The zenith of the American Empire was reached with the collapse of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991, this would not have been possible without the brilliant leadership of Ronald Reagan, whom without shedding a drop of blood or firing a single bullet, had defeated the Soviet Union and dismantled its nuclear arsenal, ending the Cold War and glimpsing a new era for humanity, that was looming in the last decade of the 20th century, where the Americans would be the masters of the world.
Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, a town in Illinois surrounded by cornfields, due to the religious training that his mother gave him, he always had faith in the goodness of people and in the triumph of good over evil. When he finished university with a degree in Economics and Sociology, he began to work as a broadcaster for baseball games, his persuasive ability gave him great fame; on the radio he learned the value of intonation, and the handling of intentions. His resume and charisma led him to sign a contract with Warner Brothers for his mere presence and they would make him the star of several films, where he always played the good guy.
During his stay in Hollywood he became the leader of the Actors Guild and came to sympathize with the communist ideology, organizing riots and protests of the union against the producers. He was investigated and threatened by the FBI to throw acid in his face, after this He changed his speech by becoming a media spokesman against communism, however the visit of the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ended his film career as he was considered a provocateur to the fragile relationship between the US and the USSR.
Reagan was married to Jane Wyman and when they divorced he met a Hollywood actress, Nancy Davis, who would be his best and only friend, together they worked for General Electric as infomercial actors; GE would later fire him for editing his scripts, making them controversial, against their policies. Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater made use of his anti-communist propaganda videos, and although the candidate lost the election, Reagan resigned from the Democratic Party and joined the Republican, always navigating into convenience, he would become Governor of California from 1967 to 1975.
The decade of the 80’s was a time of change, the American way of life changed drastically: Cable television introduced a whole range of new programs for the demanding viewer. Compact discs replaced discs as the most popular medium for recorded music. Cell phones were beginning to be developed for elite use, and banking became more convenient with the proliferation of ATMs. Businesses and individuals rushed to buy personal computers that held the promise of radically simplifying difficult tasks.
The rise of Ronald Reagan to the presidency in the United States has to do with the disenchantment and defeat sustained during the 70’s, the election of Reagan brought a dramatic change to the federal government and the spirit of the people. No president, Republican or Democrat, had attempted to reduce the size of the federal government since Franklin Roosevelt began his New Deal. The tax cut given to the American people benefited wealthy Americans the most, in the hope that their higher income would trickle down to poorer Americans, the so-called trickle-down theory. The economic stagnation of the 1970s came to an end, but at the cost of huge federal deficits and the rising poverty rate.
The president’s message was clear: The government had gotten too big and needed to be cut back to size. Taxes were incredibly high and needed to be cut to stimulate growth and investment. Military spending also had to be increased to fix the degenerative state of the American war machine. There was a need to re-emphasize morality and character in American life. Despite the political bipolarity with the USSR, the United States had to be the superpower in the world with the best system of government, it was time to feel proud again for being American.
Reagan’s economic strategy was based on the economic theory of Milton Friedman, the purest Neoliberalism emanating from the success of Hong Kong and the first years of American expansionism towards the Pacific, they had to adapt to the new times and print a personal stamp on them, the Reaganomics:
REDUCE THE GROWTH OF PUBLIC SPENDING
REDUCE MARGINAL RATES OF TAXES ON LABOR AND CAPITAL
REDUCE THE REGULATION OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
CONTROL OF THE MONETARY SUPPLY AND REDUCE INFLATION
Emanated from the golden age of Hollywood, the image of Ronald Reagan was associated with times of glory, his eclipsing speech, with words dictated in perfect intonation and his confident gaze, convinced the most incautious audiences of his mastery, by docility and elegance that emanated from her person; In order not to sound like a snob, he was politically aphoristic, he liked to have certain positions, which he explained in short sentences, so that his compatriots could easily understand him. This is how he summarized his position on a fundamental issue before coming to the government: “My idea of policy towards the Soviet Union is simple, someone would say simplistic. It is this: We win, they lose ”.
America was the great victor in the Cold War, the hero who buried the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. The so-called Reagan Doctrine, the strategy to support the fight against pro-Soviet regimes in Latin America, Africa and Asia, accompanied by a powerful arsenal promoted by the program known as Star Wars, undermined the geostrategic power of the communist bloc, while, it established relations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, whom he challenged to bring down the Berlin Wall. That barrier ended up succumbing in 1989, like the USSR itself and its sphere of influence. Capitalism had won.
After Reagan’s reelection, Vice President George Bush was elected on November 8, 1988. The great theme of the Bush campaign was maintaining the status quo, including the famous phrase: «read my lips, there will be no new taxes.» which ended up costing him the presidency. The recession slowly eroded George Bush, who came to power without a coherent program and began to acquire a reputation as a president who made grandiose proclamations that almost always stayed on paper.
The work of Reagan and Bush achieved their mission, the USSR had collapsed, fragmented and Europe was reordering itself into new countries, at the end of the eighties, by the hand of Ronald Reagan, the United States had won and received a boost of confidence from the world when the Cold War came to an end in 1991; the laurels of freedom and triumph filled Americans with pride, as when they proclaimed themselves the victors of the two World Wars, the threat from the Soviet Union now belonged to history. The 20th century was the century of the United States and by the end of this, they had earned their due status: to be the world’s first superpower.