Example Of The Life Of Ronald Reagan Essay
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Ronald Reagan, Politics, America, United States, Family, Hollywood, Communist, Communism
Growing up through his childhood and early years, Ronald Reagan was a Democrat. His family was heavily influenced by President Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. Nevertheless, Reagan’s family instilled certain core values that would eventually conflict with his political beliefs. At first, Reagan did not align these values with politics and lived in a conflicted state regarding his actions and political beliefs. This is because Reagan, even from his early days, was raised to believe in freedom and independence. According to Reagan himself, “America, above all places, gives us the freedom to make our dreams come true” (Reagan, “An American,” 28). Reagan strongly believed in the American dream and the idea that anyone in America can pursue their dreams, doing what they love in order to make money. The only reason this did not carry over into his political beliefs is because he simply was not interested in politics and did not put much thought into this matter. According to Reagan, “I had become a Democrat by birth, I suppose” (Reagan, “An American,” 66). Reagan just went along with his parents’ views and did not initially question why his parents were Democrats and whether he should be one as well. This idea carried Reagan through young adulthood until particular events got him thinking more in-depth about his political ideology.
As Reagan did not put much thought into his political beliefs in relation to his actually ideology, Reagan apparently favored many New Deal programs created by FDR. Reagan also appeared to admire FDR’s personality as his leadership skills resonated with Reagan. Accounts of Reagan’s early years even suggest that Reagan would pretend to give speeches and portray the confidence exuded by FDR. Another reason for this is because of his family’s struggles during the Great Depression. Reagan’s dad struggled to find work and eventually found a job due to one of the programs created by the New Deal (Reagan, “Reagan: A Life,” 34). Reagan had strong ties to his father, and when he saw that his father was able to obtain a job due to the government, Reagan did not question this government’s role and went along with supporting Democratic principles. This would change, however, as Reagan attained national fame as an actor and began working for major corporations, including General Electric.
Reagan’s earliest professions were in the radio and film industries. He actually broadcasted football games for the University of Iowa, and moved on to play by play officiating. He was described as having a great persuasive voice, and he was able to use this complement as a way to get into Hollywood. Reagan began acting in Hollywood around 1937 and it was during this time the foundations of his political views began to shift. Communism was the major threat in the later 1940s and there were many people who espoused communist views within the Hollywood community. Reagan had initially joined the HAVC (Hollywood American Veterans Committee), and believed in peace with the Soviet Union. However, Reagan realized that a communist faction within the HAVC would manipulate and deceive many members within the committee. The FBI ended up getting involved and Reagan left the organization with a negative perception of the communist influences (Reagan, “An American,” 115). This started his bitterness and hatred for the communist party, which would have align his other political views.
In these three paragraphs I fixed some minor grammatical errors, and correctly formatted the sources. As I was not initially clear on how to distinguish in text references by different books from the same author, this was a useful revision and practice. I also made some changes to my last paragraph by adding a better connection to my thesis statement, to tie it in to the larger focus of my paper. I combined two paragraphs into one in order to create a more focused paper.
Ehrman, John. The Eighties: America in the Age of Reagan. New Haven: Yale UP, 2005. Print.
Reagan, Ronald. An American Life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. Print.
Reagan, Ronald, and Kiron K. Skinner. Reagan: A Life in Letters. New York: Free, 2003. Print.