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Marcus Raskin on Reagan the Movie Star
Ronald Reagan's film background influenced his presidency.
Marcus Raskin, a founder of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C., has written a series on American presidents. The quote below was taken from his article on Ronald Reagan. The full text is available at http://www.ips-dc.org/disrespect/pd_reagan.htm.
For the actor and the audience, Hollywood film is the medium to escape personal psychological pain, economic hardship or even loss of sexual power. Ronald Reagan the politician successfully fused illusion, kitsch sentiment and reality to the point where the nation at times seemed to surrender itself to the stage of politics. It seemed transfixed by a man who made up facts the way a script writer might make up lines for an actor to read in a film.
There was a base purpose to what came to be known as Reagan's "factoids"; for they built on people's fears and insecurities around crime, inflation, the loss of the Vietnam war and Carter's ambivalent handling of the American embassy hostage situation. Through his rhetoric, Reagan played on how terrible conditions were in the United States and how, with his leadership, it was going to be a perennial morning in America.
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