Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Gipper


Ronald Reagan is finally dead. More so than for most presidents, his presidency defined its decade. Whether you liked him or not, he was definitely the most influential global personage during the 1980s.

His effect on the conclusion of the Cold War, which has been underestimated by liberals and Gorbachev afficionados, was definitive. His vision of the Star Wars project, mocked by so many, played a significant role in undermining the remaining vestiges of Soviet economic and military power by forcing the USSR to engage in an arms race it could ill afford.

As a European child of the 1980s, I cannot comment on Reagan's domestic US policies. I can only state that with historical perspective, much of the credit given to Gorbachev should rightfully have gone to Reagan and his administration. He brought back the 'war' to the Cold War, and thus accelerated its end. This is not to say that without Reagan the Cold War would not have ended. It would have. But it would have taken a few more years than it actually did.

The legacy of Reagan resounds in our current administration. Whether you loved, liked, or hated Reagan, his role in shaping US and global policy cannot be ignored. And whether you loved, liked, or hated Reagan, you have to be glad that he is finally free from that horror that is Alzheimers.


Blogger Herb said...

A bit pompous but all in all well written.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You got it backwards, much of the credit given to Reagan should rightfully have gone to Gorbachev.

10:28 AM  

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