( 1911–2004), 40th president of the US 1981–89; full name Ronald Wilson Reagan. He was a movie actor before entering politics and then served as the governor of California 1967–74. A conservative Republican, his administration greatly increased defense spending, cut taxes and social services budgets, and saw a record rise in the national budget deficit. He signed an intermediate nuclear forces nonproliferation treaty in 1987. His reputation was tarnished by his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair.
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- I'm a baby boomer myself, although I'm 10 years younger than the vanguard leaders of the 60's, and I certainly understood the tremendous frustration that we felt as Reaganism exploded across the 80's.
- Reagan was a modern exception - the product, no doubt, of his own roots as a Truman Democrat - but this aspect of Reaganism was largely abandoned by Republicans after 1989.
- But I think even today conservatives take heart from Reaganism and from his forward looking conservativism very different from the conservativism of the past.
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