Legacy of a Leader (2)

1

By the time of his presidency, Reagan already succeeded in establishing himself as the prototypical American icon.  Election Day, Nov 4, 1981, proved an indisputable victory.

The people ultimately distinguished Reagan as a prominent leader, earning, “489 total combined electoral votes in all but six states,” (Biography of Ronald Reagan, 1). Overtime, Reagan’s popularity only flourished. Upon re-election, Reagan finished with 59% of the popular vote and received a remarkable 525 electoral votes, constituting, “the most total electoral votes in history,” (De GregarioThe Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 646).

congressIn addition to popularity, The Great Communicator, institutionalized various standards for his successors. For example, succinct radio addresses, or “the president’s weekly radio address” as presently called, appeared naturally every Saturday morning, becoming “an indelible part of the nation’s political landscape,” (Gould, The Modern American Presidency, 194). Also, The State of the Union Address achieved new show business aspects under Ronald Reagan. Unlike previous televised renderings of a president communicating to Congress, Reagan delivered presentations that incorporated, “heroes, distinguished Americans, and individuals who demonstrated policy needs, among various guests sitting in the visitor’s gallery,” (GouldThe Modern American Presidency, 195).  Moreover, State of the Union Addresses featured a very theatrical appearance. With time, “even state governors started emulating the techniques employed by Reagan in their locally televised State of the State addresses,” (GouldThe Modern American Presidency, 195).

On January 26, 1982, Reagan presented his first presidential State of the Union Address before Congress. Reagan deemed it a constitutional obligation to secure the freedom, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for all citizens, as championed by our founding fathers. Proclaiming his faith in the fairness and general welfare of Americans, Reagan expresses venerable dedication to those democratic values, as a constitutional duty.  In this excerpt Reagan references his consummate commitment to American democracy.

“…Today marks my first State of the Union address to you, a constitutional duty as old as our Republic itself…

President Washington began this tradition in 1790 after reminding the Nation that the destiny of self-government and the “preservation of the sacred fire of liberty” is “finally staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” For our friends in the press, who place a high premium on accuracy, let me say: I did not actually hear George Washington say that…But it is a matter of historic record…

…But from this podium, Winston Churchill asked the free world to stand together against the onslaught of aggression. Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke of a day of infamy and summoned a nation to arms. Douglas MacArthur made an unforgettable farewell to a country he loved and served so well. Dwight Eisenhower reminded us that peace was purchased only at the price of strength. And John F. Kennedy spoke of the burden and glory that is freedom…

…In forging this new partnership for America, we could achieve the oldest hopes of our Republic — prosperity for our nation, peace for the world, and the blessings of individual liberty for our children and, someday, for all of humanity…

…It’s my duty to report to you tonight…on the foundation we’ve carefully laid for our economic recovery, and finally, on a bold and spirited initiative that I believe can change the face of American government and make it again the servant of the people. …we as Americans have the capacity now, as we’ve had it in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.”…

… Tonight I’m urging the American people: Seize these new opportunities to produce, to save, to invest, and together we’ll make this economy a mighty engine of freedom, hope, and prosperity again…

…We’ll continue to redirect our resources to our two highest budget priorities — a strong national defense to keep America free and at peace and a reliable safety net of social programs for those who have contributed and those who are in need…

…Waste and fraud are serious problems. Back in 1980 Federal investigators testified before one of your committees that “corruption has permeated virtually every area of the Medicare and Medicaid health care industry.” … I ask you to help make these savings for the American taxpayer… I am confident the economic program we’ve put into operation will protect the needy while it triggers a recovery that will benefit all Americans…Now that the essentials of that program are in place, our next major undertaking must be a program — just as bold, just as innovative — to make government again accountable to the people, to make our system of federalism work again…

…The growth in these Federal programs has — in the words of one intergovernmental commission — made the Federal Government “more pervasive, more intrusive, more unmanageable, more ineffective and costly, and above all, more [un]accountable.”

…This administration has faith in State and local governments and the constitutional balance envisioned by the Founding Fathers. We also believe in the integrity, decency, and sound, good sense of grassroots Americans.

…Our nation’s long journey towards civil rights for all our citizens — once a source of discord, now a source of pride — must continue with no backsliding or slowing down. We must and shall see that those basic laws that guarantee equal rights are preserved and, when necessary, strengthened.

Our concern for equal rights for women is firm and unshakable. We launched a new Task Force on Legal Equity for Women and a Fifty States Project that will examine State laws for discriminatory language. And for the first time in our history, a woman sits on the highest court in the land…

…Our foreign policy is a policy of strength, fairness, and balance. By restoring America’s military credibility, by pursuing peace at the negotiating table wherever both sides are willing to sit down in good faith, and by regaining the respect of America’s allies and adversaries alike, we have strengthened our country’s position as a force for peace and progress in the world…

When action is called for, we’re taking it. Our sanctions against the military dictatorship that has attempted to crush human rights in Poland — and against the Soviet regime behind that military dictatorship — clearly demonstrated to the world that America will not conduct “business as usual” with the forces of oppression.

…In the face of a climate of falsehood and misinformation, we’ve promised the world a season of truth — the truth of our great civilized ideas: individual liberty, representative government, the rule of law under God. ..

…A hundred and twenty years ago, the greatest of all our Presidents delivered his second State of the Union message in this Chamber. “We cannot escape history,” Abraham Lincoln warned. “We of this Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves.” The “trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest [last] generation.” …

…Well, that President and that Congress did not fail the American people. Together they weathered the storm and preserved the Union. Let it be said of us that we, too, did not fail; that we, too, worked together to bring America through difficult times. Let us so conduct ourselves that two centuries from now, another Congress and another President, meeting in this Chamber as we are meeting, will speak of us with pride, saying that we met the test and preserved for them in their day the sacred flame of liberty — this last, best hope of man on Earth. God bless you, and thank you,” (Reagan Presidential Library, First State of the Union Address, 1).

Reagan opened his speech recalling the prophetic words pronounced by George Washington, preserving, “the fire of liberty,” a voracious passion our constitutional founders vehemently defended, (Reagan Presidential Library, First State of the Union Address, 1).  Reagan reiterates this allegorical “flame of liberty,” to suggest its sacred nature and aesthetic quality, the delicate beauty derived from freedom, a firm though fragile gift which requires tremendous tender care. Freedom extrapolates its formidable strength from the fervent dedication people furnish to preserve it.  Such freedom, as Washington proclaimed rests solely with, “the American people,” (Reagan Presidential Library, First State of the Union Address, 1).

