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Subject: What if Reagan had never been President?

Written By: bchris02 on 06/05/17 at 12:09 am


This video makes some interesting points about how history and culture would have turned out differently if Reagan had never been President.

While Reagan did change the mood in this country towards a more optimistic and nationalistic tone, it came at a cost.  Most of what is destroying this country today from the inside out got its start during the Reagan years.  The problem with the Republican Party today is they don't understand why Reagan was so successful during the 1980s and won't accept the long term, negative consequences of some of the things that were set in motion then.

An alternate history without Reagan would likely leave this country in a much better place today.  I think America would be more socially/culturally where Europe currently is instead of 30 years behind.  The religious right, for one, would have been a much weaker force without Reagan and today, you wouldn't see all the attacks on separation of church and state that pretty much defines our politics today.  The entire "God and Country" idea wouldn't be near as popular.  We would have probably had gay marriage at least five years earlier and marijuana would be legal nationwide.  Religious demographics might look quite different since it would be a world where religion wasn't defined by politics.  A weaker economic recovery in the 1980s could have helped prevent or slow the massive materialistic debt spending culture that arose during that time frame.  That could have resulted in serious changes to the culture of the 90s and 00s as well as adoption of technology.  Dealing with Islamic terrorism during the '90s and preventing 9/11 would have put is in a much better position as a country in the 2000s.  So much of the tensions we are dealing with today, especially with Islamophobia, is directly related to 9/11 and it seems to only get worse the farther away we get from the attacks.  The overreach of executive power and the loss of privacy can also be attributed to 9/11.

Overall, I think we would be in a much better world now had Reagan not have been President (providing Bush won and was President throughout the 1980s).  The 1980s were a fun party but its long gone and the hangover has been worse than anybody could imagine and we are still enduring it today.

Subject: Re: What if Reagan had never been President?

Written By: 2001 on 06/05/17 at 3:11 pm

I don't know much about historical American politics, but that was a very interesting video. It explains a lot about how the US is what it is today.

Subject: Re: What if Reagan had never been President?

Written By: 80sfan on 06/05/17 at 3:39 pm

Cause and effect. Some things have long term consequences.

Subject: Re: What if Reagan had never been President?

Written By: mach!ne_he@d on 06/06/17 at 12:26 pm

Well, it depends on exactly how Reagan doesn't become President.

If Reagan never becomes a Republican at all and stays a Democrat after the '40s, then that would change quite a bit.

If Reagan beat Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination in 1976 and then loses to Carter, then he probably would've been hurt enough politically by the loss to not be able to win the Republican primaries in 1980. That likely means that Bush gets the nomination. It's hard to say how different the '80s would've been with Bush as President. Reaganomics don't happen, and Iran-Contra may not either, but I'm not sure that the overall feel of the decade would be hugely different.

If Reagan loses to Carter in 1980, then you have a really unique scenario. Lets say that something unexpected, like the Iranian Hostage situation getting resolved earlier, happens just before the election and Carter wins. Now you have a very different '80s with Carter as President until 1985. That would change things quite drastically from a political standpoint for the '80s and the years after.

Subject: Re: What if Reagan had never been President?

Written By: HazelBlue99 on 06/07/17 at 4:10 am

I know very little about American politics, however I have my doubts that America would be a more progressive country today if Reagan hadn't of become President. Of course, that's not to say that there wouldn't be any differences, but in the grand scheme of things, America would still be like the America of today. Even if you had a President who was supportive of same-sex marriage and legalised it several years earlier, you would still have a significant proportion of the population who would be against it. Just because same-sex marriage possibly could have been legalised earlier, it doesn't mean that America as a society would be entirely different and be more supportive of it. I don't mean to say that in a degrading or disrespectful way, but it's the truth. You can't expect a decision, regardless of when it occurs, to suddenly change the mindsets and attitudes of a population. That's not how it works. So, I honestly don't know how anyone can come to the conclusion that Reagan has prevented America from possibly becoming a more progressive country socially and culturally. As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Subject: Re: What if Reagan had never been President?

Written By: AL-B Mk. III on 06/12/17 at 6:02 pm

For all of Reagan's faults, I just can't for the life of me imagine Jimmy Carter or Walter Mondale traveling to West Berlin and having the balls to say, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

It's entirely possible that, had Ronald Reagan not been elected, the Berlin Wall might still be there and the Soviet Union might still have an iron grip on Eastern Europe.

Subject: Re: What if Reagan had never been President?

Written By: Brian06 on 06/12/17 at 6:53 pm

I think the main difference is I don't think the GOP would have become the right wing nutcase party it became during the Reagan years and later. Before Reagan the GOP was a more moderate party, Reagan set the stage for it to become a clearly right wing extremist party. Reagan did unite the country and was a strong leader against communism, but still his presidency ultimately led to the Republican party becoming a party dominated by right wing extremists. America would be a bit more liberal and the government likely less dysfunctional though it would still be more right wing than Europe.

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