Ronald Reagan was a leader all of his life. In school, he was president of the student body. When he went into acting, he became president of the Screen Actors Guild. He then went on to be the governor of California, and eventually president of the United States. His political views shifted in the years leading up to his governing of California. This shift helped his leadership, as he was open minded to both sides and he could make compromises and form policies that benefited both parties. His presidency and his actions during tested his leadership as well.
Through his acting, leadership positions, and his policies and ecisions in those positions, Ronald Reagan made a big impact on America. In his youth,Reagan was outgoing. During high school, he played sports, such as football and basketball, wrote for the school yearbook, acted, and became student body president. Reagan went to Eureka College in Illinois with a partial scholarship for football. He continued playing football, acting, writing for the school newspaper, and was again, president in his student council.
Reagan was more ambitious in college, however, as he also took up swimming, writing for the school yearbook, joined the debate club, and he graduated with a ajor in economics. On top of all that, Reagan also worked as a dish washer, a lifeguard, and a swimming coach to pay for school. Any money he had left over, he sent to his family. Out of college, Reagan worked as a sports broadcaster. Within time, he pursued a career in acting. He took an on screen test for Warner Brothers and was signed on with the studio. Over the next twenty years, he starred in fifty-three movies.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Reagan’s career shifted slightly. He was drafted to the military but his poor eyesight kept him out of the fight. He worked again as an actor, narrating instructional ideos for the military and acting in patriotic movies to help the war effort. Before the war, Reagan was elected by actors, to represent actors, as the seventh president of the Screen Actors Guild. While he was there, he oversaw the issues of communism and actors’ residual pay throughout Hollywood. He negotiated with producers to insure that actors and actresses would be paid when their movies were aired on TV.
He also helped all actors and actresses to become eligible for health care. When Reagan’s popularity and success in Hollywood started to decline, he signed with General Electric as a spokesman. General Electric kept Reagan’s career alive as they used him for commercials and had him speak to workers at General Electric plants. Reagan had been a democrat and was interested in politics. However, towards the end of his tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild he started to agree more with the ideals of republicans.
Speaking for General Electric helped him solidify his more republican views. As he toured around the country, speaking to employees, he saw how bigger government affected the workers. Workers and managers feared that a larger government would violate their freedoms and raise taxes. He began speaking about freedom and big business, rather than big government. Reagan was also enthusiastic about another career besides acting – politics. He discussed his ambition with his wife, Nancy, and a few close friends and decided to run for governor of California.
Reagan ran against two-time governor, and Democrat, Edmund Brown, and Republican George Christopher. Edmund Brown leaked damaging information about Christopher in an attempt to run one on one with Reagan, the newcomer to the political field. He would then criticize Reagan for his beliefs, calling him an “extremist”, and for his nexperience in office. Brown succeeded in getting to run one on one with Reagan, but Christopher, angry with Brown, decided to support Reagan and people paid little attention to Brown’s criticism.
Reagan ended up winning the election against Brown by nearly a million votes. Reagan started his governing with the burden of a large budget deficit, given to him from the previous administration. Reagan first tried to cut spending to all state programs, but many programs couldn’t afford the cut. Reagan was then forced to increase taxes. Despite this, Reagan was reelected. During his econd term, Reagan worked with Democrats to pass the Welfare Reform Act and obtain property-tax relief. He also pressed for the University of California to charge tuition.
Reagan was tough on violent protests on campuses and often, with the requests of administrators and faculty, used the state’s National Guard to calm down protesters. While some thought this to be slightly over the top, no one complained over the reduced violence. Lastly, as governor, Reagan approved the creation of Redwood National Park. After being Governor of California, Ronald Reagan felt inspired o run for president of the United States. He was popular, not only because of his acting career, but also due to his governing in California.
He won the Republican presidential nomination and joined with George H. W. Bush, who would be his vice president to run against then-current president, Jimmy Carter and Independent liberal-Republican John Anderson. Reagan, being a conservative, pointed out that having liberal in office didn’t solve any problems. Reagan also pointed out the weak economy, high unemployment, rising prices, and other problems, then asked voters if they were better off than they ere before Carter’s presidency. Voters were ready for a change and Reagan won the election and became the fortieth president of the United States.
Reagan entered the presidency full of promises. He promised to balance the federal budget, increase defense spending, cut income taxes, protect social security, and cut out waste and abuse from social programs. Reagan immediately started working on cutting taxes and within his first year, he passed a bill that would cut taxes by twenty-five percent over the span of three years. The economy started to grow and unemployment ates went lower than they had ever been in modern history. The economic growth, however, unfortunately caused the national debt to balloon.
Ronald Reagan wanted to keep America safe. He raised spending for the military and hoped to scare away threats and expansion of communism. He negotiated with the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, to eliminate the threat of using nuclear missiles against each other. He also kept a close eye on terrorism. A group of Americans had been captured and held hostage, but were eventually released. However, Americans kept dying at the hands of terrorists and Reagan declared war n terrorism and ordered that the terrorists be bombed.
Americans felt confident in Ronald Reagan. More than half of Americans gave Reagan good reviews in polls. Reagan had cut taxes, mostly helped the economy, and had made America safer with its increase in military spending and his communication with the Soviet leaders. Before his presidency, He helped balance California’s budget, he worked with Democrats on the Welfare Reform Act and property-tax relief, approved of Redwood National Park, and made college campuses safer all as the governor of California.
Prior to that, Reagan fought against he spread of communism in Hollywood and helped actors and actresses on the issue of their residual pay as the president of the Screen Actors Guild. Before getting into the politics of acting, Reagan made it famous as an actor and encouraged patriotism in many films with his characters. Lastly, before he even left school, he sought to make a difference as president of his student council, both in high school and college. Ronald Reagan has displayed his leadership abilities and has greatly impacted America with his acting, leadership positions, and his policies and decisions in those positions.