Reagan accentuated these words to elucidate the significance of both our moral and constitutional duty. Ronald Reagan, more than any modern president, understood, in totality, the intentions of our constitutional founders, as he proclaims, “…In forging this new partnership for America, we could achieve the oldest hopes of our Republic — prosperity for our nation, peace for the world, and the blessings of individual liberty for our children and, someday, for all of humanity…,” (Reagan Presidential Library, First State of the Union Address, 1).

His words resurrect the Declaration of Independence, as Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson professed, advocating that all people possess certain inherent “inalienable rights” guaranteed by their Creator. Reagan also outlined the severe flaws of federal programs, discussing its predisposition to usurpation.  Reagan recognized the egalitarian concept of equality as conceived by our constitutional founders.  He condemned the lack of “accountability” exercised by government, castigating administrative incompetence and imprudent decisions undermining American democracy.  He also discussed accountability in terms of entrepreneurial “innovation”, introducing effective, creative policy initiatives, to reinvigorate federalism as explicitly enumerated by the U.S. Constitution. Likewise, Reagan emphasized the paramount significance of government

responsibility, by additionally alluding to Lincoln’s second State of the Union Address.  Again, Reagan demonstrates his sincerest dedication to libertarian democratic values.

Thus, from Reagan’s view, the preeminent proponent of modern American democracy, individual liberty represented a ubiquitous blessing not exclusively shared by Americans, but applies universally, entitled to everyone everywhere. To him, American hegemony served as a paragon for other nations, the quintessential paradigm of democratic freedom. Reagan utilized his character and sage words of wisdom to embody this theme, eventually becoming the aspiring legacy he advocated; a paragon for subsequent government leaders. Ultimately, he instituted the standard, an example for others to follow, restoring democratic peace, prosperity, and stability in society.

Reagan fulfilled the prophecy, though transient, at least for a temporary period, containing, and eventually conquering communism, thereby ensuring international tranquility. Reagan promised to strengthen military infrastructure, exercising authoritative force, while contemporaneously establishing diplomatic alliance with supportive nations, providing protection against any totalitarian threat, particularly Soviet Communism, which he indeed accomplished. The Reagan administration superseded Soviet expenditure, producing voluminous accumulation of nuclear capability, exacerbated by Gorbachev himself, in his feeble attempt to reform a hopelessly unchangeable regime. Ultimately, Reagan “bankrupted the Soviet Union” through its relentless arms race, catalyzing its self-destruction (Friedman, Thomas, 55).

Moreover, notice how Reagan affirmed his dedication to Americans indiscriminately, without class distinction, addressing the needs of Americans. He explicitly promised never to abandon the “poor and elderly”. President Reagan accentuated the corruption pervading, “virtually every area of the Medicare and Medicaid health care industry,” (Reagan Presidential Library, First State of the Union Address, 1).  Again, Reagan harnessed his own personal experience to accommodate the needs and interests of Americans. He truly understood the plight and predicament surrounding destitute communities across America. Therefore, he deliberately sought, as a principal initiative, to ameliorate conditions for impoverished and elderly Americans.

He related to everyone, superseding class boundaries. Reagan announced his primary objective as President, “… a bold and spirited initiative that I believe can change the face of American government and make it again the servant of the people…,” (Reagan Presidential Library, First State of the Union Address, 1).  Yet, unlike other conservative presidents who relied on false hopes and empty promises, Reagan remained true to the principles he advocated. Most presidents summon a ghostwriter to compose their speech. Not Reagan. President Reagan admitted in his own personal journal that he wrote the State of the Union Address before “leaving for the Capitol” (Reagan, Brinkley, 65). Therefore, Ronald Reagan elevated the presidential State of the Union Address to new heights, offering never before seen depth and dimension.

Furthermore, another innovative tradition which assimilated into the presidency under Reagan involved this concept of scheduling the President’s day to accommodate news cycle and network television coverage.  The media proved a powerful instrument for Reagan to structure his presentations. Already comfortable performing from a daily shooting schedule the beforehand preparation of an agenda that outlined his daily events, proved reassuring for him.  He thoroughly understood the value of repetition and extemporaneous speech. Including every detail, he delivered his presentation, “with practiced professionalism, moving seamlessly through routines, possessing the skill of a star who realizes that production results depend on competence and reliability,” (GouldThe Modern American Presidency, 195). Even inflammatory critics recognized Reagan’s compelling conviction as a grandiloquent communicator, one whose, “theatrical and oratory skills kept his countrymen spellbound and cheering,” (D’Souza, 11).

Once elected, Reagan immediately took charge. Again, conditions heretofore seemed discombobulated, the situation in disarray. However, ambivalence imminently dissipated when Ronald Reagan entered the presidency. From the beginning, President Reagan automatically understood his role as Chief Executive. Since then, American society only flourished.  Demonstrating diplomatic dexterity, he exploited, “the political momentum of his landslide victory and the wave of national sympathy after an attempted assassination, to initiate tax reduction,” (GouldThe Modern American Presidency, 198).

On “March 30, 1981”, John Hinckley attempted to target a malevolent murder against President Ronald Reagan (Alderman, Kennedy, 93). It all happened as Reagan departed the Washington Hilton Hotel.  This occurred only “69 days” after his inauguration (Net127, 1). The 25 year old lunatic fired six successive shots, “Devastator explosive rounds”, with a “.22 Rohm RG-14 Revolver” at President Reagan  severely wounding Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and policeman Thomas Delahanty (De GregarioThe  Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 651). One shot penetrated Brady’s head, leaving him permanently paralyzed (Sloan, The Reagan Effect…, 127).  Reagan endured several shots that collapsed his lungs. Another bullet became lodged, landing approximately one inch from his heart (Simon & Schuster, “Ronald Reagan Assassination Attempt, 1).

Ironically, this attempted assassination heinously perpetrated by Hinckley remained impertinent to political association. Indeed, many people tend to carry the preconceived notion that Reagan served as President, “for years,” before his attempted assassination, when meanwhile, it happened within, “a matter of nine weeks,” (Noonan, 173).  Furthermore, people naturally expect such an assassination to reference political motivation, or some ingrained hatred toward the president, as with Lincoln, McKinley, and Kennedy.

