Tags: George W. Bush | Hillary Clinton | Presidential History | carter | ford | government

Like Reagan, Trump Defiant and Winning Respect

Like Reagan, Trump Defiant and Winning Respect
Oct. 28, 1980, President Jimmy Carter and then-Republican Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan after debating in Cleveland, Ohio. Gerald Ford’s memoirs note that Jimmy Carter made the same mistake Hillary Clinton did in 2016, not taking her opponent seriously. (Madeline Drexler/AP)

Monday, 18 June 2018 11:25 AM Current | Bio | Archive

President Donald J. Trump just can’t seem to catch a break from the mainstream media or many GOP establishment detractors. Never mind that within but 16 months of his leadership, the former moribund economy is skyrocketing, unemployment is at record lows, industry and wages are growing, and ISIS has been decimated.

Most recently, and with China’s support, a fearsome North Korea nuclear threat may finally be abated. Sure, as we’re appropriately being reminded, the preliminary terms of understanding between Trump and Kim Jong Un remain vague, and the Devil is in the details.

Satanical evidence of this truism has become nakedly exposed in the previous administration’s postponed-disaster-in-waiting Iran nuclear deal.

And weren’t we also warned that the president’s irresponsibly harsh rhetoric towards the "Little Rocket Man" would only serve to escalate conflict? Trump caught liberal flack again for cancelling a planned peace summit after Kim mistakenly tested his resolve. Only weeks later, perplexed pundits witnessed the two protagonists negotiate total North Korea nuclear disarmament over a cordial dinner at a Singapore resort hotel. The luxurious menu and venue were likely selected by Trump to starkly contrast with impoverished economic and social conditions in Kim’s national wasteland.

Another U.S. president faced similar unrelenting media criticism for tough-minded leadership. In January 1977, four years before he was sworn in as the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan described his Russian Cold War strategy very simply, "We win and they lose."

President Reagan didn’t mince words during his first presidential term when he denounced the Soviet Union as an "evil empire."

Reagan demonstrated strength of determination when he walked away from an October 1986 Reykjavik, Iceland nuclear disarmament summit meeting with Soviet Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev after negotiations broke down over a U.S. commitment to create a Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

The president pointed out that the intent of the "Star Wars" missile defense shield was not to gain advantage, but rather, to offer safety against accidents or outlaw nations.

Even his speech writers objected at President Reagan’s harsh tone at Berlin on June 12, 1987. He providently said, "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Like Trump, Reagan’s candidacy and presidency were unceasingly ridiculed by mainstream media pundits and scorned by political adversaries. A jeering press dismissed Reagan as a "B-grade" movie actor and hack General Electric Theater host, whereas Trump is derided as a superficial reality-show personality and mercenary business tycoon.

Harper’s Magazine referred to Reagan as Ronald Duck, "the candidate from Disneyland …a shame and embarrassment for the country."

Longtime GOP political consultant and Reagan biographer Craig Shirley wrote, "the other major GOP players - especially Easterners and moderates — thought Reagan was a certified yahoo." Even after his election he observed "Reagan was never much loved" by his own party leaders. He was derided for having no experience in foreign affairs.

A strategic memo issued by Carter White House opinion pollster, Patrick Caddell, laid out key 1980 reelection campaign pitch bullet points, "Is Regan safe? — Shoots from the Hip— Over His Head — What Are His Solutions?"

Those solutions defined a remarkably successful presidency.

The Reagan Doctrine rebuilt the previously neglected U.S. military, famously advocating "peace through strength," and "trust, but verify."

Reagan took pride in not being "a part of the Washington establishment." He decried Capitol Hill’s "buddy system" and its collusion with “the forces that have brought us our problems — the Congress, the bureaucracy, the lobbyists, big business, and big labor."

Reagan favored small government. Recognizing that "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem," he cut taxes, reduced regulations, and energized economic prosperity.

To their ultimately common good fortune, Trump and Reagan were badly underestimated by opponents. Both had previously been liberals who later offended elites of both parties — including two generations of Bushes.

Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford badly misjudged Reagan as a lightweight.

As Hillary Clinton would later discover, a Ford campaign memo in the run-up to the 1976 Republican primary contest noted a rising turnout of Reagan voters who were "not loyal Republicans or Democrats" and were "alienated from both parties because neither takes a sympathetic view toward their issues."

President Ford’s memoirs later observed that Jimmy Carter also made another serious mistake Hillary would regretfully repeat. He hadn’t taken his opponent’s threat very seriously.

The similarities don’t end there. Trump’s "art of the deal" echoes Reagan’s forging of compromises with the California’s legislature while governor. Even Reagan’s 1980 campaign slogan "Let’s Make America Great Again" added only a single word.

Most important of all, and despite the naysayers, that’s really happening.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2012). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Within but 16 months of President Donald J. Trump's leadership, the former moribund economy is skyrocketing, unemployment is at record lows, industry and wages are growing, and ISIS has been decimated.
carter, ford, government
Monday, 18 June 2018 11:25 AM
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