Reagan & Trump: a comparison

January 24, 2018


Wikipedia commons

Ronald Reagan greets Donald Trump at 1987 White House reception.

Warning: please be advised that this article contains vulgar language.

The most recent incident of our president’s vulgarity involves the country of Haiti. This country, a former slave colony of France, is a small island-nation in the Caribbean. Natural disasters have devastated this small island-nation, including the infamous 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed two-hundred thousand people, and damaged enough buildings to render a million people homeless. Haiti’s ravaged infrastructure and economy accounts for its high crime rate, a high mortality rate, and its AIDS epidemic. For these reasons, it was recently designated a “shithole” by Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America.

President Trump is an uncanny parallel to the former president Ronald Reagan. Both presidents held little to no political experience prior to their inauguration; Reagan was an actor, Trump, a businessman. Both presidents ran on an anti-government campaign. Additionally, both of these presidents affiliated themselves with republican conservatives. However, one facet of both of these presidents that is often overlooked is their obvious lack, or even apathy, of other countries’ situations.

Ronald Reagan saw the Soviet Union as a “evil empire,” and fought the Soviet Union on multiple fronts. Besides continuing president Carter’s grain embargo on the Soviet Union, he armed the Mujahideen fighters in the Afghanistan region, fighters which devastated the Soviet Union’s armed forces. Some of these Mujahideen fighters would later form the Taliban, a group which harbored Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization responsible for the most devastating terrorist attack on the United States. Reagan’s determination to end the “evil empire” led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, which in turn led to a destabilization of the countries formerly under Soviet control. Countries formerly under Soviet control and/or allied to the Soviet Union include Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, and Poland, all of which are countries now suffering economically or politically.

Let’s use Poland as an example. Poland might not seem like it has suffered as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, many high-skilled laborers leave Poland in search of better opportunities in other European countries. As a result of this brain-drain, there was a massive alt-right march last year in Warsaw, something that is becoming all too common in Europe.

Similarly, Trump has the ability to destabilize our relatively peaceful world. His remarks have already shaken the United States’ allies in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. His refusal to visit the United States embassy in London marks an unusual breakaway from previous presidents; it seems England continues to face the world without Trump’s assurances. Even earlier, Trump’s remarks about Japan and South Korea led to emergency meetings for these countries right after Trump won the presidential lesson. Trump has repeatedly quarreled with Kim Jong Un (current president of North Korea), sparking a “war of words” with the most dangerous nuclear state of our time. This wide-spreading disharmony sown by Trump seems to reflect the presidency of Reagan.

There is a difference though. During Reagan’s presidency, Twitter had not been invented yet. Reagan was unable to share every passing thought that crossed his mind; Trump on the other hand is able to alarm his allies in a single, two-hundred and forty character message. There have also been instances when Trump has deleted previous tweets, albeit early in his presidency. This complete disregard for the United States’ image, unfortunately, no longer causes great alarm.

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