Rather, Hinckley, a deeply deranged psychopath, disturbed and depraved, obsessively infatuated with Jodi Foster, unleashed his sadistic sexual fantasies, intending to supposedly prove his insane love for her, through the reprehensible assassination attempt against President Reagan. As Reagan himself recalls, “…for some reason Hinckley decided to get a gun and kill somebody to demonstrate his love for the actress (Reagan, Ronald, “Reagan, An American Life”, 263). Hinckley ostensibly associates his assassination attempt with intent to impress Foster. Hinckley verbatim affirmed his reason for targeting the President in a letter addressed to Jodie Foster, claiming,

“There is a definite possibility that I will be killed in my attempt to get Reagan.  It is for this very reason that I am writing you this letter now…Jodie, I would abandon this idea of getting Reagan in a second if I could only win your heart and live out the rest of my life with you, whether it be in total obscurity or whatever. I will admit to you that the reason I’m going ahead with this attempt now is because I just cannot wait any longer to impress you.  I’ve got to do something now to make you understand, in no uncertain terms, that I am doing all of this for your sake!  By sacrificing my freedom and possibly my life, I hope to change your mind about me…,” (Linder, Doug, 1).

Hinckley documents an extensive history of psychosis. His actions seem to practically parallel the storyline of hit movie “Taxi Driver” featuring both Jodie Foster and Robert De Niro.  Hinckley’s psychiatrists overwhelmingly concluded his delusional mental state. At trial, Psychiatrist William Carpenter from the University of Maryland testified that Hinckley descended into, “‘process’ schizophrenia”, expressing an, “incapacity” to experience, “ordinary emotional arousal associated with events in life,” (CourtTV, Crime Library, 8 “The John Hinckley Case”).

The attempted assassination introduced several laws. This historical incident holds monumental signifi

significance because it revolutionized American law, legal procedure, and judicial interpretation. For example, in 1994, Congress proposed the Brady Hand Gun Violence Prevention Act, sanctioned by President Bill Clinton, named after James Brady, shot and severely wounded during Hinckley’s assassination attempt on Reagan.

The Brady Hand Gun Law mandated, “a five day” delay period preceding purchase of any handgun, and most importantly, established, “instant criminal background check system” requiring gun dealers to scrutinize purchaser identity, corroborating valid I.D. such as driver’s license (Schmalleger, 66). Secondly, the law attempted to ensure that only responsible individuals obtain possession of a handgun, requiring purchaser application, preventing potential federal, state, and local law violations (Schmalleger, 66). This significant statute, though still severely flawed in its application, proved an innovative measure to deter crime, and ensure that only responsible lawful citizens acquire handgun possession.

In terms of trial procedure, the Hinckley incident introduced an Insanity Defense accompanied by scathing social reaction. Hinckley received acquittal on the grounds of “severe delusions” and “schizophrenia” claiming diminished capacity resulting from an irresistible impulse or volitional incapacity, unable to control his actions, as stipulated by defense attorneys (Schmalleger, 146). According to defense, under contemporary Model Penal Code Law, Hinckley lacked sufficient mens rea, a malevolent intent or motivation for his attempted murder, and thereby ostensibly justifies insanity.

The decision fomented inflammatory hostility among many disconcerted mainstream Americans, discontent with what they perceived as an unreasonable injustice. Indeed, the verdict remains unjustifiable. How unconscionable! Hinckley still intended to murder Reagan as a means of proving his sick sadistic love for Foster. Whether or not he possessed hatred for Reagan remains impertinent to the point. He still referenced an unquestionable motivation to assassinate, and therefore sufficiently satisfies criminal intent.  Nevertheless, the incident signifies a revolutionary historical development in legal reform, for which Ronald Reagan deserves credit. Ironically, the unanticipated consequences of history trigger remarkable sociological development in society.

Fortunately, Reagan survived the severe impact. Reagan represents, “the first president to survive any wound,” resulting from an assassination attempt (D’Souza, 206).  His resolute courage, resilience and unrelenting determination, despite the trauma, not only paved significant public sympathy, but rather proved the presidential strength of Ronald Reagan as a remarkable leader.  As D’Souza most accurately assessed, “…The assassination attempt showed…that his spirit remained intact… [giving] the President an almost mythic dimension in the eyes of his countrymen,” (D’Souza, 207).   It undoubtedly remains a testament to his unrivaled character. In the hospital, Reagan wrote,

“I opened my eyes once to find Nancy there…God has blessed me giving her to me is the greatest and beyond anything I can ever hope to deserve,” (Brinkley, Reagan, xi).

However, marginal political embellishment perhaps contributed at least partially to positive public perception. As Sloan astutely observes “Reagan’s efforts” received recognition only after the shooting, since this “near tragedy of a life-threatening gunshot wound,” generated , “universally acclaimed triumph by his skilled public relations staff,” (Sloan, The Reagan Effect…, 126). After all, Reagan’s disapproval rating remained abominable, retaining “24%” which Samuel Kernell identified as, “the lowest approve-to-disapprove ratio” historically recorded by Gallup, “for a president within his second month in office,”  (Kernell, Samuel, 126).

Unquestionably, the assassination buttressed presidential support. Consequently, after the futile assassination attempt, Reagan’s approval rating suddenly skyrocketed, “7 points,” while disapproval numbers deflated by “6” (Edwards III, George, Gallup, Alec M., 91). Nevertheless, Reagan naturally gathered the necessary public sympathy accorded to anyone encountering similar conditions, yet with diplomatic dexterity, exploited it as an effective political stratagem that promoted his economic program, which proved subsequently advantageous concerning U.S. domestic interests. Ultimately, the U.S. economy prospered.

Thus, in response, Reagan proposed a formidable tax cut program designed to refurbish economic prosperity. On April 28, 1981, President Reagan delivered his first speech after the assassination attempt. Addressing the Economic Recovery program to Congress, Reagan enumerated his principal objectives verbatim in the following excerpt:

“…I have come to speak to you tonight about our economic recovery program and why I believe it’s essential that the Congress approve this package, which I believe will lift the crushing burden of inflation off of our citizens and restore the vitality to our economy and our industrial machine…

…On behalf of the administration, let me say that we embrace and fully support that bipartisan substitute. It will achieve all the essential aims of controlling government spending, reducing the tax burden, building a national defense second to none, and stimulating economic growth and creating millions of new jobs…

Let us cut through the fog for a moment. The answer to a government that’s too big is to stop feeding its growth. Government spending has been growing faster than the economy itself. The massive national debt which we accumulated is the result of the government’s high spending diet. Well, it’s time to change the diet and to change it in the right way…

…A gigantic tax increase has been built into the system. We propose nothing more than a reduction of that increase. The people have a right to know that even with our plan they will be paying more in taxes, but not as much more as they will without it.

