Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This article was written in 2004, so is a fairly recent view of Reagan. This shows that the image of the former President today is still positive after many years, and that he made a lasting impression on the American public. It was written just after his death and tells of all the achievements in his career and throughout his lifetime including the way he handled the threat of Soviet power by strengthening and increasing the size of America’s military. It outlines not only his foreign policy achievements, but his domestic successes including the increase in the American economy despite increasing the taxes for 8 years in a row. The article also commends his work towards increasing funding towards AIDS and HIV research. The most outstanding part of the President’s career according to this article was his personality, described as “rather unique for a President” as, unlike most Presidents he was honest and admitted to his mistakes and apologised for them. For example, he did a televised response and accepted responsibility for the failure of the Iran Contra Arms deal. His honesty made him respected, and the article shows how he won re-election in 49 States showing that he was a much loved and respected President. The article ends with the words “the world was a better place because Reagan was in it” which sums up that the author thinks Reagan was vital to improving America.

This article was also written recently, in 2009 so both are a contemporary retrospective view of Reagan. It is titled ‘Ronald Reagan: Worst President Ever?’ which immediately shows the view that some people hold of him, that he destroyed America and was their worst President. The article expresses how Reagan used his personality as a facade when he was really a “pied piper luring the American people.” He defends the view that people have that Reagan won the Cold War for America by saying that the Soviet Union was already failing when he became President and it was not the strong power that Reagan made it out to be. It says that the CIA Spies in the Soviet Union in the 1980s agreed with this point which shows that Reagan’s victory could have been less successful than Americans thought. The article also blames the rise of Al-Qaeda terrorism on Reagan, as he turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear bomb in return for its help in shipping weapons to the Afghan jihadists, including Osama Bin Laden, which lead to tensions between America and the Afghans creating enemies which would impact America in the future. What makes it more interesting are the comments underneath the article, some of which passionately defend Reagan as the the best President America has ever had, this shows that the debate is still alive today.

Both articles are similar as they only tell one side of the argument. The first makes Reagan out to be a Saint and the second only tell of his downfalls showing that neither have a balanced argument of the debate.

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