Discussion #12: assessing ronald reagan

Ronald  Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, has been described as  having had a very engaging personality. Even people who disagreed with  his policies, found themselves drawn to his attractive and carefully  honed public image. Surrounded by tough, energetic administrators who  insulated him from many of the pressures of the office, he seemed to  offer general guidance but not make specific decisions. His presidency  was also mired in a series of scandals, but the most damaging was the  Iran-contra scandal. After a series of investigations and congressional  hearings, the White House conceded that it had sold weapons to the  revolutionary government in Iran, and used some of the money to  illegally aid the Contras in Nicaragua. This was in direct violation of  the Boland Amendment.

In order to prepare for this discussion forum:

  • Review and identify the relevant sections of Chapter 31 that support your discussion.
  • Review material on this site on the Reagan administration.

After you have completed your readings post your response to only one of the following questions

  1. In 1983, Democratic  Congresswoman Pat Schroeder described Reagan’s presidency as  “Teflon-coated,” because scandals surrounding his presidency seem to  have no effect on his individual popularity. Is this a valid assessment  of Reagan and his presidency?
  2. Should Reagan (or the policies of any past presidents) be  credited with the collapse of world communism, or was the end of the  Cold War more a result of internal developments within the Soviet Union  and the nations it dominated?

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