…Tonight, I renew my call for us to work as a team, to join in cooperation so that we find answers which will begin to solve all our economic problems and not just some of them. The economic recovery package that I’ve outlined to you over the past weeks is, I deeply believe, the only answer that we have left…

…Reducing the growth of spending, cutting marginal tax rates, providing relief from overregulation, and following a noninflationary and predictable monetary policy are interwoven measures which will ensure that we have addressed each of the severe dislocations which threaten our economic future. These policies will make our economy stronger, and the stronger economy will balance the budget which we’re committed to do by 1984…

When you allowed me to speak to you here in these chambers a little earlier, I told you that I wanted this program for economic recovery to be ours — yours and mine. I think the bipartisan substitute bill has achieved that purpose. It moves us toward economic vitality, (Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Speeches, Address on the Program for Economic Recovery, Joint Session of Congress, 1).

Remarkably, even liberal Democrats found it diplomatically appeasing as an explicit “willingness to incorporate their own advantages into the bill illustrated effective utilization of special interests and sage public policy,” (GouldThe Modern American Presidency, 198). Ultimately, compromise thrived. Accepted unanimously, President Reagan’s unparalleled tax reform program managed to stifle inflation and facilitate occupational opportunities by adopting supply-side economics.

Supply side economic theory stipulates that tax cuts encourage “personal investment”, which if implemented properly, fosters industrialization and economic hypertrophy, thus enhancing productivity, providing additional occupational opportunities necessary to generate sufficient revenue, and when combined with reduced spending, “balances the budget,” thereby diminishing inflation (De GregarioThe Complete Book of U.S. Presidents 652). Economists, impressed by the innovation, later labeled it Reagonomics. However, Reagan’s Vice President and rival at the time, George H.W. Bush in a disparaging tone, criticized it as “Voodoo Economics” (De GregarioThe Complete Book of U.S. Presidents 652).

Supply-Side “Reagonomics” maintained four fundamental principles: reduce government expenditure, diminish marginal tax rates on income, including, “labor and capital”, minimize regulation, curtail inflation by, “controlling growth of money supply,” (Niskanen, 1).  Reagonomics, with its unregulated laissez faire capitalistic initiative, proved a monumental achievement to refurbish the pathetically phlegmatic American economy. Fiscal conservatism paved its progress.

Thus, through his practical, prudent understanding of frugality, minimizing superfluous expenditure, particularly welfare programs, while simultaneously stimulating occupational opportunities, in the private sector, Reagan introduced another remarkable presidential innovation. According to supply side theory, diminishing taxes for all groups, while simultaneously eradicating, “six million low income families from the tax income rolls,” encouraged significant economic incentives, promoting labor, savings, and investment (Sloan, The Reagan Effect…, 7).

Consequently, due to his notable achievement, “the typical liberal member of Congress,” today maintains a fiscal policy more conservative than, “Richard Nixon” involving numerous economic issues, including, tax policy (Weisbrot, 1). Thus, Reagan introduced an economic policy that irrevocably transformed the ideological perception of government leaders to produce a positive effect upon sanctioning subsequent initiatives, thereby ameliorating financial conditions for American taxpayers.

During this time, Reagan collaborated with his erudite chairman, William Joseph Casey, distinguished lawyer, to facilitate tax reform. Ultimately, Casey proved invaluably resourceful. A connoisseur of fiscal policy, he profoundly influenced Reagan’s economic policy. Reagan summoned his formidable legal expertise to coordinate such programs including the Economic Recovery Tax Act. Casey, an incandescent intellectual, “tax attorney” and prominent political analyst for Reagan, proved indispensable to policy implementation (Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 1).  Without Casey, the Economic Recovery Act and Reagonomics as an economic philosophy, cease to exist, if not for his unprecedented contributions, outlining effective strategies to revitalize America’s economy and reduce unnecessary taxes.

Later, Reagan appointed Casey to serve as his CIA Direction, where he expanded executive power, government confidentiality, and clandestine activity. He represents one among numerous central figures connected to Iran Contra and its sequence of covert activities (D’Souza, 153). Thanks to his unsurpassed contributions, Reagan escaped criminal culpability, exonerated of all charges associated with Iran Contra. For now, consider the unprecedented economic contributions of William Casey as Chairman representing Reagan’s campaign committee (Spartacus, Education, 1).

In July 1981, Reagan sanctioned the, Economic Recovery Tax Act. Serving as, “the largest tax reduction in U.S. history,” it diminished personal income taxes by “25%”, curtailed “capital gains” along with “estate taxes,” and depreciated “business taxes,” (American National Biography Online, 7).  In 1982, ERTA offered a tax cut that exceeded, “$37 billion”, attaining, “$267 billion,” by 1986, culminating at an eventual revenue loss of, “$750 billion,” (Sloan, The Reagan Effect…, 145). The 13% +  inflation rate that once existed when Reagan assumed office, fell to, “below 2 percent in 1986 and sustained at around 4-5%,” (De GregarioThe Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 653).

However, some adverse consequences temporarily accompanied this profound development. Apparently, the same high interest rates that moderated inflation, simultaneously compelled an already feeble economy into “severe recession”, which, before collapsing in “November 1982”, heightened apprehensions of “another depression,” (De GregarioThe Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 653). While unemployment skyrocketed, “to 10.8%, its highest rate since the Great Depression, with bankruptcies and farm foreclosures reaching record levels,” economic expansion eventually counterbalanced these effects, and unemployment gradually descended to “5.3%” (De GregarioThe Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 653).

Yet, Reagan never underestimated the tragic unemployment rates that unfortunately resulted as he verbatim asserts,

“The economic crisis of the early 1980s brought hard times for Americans. I don’t undervalue for a moment the suffering they experienced as we fought together to pull the nation out of its worst economic crisis in half a century. For those who lost their farms or businesses or saw their jobs vanish during the recession, life was as bleak as it was for Americans caught up in the economic upheavals of the Great Depression…” (Reagan, An American Life, 342).

