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Comparing Trump to Reagan

Updated on June 12, 2018
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.


It has been 37 years since President Reagan took office. There has been 4 other presidents before the election of Trump. That is a whole generation. Many young people today have little or no knowledge of Reagan. Some of the older folks are raising the question is Trump like Reagan? After just a little over one year into his administration.

- May 2018


President Ronold Reagan was one of our most admired President and a highly ranked president in terms of accomplishments. He was given credit for many initiatives including the end of the Cold War, defeating the Soviet empire, and tearing down the Iron curtain “wall”. He also had great economic success by reducing double-digit inflation and getting America back to work. His support for a strong military as the best path to peace, peace through strength worked well. His investment into Star Wars missile defense system is in use today defending ourselves and our alies against rocket attacks. His policies were controvertial at times even within his own party. He buck the establishment and made history. He was attacked by the media and his adversaries and made fun of in caricatures. He was a great communicator and spoke simply and directly to the American people. His positive message resonated with the people and he won over many blue dog Democrats. His second term was reelected with a huge majority of the electoral college winning 49 out of 50 States. He was able to compromise and reach across the aisle and get things done. That is the sign of a great leader. Reagan was one of the greatest in modern history.

Some Parrallels...

Both were old when they were elected President, Reagan was 70 and Trump 71.

Both started out as Democrats and converted to Republican.

Both had careers in Hollywood, Reagan in films and Trump on TV.

Both had other accomplishments in the private sector. Reagan worked for GE while Trump ran a real estate empire.

Both were disliked by the media. They created a caricature image of them.

Both had personal flaws, and were divorced.

Both are ProLife.

Both came to office at a time when America was on the decline.

Both had hostages released, Reagan with Iran and Trump with North Korea.

Both enacted major tax reforms and tax cuts.

Both supported a strong defense as the best path to peace.

Both made key decisions that were bold. Reagan with his arms talk with the Soviet Union at Reykjavik and Trump with his decision to move embassy to Jerusalem and out reach to North Korea and the withdraw from Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Accord.

Both had an America First agenda. That shining city on a hill. Dawning of America...MAGA.

Both had strong economic recovery policies that have made a difference such as deregulation, tax cuts, and energy production.

Both were snubbed by the Nobel committee. While Carter, Gore and Obama all were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize... see a pattern?

One last trait...Both Reagan and Trump were vilified and hated by the political left, these are the extreme elements in our culture from Hollywood, to Academia to the media to the political insiders... They hated both men for what they stand for. They were Christians and believed in God, and divine guidance in the formation of our country and American Exceptionalism.

Breaking News... 6/11/2018

Just as Reagan help end the cold war back in 1989, we are seeing Trump help end the Korean war after nearly 70 years. He just signed an agreement with Kim Jung Un to denuclearize North Korea. Amazing!!!

Some Differences...

The main difference between Trump and Reagan is their demeanor. Trump is an egotist and everything is about Trump and his name and his accomplishments. He is not shy about claiming it. Whereas, Reagan is humble and gives credit to others even though it is clear he was the main driving force. He is comfortable in his own skin and won’t allow personal attacks on him to affect his judgement.

Reagan is the better communicator no doubt. His training as an actor and spokes person for GE and his many radio commentaries honed his skills. He can give a great speech and the common person can relate to.

Reagan had wit and a sense of humor whereas Trump is more blunt.

Reagan tore down a wall that was designed to keep people oppressed in East Germany. Trump wants to build a wall to keep out undocumented immigrants from entering our country illegally.

Both Trump and Reagan have flaws as do all humans. They were needed in the right place and the right time to save Amerca. Their unique abilities were needed to navigate against a troubled world and a declining US dominance.


Of course there can be no complete agreement between two individuals. Especially across generations when we are dealing with different realities both at home and abroad. The general principles and philosophies are what we should be comparing. Did Reagan and Trump have the same or similar world views? Did they govern with the same set of principles? Given the choice, would they make similar decisions? Did they have impact on the direction and trajectory of our country and the world? The answer must be yes. Trump, in many aspects, is Reaganesque IMHO.

Trump’s Contract With America

A non Scientific poll

Do you think Trump is Reaganesque?

See results

© 2018 Jack Lee


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    • tsadjatko profile image

      The Logician 

      3 years ago from now on

      It is mind boggling ... until you realize that it just doesn't pay to actually be a conservative in congress except to say you are and pander to conservative voters. I say it doesn't pay because practically all the so called self professed conservatives are really not down for the conservative cause but are there solely to advance themselves and their influence over power personally however they can. The proof of this was the last election where you had over 15 Republican candidates professing to be conservatives splitting the anti Trump vote which was upwards of 60% of the primary vote. Trump never got much more than 30% with all those alleged conservative candidates in the race.

      It doesn't take a genius to see from the start if those alleged conservative candidates were actually conservatives and down for the cause all they had to do to beat Trump was rally around one candidate from their ranks. They didn't, and of course they wouldn't, because they are not for conservatism, they are each and every one for themselves and screw everyone else and the voters. United, conservatism would have had a lock on the primary, they all could have participated in the spoils of the victory for the sake of conservatism, important appointments that would all be filled by them, conservatives, if that was what they are, but instead each and every one was out for themselves alone and in doing so gave us Trump (ironic we should thank God for that) and left themselves with virtually no part in implementing real conservative policies, with a couple exceptions.

      Jack, when you come to terms with the fact that there are no real conservatives in congress it isn't mind boggling at all.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 years ago from Yorktown NY

      You are correct. Some established GOP leaders were against Reagan then and some are against Trump now. I put the leaders of the Senate on that list including John McCain, Mitt Romney and Bushes...

      Their whole concept of conservatives are wrong. In fact, they attack conservatives more than they attack the Democrat opposition. It boggles my mind...

    • tsadjatko profile image

      The Logician 

      3 years ago from now on

      Great comparison Jack!

      One thing you might add is both were opposed by their own party's establishment. Reagan didn't want George H. W. Bush as his VP but was forced to acquiesce to the establishment who wanted Bush and as it turns out President GHW Bush put us on the path to undoing Reagan's economic accomplishments, giving us the Clintonistas and of course his son who handed the presidency to Obama on a silver platter.

      So if Trump doesn't completely drain the swamp, how long after Trump's term ends do you think it will be before his policies are replaced with socialist ones?

      Answer, not long after he is gone, exactly why the Democrats and media won't stop their assault on him untill he is gone - to hell with putting America first!


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