Reagan and American Exceptionalism

Ashley Pratte

6/5/2014 12:52:00 PM - Ashley Pratte

Today marks the 10th anniversary of President Reagan’s passing and given his passion in fighting for a strong national defense—his leadership is missed now more than ever.

The Obama administration continues to fumble on foreign policy and national security. President Obama would be wise to take a few lessons from Reagan’s playbook. Reagan would be greatly concerned if he knew that American security had been compromised through the release of five key Taliban leaders, all known-terrorists.

President Reagan fought tirelessly to defend freedom and believed in American exceptionalism. Sadly, Obama seems to believe that America should fall a few rungs on the ladder on the world stage.

Under President Reagan, other nations looked to America as the shining beacon of hope—now other nations see our weaknesses in our economy and national security. President Reagan took a stand against communism and terrorism and believed in peace through strength. President Obama continues to make a mockery of American exceptionalism through his weakness on foreign policy.

President Reagan is best known for his stance against communism when he made one of the most memorable statements in history: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The Berlin Wall stood as a stark symbol of the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Russia, but it was America’s dominance that was solidified when the wall came down. Now, we have a Russian leader who wields his power without fear of consequence. President Obama did not take a strong leadership role when Russia seized Crimea nor did he sanction Russia for their behavior. The United States response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine was extremely ineffective and did nothing to contest Russian aggression.

Recently President Obama’s spoke at West Point. This speech was meant to lay out a vision of Obama’s foreign policy—instead it showed a commander-in-chief with no plan and a delusional sense of America’s role as a world power. In his speech he showed his weakness in his lack of a worldview. Since Obama took office, the United States is in a weaker position thanks to the White House’s empty rhetoric and sanctions, as well as a diminished military due to significant funding cuts.

During Obama’s Presidency, there has been scandal after scandal: Benghazi, IRS targeting of conservative groups, NSA spying on American citizens, and now the release of five known Taliban terrorists in exchange for a soldier with questionable loyalty to the United States military. This administration continues to make excuses for their actions and demonstrate their incompetency in handling issues of national security.

Today, we remember President Reagan’s lasting accomplishments and hope that American exceptionalism will one day be restored.