Type of paper: Book Review
In his reign as the fortieth United states President, Ronald Reagan Kept dairies for each day. The dairies contained his thoughts and routine day to day activities of his presidency. This collection is called Reagan’s Dairies. He was a Republican and was the President of the U.S from Jan 1981 to January 1989.
The Book Reagan on Reagan contains major issues concerning the tenure of Reagan. The book superficially doesn’t talk much on political and historical dimensions of the President. From the dairies the strengths and weaknesses of his presidency can be seen. For instance, in his first term, Reagan is said to have been more alert and active chief executive than his detractors care to admit. This strength remains as his description irrespective of the problem that he was tackling.
In his first 17 months of his tenure, Ronald Reagan had faced many challenges and problems from Alexander Haig who was his initial secretary of the State. Haig thought of himself as a de facto policy maker. This could not work with Ragan and as such he Ronald Reagan accepted Haig’s resignation letter.
This was after Haig acknowledged that there was some disagreements existed between them. The Dairies also reveal the former governor of California brand of the republican politics. He at times negatively referred to some of the moderates of Republican Party. These included Senator Bob Packwood, Charles Mathias among others. Nevertheless, he was also critical on the New right and the and supply side stelwarts such as Howard Phillips, Senators Jesse, Bill Armstrong, among others.
Reagan’s desire was to cut taxes and also spending however, during his administration spending grew. He supported the idea that Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich giving to him an explanation as to why they felt their economic proposal were simple.
Reagan was a good advocate for free markets and on taking over the office, it was his firm belief that the economy of America was negatively affected by the many economic controls and also misguided welfare programmes which were enacted in the year 1960s and 1970s. He took office during stagflation in the U.S. economy. He thus issued price controls on domestic oil.
In his early days in office, Reagan was concerned about the military spending and some tax cuts. This led to the coming up of the economic policies such as the one called Reaganomics which achieved a cut in the income tax by 25%.However despite his reduction to spending policy, the federal spending grew in his tenure.
Ronald Reagan supported George Bush as his heir politically. Reagan did not value the liberty of the press. He was angered by the coverage of his Visits to German Second World War cemetry, and in the Iran – Contra scandal.
Reagan’s second term was not so much involved in matters of foreign affairs, he made contribution towards legislating some statutes on domestic matters. In the year 1982, he assented to the Bill of Voting rights act of 1965 for other 25years. Despite the fact that he had opposed the same bill in the 1980. This extension was to add protections to the disabled, blind and even the illiterate voters. Other pieces of legislations included: civil liberties act of 1988. This was to compensate the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities of Japan. The overhaul of internal revenue code in 1986. Reagan also assented to bills permitting the death penalty for offences of Murder.
Reagan’s view on the rights of the gays is controversial. In the 1970s he supported the rights of the gays.
Reagan paid a great deal of attention to family and religion. Brinkley in introducing the book underscores the essence of family to Reagan .The Marriage between Ronal Reagan and Nancy complicated the relations with children. This was especially so with Ron and Patti.
Reagan‘s move to fire the nations traffic controllers who participated in the go slow was controversial. His increase of the solvency of the social security fund by cutting the survivor and disability benefits and also raising the payroll withholding tax. He was a fast to act on crime and drug peddlers however, many criticized him on his response to the AIDS scourge.
On foreign affairs matters, Reagan at first rejected détente and acted by confronting the Soviet Union via a policy of peace through strength which included increased military spending. This was aimed at supporting the anti-communist revolutionary movements in Angola, Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Cambodia. He later on went for negotiation and they both contributed to the end of the cold war.
In his era Reagan took a military action against Lebanon, Libya and Grenada. However by the end of his term he still had a high rating public approval of 63%.
President Reagan liked watching Hollywood movies and also listening to music. He also took riding at Camp David as a hobby others included: horse riding, chopping of wood ion the forest. This is the social part of the presidents’ life. These included his hobbies.
Reagan’s dairies confirm that, Reagan had embedded custom of substituting public relations for serious policies. For instance, rather than fighting infections and ill health with a program that will fully cover the big gaps in the state health insurance coverage. He decided to only visit those suffering form lethal diseases and only empathizing with them. He likewise thought that, he could surpass his fame as President who doesn’t meddle in the affairs of civil rights by meeting black clergy me.
In 1986 the Presidency of Reagan suffered a major scandal: Iran-contra scandals from which he many perceived him to be growing too old. Due to his sense and media skills, Reagan may be considered as the most successful of the United States Presidents since the years 1968 to 2008. However the readers of these Dairies may become aware of an existing gap. This President Reagan does not speak on the problems and even the challenges of the coming millennium.
New York Times. New York Times. 17 june 2007. 27 October 2010 <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/17/books/review/Phillips-t.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1>.