Moreover, as Reagan further mentioned, the American people in general, though responding to him with varied reactions, remained receptive and acknowledged our national resilience, which one twenty seven year old mother of three at that time, astutely professed, “I think it’s time…we as a country came off our high horses and got back to business of living with pride and independenc

independence,” (Reagan, Ronald, “Reagan, An American Life”, 343). Reagan recognized this general optimism expressed by Americans and channeled it to accomplish his lofty aspirations for the U.S. economy. Ultimately, his utilitarian sacrifice through ETRA in the long run proved significantly successful.   Reagan retired from office establishing“20 million new jobs,” with a whopping “118 million Americans achieving employment; the most ever in history,” (De GregarioThe Complete Book of U.S. Presidents 653).

To further accelerate economic growth, Reagan administered the U.S. Canadian Trade Pact of 1988 with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in agreement, “to establish virtual free trade between both countries, abolishing taxes on goods and services progressively until 1999,” (De GregarioThe Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 653). He ultimately succeeded in his agenda of, “creating a nation once again, vibrant, robust and alive,” (Morris – Dutch, A Memoir of Ronald Reagan, 556).  Hence, Reagan revitalized the previously depressed American economy, restoring its vitality.

Concerning domestic policy, Reagan challenged much of the liberal bureaucracy which sustained precedence since FDR’s New Deal. For example, his administration sought to minimize “social welfare, alongside federal judicial involvement in promoting civil liberties; eliminate government regulation imposed on business, as mentioned earlier; and encouraged a conservative social ethic that emphasized religion within the public realm, which advocated pro-life principles regarding reproductive rights, and minimized drug use,” (American National Biography Online, 7).

While Reagan endorsed some staunch anti-abortion measures, his overall position remained mostly moderate, not challenging the Roe v. Wade decision. America witnessed a notable conservative transition. Nancy Reagan contributed considerably to curtail drug abuse, collaborating with her husband in an anti-drug campaign known as “Just Say No” directing attention toward the youth of America (D’Souza, 221). President Reagan even targeted international support to deter drug sale and manufacture, especially cocaine, pursuing a vociferous anti-drug agenda (Reagan Library, The Reagan Presidency, 1).

Reagan most truly represented the common American. He revitalized American commitment to democratic freedom and nationalism. Patriotism centralized the theme of his conservative foundation, inculcating a true passion for America and its inexorable dedication to democracy. Reagan also believed in the multifarious, multicultural diversity defining democratic institutions. Unlike his predecessors, both liberal and conservative, Reagan seemed the most tolerant, showing no bigotry toward any groups. In fact, Reagan even remained responsible for commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, celebrating it as a national holiday (Hannity, 238). On Friday, January 14, 1983, Reagan recognized a, “reception” he dedicated to “honor memory of Martin Luther King Jr.”, as expressed in his personal journal (Brinkley, Reagan, 125). Thus, this day holds profound historical significance, institutionalizing a standard subsequently practiced by Americans, honoring the unprecedented contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. to contemporary society.

In addition to inhibiting excessive federal infringement, Reagan micromanaged, “the regulations promulgated by federal agencies,” (Mc Donald – The American Presidency, 343). Thus, in 1981 and 1985, he mandated, Executive Orders 12291 and 12498, as a means of assigning greater executive responsibility to agency administrators, “regarding the regulatory actions conducted within their agencies, which additionally included providing presidential oversight with assisting regulation,” (Mc Donald, The American Presidency, 343).

This newly expanded delegation of power to federal agencies, assigning them executive constitutional powers, represents another conspicuously innovative achievement introduced by Ronald Reagan. Because it authorized extended presidential scrutiny, Ronald Reagan gradually gathered greater insight into the programs affecting his administrative policy. He exercised heightened political control and influence to regulate and implement certain programs that normally exceeded his physical capability without it. Therefore, the Executive Orders hold monumental historical value, representing a paradigmatic transition of executive policy in modern American history.

The responsibility, by additionally alluding to Lincoln’s second State of the Union Address. Again, Reagan demonstrates his sincerest dedication to libertarian democratic values.

Thus, from Reagan’s view, the preeminent proponent of modern American democracy, individual liberty represented a ubiquitous blessing not exclusively shared by Americans, but applies universally, entitled to everyone everywhere. To him, American hegemony served as a paragon for other nations, the quintessential paradigm of democratic freedom. Reagan utilized his character and sage words of wisdom to embody this theme, eventually becoming the aspiring legacy he advocated; a paragon for subsequent government leaders. Ultimately, he instituted the standard, an example for others to follow, restoring democratic peace, prosperity, and stability in society.

Reagan fulfilled the prophecy, though transient, at least for a temporary period, containing, and eventually conquering communism, thereby ensuring international tranquility. Reagan promised to strengthen military infrastructure, exercising authoritative force, while contemporaneously establishing diplomatic alliance with supportive nations, providing protection against any totalitarian threat, particularly Soviet Communism, which he indeed accomplished. The Reagan administration superseded Soviet expenditure, producing voluminous accumulation of nuclear capability, exacerbated by Gorbachev himself, in his feeble attempt to reform a hopelessly unchangeable regime. Ultimately, Reagan “bankrupted the Soviet Union” through its relentless arms race, catalyzing its self-destruction (Friedman, Thomas, 55).

Moreover, notice how Reagan affirmed his dedication to Americans indiscriminately, without class distinction, addressing the needs of Americans. He explicitly promised never to abandon the “poor and elderly”. President Reagan accentuated the corruption pervading, “virtually every area of the Medicare and Medicaid health care industry,” (Reagan Presidential Library, First State of the Union Address, 1). Again, Reagan harnessed his own personal experience to accommodate the needs and interests of Americans. He truly understood the plight and predicament surrounding destitute communities across America. Therefore, he deliberately sought, as a principal initiative, to ameliorate conditions for impoverished and elderly Americans.

He related to everyone, superseding class boundaries. Reagan announced his primary objective as President, “… a bold and spirited initiative that I believe can change the face of American government and make it again the servant of the people…,” (Reagan Presidential Library, First State of the Union Address, 1). Yet, unlike other conservative presidents who relied on false hopes and empty promises, Reagan remained true to the principles he advocated. Most presidents summon a ghostwriter to compose their speech. Not Reagan. President Reagan admitted in his own personal journal that he wrote the State of the Union Address before “leaving for the Capitol” (Reagan, Brinkley, 65). Therefore, Ronald Reagan elevated the presidential State of the Union Address to new heights, offering never before seen depth and dimension.

