During the Reagan campaign of 1980 one felt part of movement or “revolution” that was going to change not only the nation but perhaps the world.
Then “Governor” Reagan’s vision was clear and concise and left little room for doubt.
America must shrink the size of the federal government, reduce regulations on business, and cut taxes “across the board” for all Americans.
In other words, Reagan instinctively knew that — given the tools — the American entrepreneur would lead the country back to prosperity and out of double-digit inflation and double-digit interest rates.
Reagan also understood that communism’s worldwide influence would not long endure and ending the cold war was imperative.
What is not commonly known is that Ronald Reagan, throughout his life, was a prolific writer.
Reagan wrote short fiction, poetry, numerous important letters, sports stories, newspaper articles and radio commentary on public policy issues, and on foreign and domestic themes.
Most of Reagan’s original writings were done prior to his presidency.
Contrary to the opinion promulgated by the elite media critics, Reagan’s mind was constantly at work. He was well read and an extensive researcher on the complex foreign and domestic issues of his time. Reagan’s writings clearly show that he had given great thought and consideration to almost every major policy issue that would later confront when president.
One of the defining moments of the Reagan presidency was the Air Traffic Controllers Strike.
When President Reagan fired the striking controllers, some pundits and politicians criticized Reagan as a mere opportunist taking advantage of events useful to cripple organized labor. Had they done their research, they would have found what he had written in the 1970s and would have known he was opposed to public sector unions’ strikes.
If you read Reagan in his own Hand, edited by Martin Anderson and others, you will find numerous examples of Reagan’s writings and beliefs. Reagan wrote the drafts of his radio broadcasts and speeches in long hand. According to the editors — over 30% of his handwritten drafts of his radio broadcasts were about defense issues or foreign policy.
One constant in Reagan’s broadcasts was his concern about the Cold War. It is through this lens that he studied and formed opinions on most defense and foreign policy issues. In his radio broadcasts he analyzes the sources and symptoms of the Cold War and he criticizes the foreign policy of both the Ford and Carter Administrations. According to Reagan’s thinking, the overriding goal of the United States’ Cold War doctrine should be to. Reagan wrote that he believed that communism will fail because “it lays its own groundwork for destruction.”
Reagan’s goal was to transform the Soviet political system to one that was representative of its people and allowed freedom. Reagan concluded, if those goals were achieved the result would be the end of the Cold War and the repudiation of communism as a bankrupt philosophy.
In examining Reagan writings, a reader finds that he believed that in order to hasten the end of the Cold War it was necessary to distinguish the symptoms of the Cold War from its sources. It was his view that arm control negotiations would neither end the protracted conflict nor enhance bilateral relations. The only reason, he writes, to sign an arm control treaty is to enhance the security interests of the United States.
Even then, Reagan cautioned we must be ever vigilante because the causes of the Cold War — the internal and external policies of the Soviet Union — still remain. Reagan understood the stakes of winning the Cold War and he believed that we must have leaders who explained the requirements of victory to the American people.
Reagan abhorred appeasement and championed peace through strength.
To help bring the downfall of the “Evil Empire,” Reagan concluded, America must be economically and militarily superior to the Soviet Union thus the across-the-board tax cuts and the unprecedented military build up.
What followed was the resurgence of the American spirit and the spread of democracy through out the world.