she and he (Reagan) embodied. Freedom of the individual, commerce over state ownership, low taxes, free markets, tough foreign policy stances, media savvy etc.

    That is why he is my favourite president and why Thatcher is my favourite PM Laura. They best represent the way I would govern. In the end you have to chose the president that you feel best represents your views. Dan C chose Jefferson, I chose Reagan, Matt chose Reagan, Hefford chose Lincoln and you chose Jefferson. Im waiting for hefford’s blog as to why Lincoln is his fave president which is coming this week. It should make for interesting debate.

  4. “low taxes” Thatcher raised them and both of thyem made tax rises neseserry after their departure; ‘read my lips’.

    “…you have to chose the president that you feel best represents your views.” No, I sympathise with Nixon to a certain degree. You can often admire someone who is at the other end of the polit6ical spectrum.

  5. I certainly don’t know enough about all the presidents we’ve had to say Regan was the best, or to say that any of them were really… I think to some degree you have to have lived in their time to really understand …. history changes the way people view things for better or worse, sometimes time it adds a factual perspective, but doesn’t remember the feeling of the times those people lived in… who ever is the best… i think Regan did a fabulous job with his time in office, and I wish he was around now to clean up the mess we’re in. Regardless, I believe Regan will always be considered one of the greats, as well he should be. right along with Lincoln and Jefferson, and I’m sure many others we don’t call to mind so quickly

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