Furthermore, another innovative tradition which assimilated into the presidency under Reagan involved this concept of scheduling the President’s day to accommodate news cycle and network television coverage. The media proved a powerful instrument for Reagan to structure his presentations. Already comfortable performing from a daily shooting schedule the beforehand preparation of an agenda that outlined his daily events, proved reassuring for him. He thoroughly understood the value of repetition and extemporaneous speech. Including every detail, he delivered his presentation, “with practiced professionalism, moving seamlessly through routines, possessing the skill of a star who realizes that production results depend on competence and reliability,” (Gould – The Modern American Presidency, 195). Even inflammatory critics recognized Reagan’s compelling conviction as a grandiloquent communicator, one whose, “theatrical and oratory skills kept his countrymen spellbound and cheering,” (D’Souza, 11).

Once elected, Reagan immediately took charge. Again, conditions heretofore seemed discombobulated, the situation in disarray. However, ambivalence imminently dissipated when Ronald Reagan entered the presidency. From the beginning, President Reagan automatically understood his role as Chief Executive. Since then, American society only flourished. Demonstrating diplomatic dexterity, he exploited, “the political momentum of his landslide victory and the wave of national sympathy after an attempted assassination, to initiate tax reduction,” (Gould – The Modern American Presidency, 198).

On “March 30, 1981”, John Hinckley attempted to target a malevolent murder against President Ronald Reagan (Alderman, Kennedy, 93). It all happened as Reagan departed the Washington Hilton Hotel. This occurred only “69 days” after his inauguration (Net127, 1). The 25 year old lunatic fired six successive shots, “Devastator explosive rounds”, with a “.22 Rohm RG-14 Revolver” at President Reagan severely wounding Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and policeman Thomas Delahanty (De Gregario – The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 651). One shot penetrated Brady’s head, leaving him permanently paralyzed (Sloan, The Reagan Effect…, 127). Reagan endured several shots that collapsed his lungs. Another bullet became lodged, landing approximately one inch from his heart (Simon & Schuster, “Ronald Reagan Assassination Attempt, 1).

Ironically, this attempted assassination heinously perpetrated by Hinckley remained impertinent to political association. Indeed, many people tend to carry the preconceived notion that Reagan served as President, “for years,” before his attempted assassination, when meanwhile, it happened within, “a matter of nine weeks,” (Noonan, 173). Furthermore, people naturally expect such an assassination to reference political motivation, or some ingrained hatred toward the president, as with Lincoln, McKinley, and Kennedy.

Rather, Hinckley, a deeply deranged psychopath, disturbed and depraved, obsessively infatuated with Jodi Foster, unleashed his sadistic sexual fantasies, intending to supposedly prove his insane love for her, through the reprehensible assassination attempt against President Reagan. As Reagan himself recalls, “…for some reason Hinckley decided to get a gun and kill somebody to demonstrate his love for the actress (Reagan, Ronald, “Reagan, An American Life”, 263). Hinckley ostensibly associates his assassination attempt with intent to impress Foster. Hinckley verbatim affirmed his reason for targeting the President in a letter addressed to Jodie Foster, claiming,

“There is a definite possibility that I will be killed in my attempt to get Reagan.  It is for this very reason that I am writing you this letter now…Jodie, I would abandon this idea of getting Reagan in a second if I could only win your heart and live out the rest of my life with you, whether it be in total obscurity or whatever. I will admit to you that the reason I’m going ahead with this attempt now is because I just cannot wait any longer to impress you.  I’ve got to do something now to make you understand, in no uncertain terms, that I am doing all of this for your sake!  By sacrificing my freedom and possibly my life, I hope to change your mind about me…,” (Linder, Doug, 1).

Hinckley documents an extensive history of psychosis. His actions seem to practically parallel the storyline of hit movie “Taxi Driver” featuring both Jodie Foster and Robert De Niro. Hinckley’s psychiatrists overwhelmingly concluded his delusional mental state. At trial, Psychiatrist William Carpenter from the University of Maryland testified that Hinckley descended into, “‘process’ schizophrenia”, expressing an, “incapacity” to experience, “ordinary emotional arousal associated with events in life,” (CourtTV, Crime Library, 8 “The John Hinckley Case”).

The attempted assassination introduced several laws. This historical incident holds monumental signifi

significance because it revolutionized American law, legal procedure, and judicial interpretation. For example, in 1994, Congress proposed the Brady Hand Gun Violence Prevention Act, sanctioned by President Bill Clinton, named after James Brady, shot and severely wounded during Hinckley’s assassination attempt on Reagan.

The Brady Hand Gun Law mandated, “a five day” delay period preceding purchase of any handgun, and most importantly, established, “instant criminal background check system” requiring gun dealers to scrutinize purchaser identity, corroborating valid I.D. such as driver’s license (Schmalleger, 66). Secondly, the law attempted to ensure that only responsible individuals obtain possession of a handgun, requiring purchaser application, preventing potential federal, state, and local law violations (Schmalleger, 66). This significant statute, though still severely flawed in its application, proved an innovative measure to deter crime, and ensure that only responsible lawful citizens acquire handgun possession.

In terms of trial procedure, the Hinckley incident introduced an Insanity Defense accompanied by scathing social reaction. Hinckley received acquittal on the grounds of “severe delusions” and “schizophrenia” claiming diminished capacity resulting from an irresistible impulse or volitional incapacity, unable to control his actions, as stipulated by defense attorneys (Schmalleger, 146). According to defense, under contemporary Model Penal Code Law, Hinckley lacked sufficient mens rea, a malevolent intent or motivation for his attempted murder, and thereby ostensibly justifies insanity.

The decision fomented inflammatory hostility among many disconcerted mainstream Americans, discontent with what they perceived as an unreasonable injustice. Indeed, the verdict remains unjustifiable. How unconscionable! Hinckley still intended to murder Reagan as a means of proving his sick sadistic love for Foster. Whether or not he possessed hatred for Reagan remains impertinent to the point. He still referenced an unquestionable motivation to assassinate, and therefore sufficiently satisfies criminal intent. Nevertheless, the incident signifies a revolutionary historical development in legal reform, for which Ronald Reagan deserves credit. Ironically, the unanticipated consequences of history trigger remarkable sociological development in society.

