Patriot's History: 1980s and Ronald Reagan (Chap 20)

California Here I Come, Al Jolson
America, Neil Diamond
Stars and Stripes Forever, John Philip Sousa, composed Christmas Day 1896

Long live the Reagan years: a smaller government,
unfettered markets, and the will to implement
a tougher foreign policy. We gained respect
abroad, and business felt a prosperous effect.

The U.S. in decline? It's now the Gipper's time
to boost our spirits, spur the market, help us climb
the global ladder once again. Our enemies
would fear this master warrior, but feel at ease
with his engaging style. The Carter-bred 'malaise'
was on the wane with Reagan's strategies: to raise
the bar with Russia; second, to de-regulate
the government through tax cuts; third, to cultivate
a market-based solution to our energy
demands (with focus on the funders, said to be
"supply-side" economics). George (the older) Bush
maligned the "voodoo economics," but the push
from Reaganomics spurred production, revenue,
employment (though the deficit, perversely, grew
to troubling heights). And Reagan dealt with terrorists
(Grenada; Libya's Qaddafi) with his fists
instead of talk, although the evil communist
Ortega (Nicaragua), trying to resist
the US-aided contras, caused embarrassment
when secret cash from weapons to Iran was sent
to help defeat him. Reagan showed assertiveness
with bombers, missiles, nukes, and subs. The wickedness
of Soviet oppression only understood
a show of force. And Reagan knew the likelihood
of war demanded strong defense -- his SDI,
'Strategic' anti-missile safeguards, would deny
the Russians. Gorbachev was sensing the decline
of Soviet control, with SDI a sign
of things to come; a second sign: free enterprise,
for socialism can't compete; the swift demise
of Russian armies in Afghanistan a third,
as US-aided anticommunists assured
the rout; and fourth was NATO missiles standing tall
in Europe. "Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall,"
said Reagan. Given this, an economic boom,
and confidence, his time in office would resume.

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