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?

In order to earn the full 100 points (100%) for this assignment, you must:

  1. Directly and completely answer at least ONE question. Please make sure that you clearly indicate which question you have chosen to discuss. Clearly and accurately explain your answer based on factual information contained in the assigned readings. (80 points)