Fortunately, Reagan survived the severe impact. Reagan represents, “the first president to survive any wound,” resulting from an assassination attempt (D’Souza, 206). His resolute courage, resilience and unrelenting determination, despite the trauma, not only paved significant public sympathy, but rather proved the presidential strength of Ronald Reagan as a remarkable leader. As D’Souza most accurately assessed, “…The assassination attempt showed…that his spirit remained intact… [giving] the President an almost mythic dimension in the eyes of his countrymen,” (D’Souza, 207). It undoubtedly remains a testament to his unrivaled character. In the hospital, Reagan wrote,

“I opened my eyes once to find Nancy there…God has blessed me giving her to me is the greatest and beyond anything I can ever hope to deserve,” (Brinkley, Reagan, xi).

However, marginal political embellishment perhaps contributed at least partially to positive public perception. As Sloan astutely observes “Reagan’s efforts” received recognition only after the shooting, since this “near tragedy of a life-threatening gunshot wound,” generated , “universally acclaimed triumph by his skilled public relations staff,” (Sloan, The Reagan Effect…, 126). After all, Reagan’s disapproval rating remained abominable, retaining “24%” which Samuel Kernell identified as, “the lowest approve-to-disapprove ratio” historically recorded by Gallup, “for a president within his second month in office,” (Kernell, Samuel, 126).

Unquestionably, the assassination buttressed presidential support. Consequently, after the futile assassination attempt, Reagan’s approval rating suddenly skyrocketed, “7 points,” while disapproval numbers deflated by “6” (Edwards III, George, Gallup, Alec M., 91). Nevertheless, Reagan naturally gathered the necessary public sympathy accorded to anyone encountering similar conditions, yet with diplomatic dexterity, exploited it as an effective political stratagem that promoted his economic program, which proved subsequently advantageous concerning U.S. domestic interests. Ultimately, the U.S. economy prospered.

Thus, in response, Reagan proposed a formidable tax cut program designed to refurbish economic prosperity. On April 28, 1981, President Reagan delivered his first speech after the assassination attempt. Addressing the Economic Recovery program to Congress, Reagan enumerated his principal objectives verbatim in the following excerpt:

“…I have come to speak to you tonight about our economic recovery program and why I believe it’s essential that the Congress approve this package, which I believe will lift the crushing burden of inflation off of our citizens and restore the vitality to our economy and our industrial machine…

…On behalf of the administration, let me say that we embrace and fully support that bipartisan substitute. It will achieve all the essential aims of controlling government spending, reducing the tax burden, building a national defense second to none, and stimulating economic growth and creating millions of new jobs…

Let us cut through the fog for a moment. The answer to a government that’s too big is to stop feeding its growth. Government spending has been growing faster than the economy itself. The massive national debt which we accumulated is the result of the government’s high spending diet. Well, it’s time to change the diet and to change it in the right way…

…A gigantic tax increase has been built into the system. We propose nothing more than a reduction of that increase. The people have a right to know that even with our plan they will be paying more in taxes, but not as much more as they will without it.

…Tonight, I renew my call for us to work as a team, to join in cooperation so that we find answers which will begin to solve all our economic problems and not just some of them. The economic recovery package that I’ve outlined to you over the past weeks is, I deeply believe, the only answer that we have left…

…Reducing the growth of spending, cutting marginal tax rates, providing relief from overregulation, and following a noninflationary and predictable monetary policy are interwoven measures which will ensure that we have addressed each of the severe dislocations which threaten our economic future. These policies will make our economy stronger, and the stronger economy will balance the budget which we’re committed to do by 1984…

When you allowed me to speak to you here in these chambers a little earlier, I told you that I wanted this program for economic recovery to be ours — yours and mine. I think the bipartisan substitute bill has achieved that purpose. It moves us toward economic vitality, (Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Speeches, Address on the Program for Economic Recovery, Joint Session of Congress, 1).

Remarkably, even liberal Democrats found it diplomatically appeasing as an explicit “willingness to incorporate their own advantages into the bill illustrated effective utilization of special interests and sage public policy,” (Gould – The Modern American Presidency, 198). Ultimately, compromise thrived. Accepted unanimously, President Reagan’s unparalleled tax reform program managed to stifle inflation and facilitate occupational opportunities by adopting supply-side economics.

Supply side economic theory stipulates that tax cuts encourage “personal investment”, which if implemented properly, fosters industrialization and economic hypertrophy, thus enhancing productivity, providing additional occupational opportunities necessary to generate sufficient revenue, and when combined with reduced spending, “balances the budget,” thereby diminishing inflation (De Gregario – The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents 652). Economists, impressed by the innovation, later labeled it Reagonomics. However, Reagan’s Vice President and rival at the time, George H.W. Bush in a disparaging tone, criticized it as “Voodoo Economics” (De Gregario – The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents 652).

Supply-Side “Reagonomics” maintained four fundamental principles: reduce government expenditure, diminish marginal tax rates on income, including, “labor and capital”, minimize regulation, curtail inflation by, “controlling growth of money supply,” (Niskanen, 1). Reagonomics, with its unregulated laissez faire capitalistic initiative, proved a monumental achievement to refurbish the pathetically phlegmatic American economy. Fiscal conservatism paved its progress.

Thus, through his practical, prudent understanding of frugality, minimizing superfluous expenditure, particularly welfare programs, while simultaneously stimulating occupational opportunities, in the private sector, Reagan introduced another remarkable presidential innovation. According to supply side theory, diminishing taxes for all groups, while simultaneously eradicating, “six million low income families from the tax income rolls,” encouraged significant economic incentives, promoting labor, savings, and investment (Sloan, The Reagan Effect…, 7).

Consequently, due to his notable achievement, “the typical liberal member of Congress,” today maintains a fiscal policy more conservative than, “Richard Nixon” involving numerous economic issues, including, tax policy (Weisbrot, 1). Thus, Reagan introduced an economic policy that irrevocably transformed the ideological perception of government leaders to produce a positive effect upon sanctioning subsequent initiatives, thereby ameliorating financial conditions for American taxpayers.

During this time, Reagan collaborated with his erudite chairman, William Joseph Casey, distinguished lawyer, to facilitate tax reform. Ultimately, Casey proved invaluably resourceful. A connoisseur of fiscal policy, he profoundly influenced Reagan’s economic policy. Reagan summoned his formidable legal expertise to coordinate such programs including the Economic Recovery Tax Act. Casey, an incandescent intellectual, “tax attorney” and prominent political analyst for Reagan, proved indispensable to policy implementation (Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 1). Without Casey, the Economic Recovery Act and Reagonomics as an economic philosophy, cease to exist, if not for his unprecedented contributions, outlining effective strategies to revitalize America’s economy and reduce unnecessary taxes.

