May 3, 2012 at 9:54 am #15637
Hello, there! I have another question that pertains to the Reagan and Eisenhower Administrations! Both these administrations are known as great conservative, economically stable, and non-interventionist periods in American History. Though, like everything else..is this really true? Are these administrations really perfect like most conservatives are remembering?
I know Reagan had several overseas military adventures during his Presidency, and that his “Reagan Revolution” might not have happen to the extent many say it did. As for Eisenhower, I’ve heard of his apparent Iran Coup and his close to socialistic Highway, but don’t know the details behind all this. Is there more issues of their administrations that are not commonly talk about?May 4, 2012 at 10:22 am #15638Brion McClanahanMember
Dr. Woods covers this quite nicely in his lecture on the Eisenhower administration. Eisenhower’s involvement in the Vietnam era is also addressed in the lecture on that topic.May 4, 2012 at 11:20 am #15639rtMember
Why don’t you check out the lectures in the U.S. History Course since 1877? There’s a lecture on Eisenhower by Dr. Woods and a lecture on Reagan by Dr. Gutzman!May 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm #15640woodsParticipant
I agree with the recommendations to view these lectures. I also recommend the book The Illusion of a Conservative Reagan Revolution, by Larry Schwab. In the cases of both presidents, of course, essentially nothing was actually repealed under either of them.May 12, 2012 at 11:08 am #15641
Reagan sympathizers only controlled Congress during the first two years of Reagan’s presidency. Not coincidentally, that was also the only two-year period in my life when domestic discretionary spending declined. Thereafter, Reagan decided that of his three priorities — arms buildup, tax reductions, and spending reductions, the last was the least important. To the shock of his opponents, the buildup led not to a world conflagration, but to the end of the Soviet Union. (Don’t take my word for it: take Alexander Bessmertnykh’s.)
Reagan was also primarily responsible for a serious renaissance in constitutionalism, both in his appointments (including of the attorney general who made “original intent” a common term and of hundreds of judges, among them the best chief justice in history). This is one of Reagan’s chief legacies.
It’s common to comment critically upon Reagan’s administration by assuming that he had the power of an Arab dictator and commenting on everything that the Federal Government did as if Reagan had desired it. This approach is, of course, fallacious.May 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm #15642
Kevin Gutzman, I am still not convinced bolstering US military spending by $800 billion was a key component to the fall of the Soviet Union. Yes Bessmertnykh credits the method as an accelerator but basic economics demonstrates that the soviet interpretation of communism was doomed to fail whether or not the United States behaved as a competing super power.
Unfortunately I am working purely on my understanding of basic economic systems and not basing my argument on a well researched and published case study.May 24, 2012 at 8:56 pm #15643
It’s common to argue that nothing anyone outside the USSR did hastened the end of the USSR, let alone caused it. That end was inevitable, we’re told. One could of course make the same argument concerning Diocletian’s economic policy — which must explain why the Byzantine Empire only endured until 1453.
In short, virtually every society that ever existed had governmental economic policies that were “doomed to fail.” This line of argument strikes me as jejune. I think that in many cases it comes from this direction: nothing that government ever did was worth doing; Reagan’s arms buildup was a government initiative; therefore, Reagan’s arms buildup wasn’t worth doing.May 28, 2012 at 11:50 am #15644
I am disappointed that you simply generalized and wrote off my view as generic and anti-government. I was anticipating further evidence, articles and suggested reading that support your conclusion.
My desire, regarding the Liberty Classroom, is to expose myself to new content, broaden my understanding of other view points, and enrich the material I use in my classroom.June 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm #15645
Bessmertnykh did not say that Reagan’s arms buildup was “an accelerator.” He said that SDI led Gorbachev to realize that perestroika was necessary if the USSR was going to compete with the US military; soon enough, Gorbachev saw that perestroika could not succeed without glasnost; and once there was glasnost, people all over Eastern Europe saw that they hated communism. The result was the abolition of the USSR. Again, don’t take my word for it: take Bessmertnykh’s.June 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm #15646
That explains things better. Thank you.June 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm #15647
You’re welcome.June 11, 2012 at 12:50 am #15648
“Reagan sympathizers only controlled Congress during the first two years of Reagan’s presidency. Not coincidentally, that was also the only two-year period in my life when domestic discretionary spending declined.”
“It’s common to comment critically upon Reagan’s administration by assuming that he had the power of an Arab dictator and commenting on everything that the Federal Government did as if Reagan had desired it. This approach is, of course, fallacious.”
I’ll take your word for it Mr. Gutzman. I’ll give Reagan the big benefit of the doubt! I admit to being still cautious and suspicious of his administration and policies though. I’ve heard plenty of times the excuse of Democratic or Republican Congress being used for several Presidents. The Bushes being the most recent examples, but I have some doubt (especially, about Bush Jr.) whatever their policies that were block were actually for the best, even if the Congress reason for blocking them weren’t for noble intentions. Granted, in Reagan’s case it defiantly seemed more “genuine” blockade against his policies. And his policies would have worked if what I’ve read about them are true. I will read the book Mr. Woods suggested though, and maybe come back with some new thoughts about him.
Thanks for answering though! 🙂June 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm #15649
W had a Republican Congress for six of his eight years. He demonstrated no interest in controlling spending; indeed, aversion to reining in government spending is what his slogan “compassionate conservatism” was meant to convey. One should not confuse the Bushes with Reagan: Daddy Bush was the anti-Reagan on every major issue in the 1980 primaries, and he came from the anti-Goldwater wing of the party (as does Romney, by the by).June 18, 2012 at 12:31 am #15650
“W had a Republican Congress for six of his eight years. He demonstrated no interest in controlling spending; indeed, aversion to reining in government spending is what his slogan “compassionate conservatism” was meant to convey.”
Interesting! Would you happen to know some good book on the abuses of the Bush Administration on both domestic and foreign policies, Mr. Gutzman?
“One should not confuse the Bushes with Reagan: Daddy Bush was the anti-Reagan on every major issue in the 1980 primaries, and he came from the anti-Goldwater wing of the party (as does Romney, by the way).”
Wow, how did he become Vice-president then? Politics, or was Reagan just unfortunate, to get him as his Vice and was hoping for a more conservative choice?June 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm #15651woodsParticipant
I don’t know that the definitive book on W has been written. The two-volume Neo-Conned series has some great material on the war in Iraq.
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