Later, Reagan appointed Casey to serve as his CIA Direction, where he expanded executive power, government confidentiality, and clandestine activity. He represents one among numerous central figures connected to Iran Contra and its sequence of covert activities (D’Souza, 153). Thanks to his unsurpassed contributions, Reagan escaped criminal culpability, exonerated of all charges associated with Iran Contra. For now, consider the unprecedented economic contributions of William Casey as Chairman representing Reagan’s campaign committee (Spartacus, Education, 1).

In July 1981, Reagan sanctioned the, Economic Recovery Tax Act. Serving as, “the largest tax reduction in U.S. history,” it diminished personal income taxes by “25%”, curtailed “capital gains” along with “estate taxes,” and depreciated “business taxes,” (American National Biography Online, 7). In 1982, ERTA offered a tax cut that exceeded, “$37 billion”, attaining, “$267 billion,” by 1986, culminating at an eventual revenue loss of, “$750 billion,” (Sloan, The Reagan Effect…, 145). The 13% + inflation rate that once existed when Reagan assumed office, fell to, “below 2 percent in 1986 and sustained at around 4-5%,” (De Gregario – The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 653).

However, some adverse consequences temporarily accompanied this profound development. Apparently, the same high interest rates that moderated inflation, simultaneously compelled an already feeble economy into “severe recession”, which, before collapsing in “November 1982”, heightened apprehensions of “another depression,” (De Gregario – The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 653). While unemployment skyrocketed, “to 10.8%, its highest rate since the Great Depression, with bankruptcies and farm foreclosures reaching record levels,” economic expansion eventually counterbalanced these effects, and unemployment gradually descended to “5.3%” (De Gregario – The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 653).

Yet, Reagan never underestimated the tragic unemployment rates that unfortunately resulted as he verbatim asserts,

“The economic crisis of the early 1980s brought hard times for Americans. I don’t undervalue for a moment the suffering they experienced as we fought together to pull the nation out of its worst economic crisis in half a century. For those who lost their farms or businesses or saw their jobs vanish during the recession, life was as bleak as it was for Americans caught up in the economic upheavals of the Great Depression…” (Reagan, An American Life, 342).

Moreover, as Reagan further mentioned, the American people in general, though responding to him with varied reactions, remained receptive and acknowledged our national resilience, which one twenty seven year old mother of three at that time, astutely professed, “I think it’s time…we as a country came off our high horses and got back to business of living with pride and independence,” (Reagan, Ronald, “Reagan, An American Life”, 343). Reagan recognized this general optimism expressed by Americans and channeled it to accomplish his lofty aspirations for the U.S. economy. Ultimately, his utilitarian sacrifice through ETRA in the long run proved significantly successful. Reagan retired from office establishing“20 million new jobs,” with a whopping “118 million Americans achieving employment; the most ever in history,” (De Gregario – The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents 653).

To further accelerate economic growth, Reagan administered the U.S. Canadian Trade Pact of 1988 with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in agreement, “to establish virtual free trade between both countries, abolishing taxes on goods and services progressively until 1999,” (De Gregario – The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 653). He ultimately succeeded in his agenda of, “creating a nation once again, vibrant, robust and alive,” (Morris – Dutch, A Memoir of Ronald Reagan, 556). Hence, Reagan revitalized the previously depressed American economy, restoring its vitality.

Concerning domestic policy, Reagan challenged much of the liberal bureaucracy which sustained precedence since FDR’s New Deal. For example, his administration sought to minimize “social welfare, alongside federal judicial involvement in promoting civil liberties; eliminate government regulation imposed on business, as mentioned earlier; and encouraged a conservative social ethic that emphasized religion within the public realm, which advocated pro-life principles regarding reproductive rights, and minimized drug use,” (American National Biography Online, 7).

While Reagan endorsed some staunch anti-abortion measures, his overall position remained mostly moderate, not challenging the Roe v. Wade decision. America witnessed a notable conservative transition. Nancy Reagan contributed considerably to curtail drug abuse, collaborating with her husband in an anti-drug campaign known as “Just Say No” directing attention toward the youth of America (D’Souza, 221). President Reagan even targeted international support to deter drug sale and manufacture, especially cocaine, pursuing a vociferous anti-drug agenda (Reagan Library, The Reagan Presidency, 1).

Reagan most truly represented the common American. He revitalized American commitment to democratic freedom and nationalism. Patriotism centralized the theme of his conservative foundation, inculcating a true passion for America and its inexorable dedication to democracy. Reagan also believed in the multifarious, multicultural diversity defining democratic institutions. Unlike his predecessors, both liberal and conservative, Reagan seemed the most tolerant, showing no bigotry toward any groups. In fact, Reagan even remained responsible for commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, celebrating it as a national holiday (Hannity, 238). On Friday, January 14, 1983, Reagan recognized a, “reception” he dedicated to “honor memory of Martin Luther King Jr.”, as expressed in his personal journal (Brinkley, Reagan, 125). Thus, this day holds profound historical significance, institutionalizing a standard subsequently practiced by Americans, honoring the unprecedented contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. to contemporary society.

In addition to inhibiting excessive federal infringement, Reagan micromanaged, “the regulations promulgated by federal agencies,” (Mc Donald – The American Presidency, 343). Thus, in 1981 and 1985, he mandated, Executive Orders 12291 and 12498, as a means of assigning greater executive responsibility to agency administrators, “regarding the regulatory actions conducted within their agencies, which additionally included providing presidential oversight with assisting regulation,” (Mc Donald, The American Presidency, 343).

This newly expanded delegation of power to federal agencies, assigning them executive constitutional powers, represents another conspicuously innovative achievement introduced by Ronald Reagan. Because it authorized extended presidential scrutiny, Ronald Reagan gradually gathered greater insight into the programs affecting his administrative policy. He exercised heightened political control and influence to regulate and implement certain programs that normally exceeded his physical capability without it. Therefore, the Executive Orders hold monumental historical value, representing a paradigmatic transition of executive policy in modern American history.

1 Comment
  1. Dana Goodman says

    A worthy sequel, Michael.
    I’ll make sure I will not miss part 3 and 4.
    (If I remember correctly from one of your comments)

    Will you talk about Reagan firing the director of the FDA to give room to the commercialisation of poisons like Aspartame once and for all?
    As the US HAD to have it’s “lite” products as an answer to the ever growing obesity. After this, nothing could curb the (ab)use any more…

    All the best,
    DG

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