On November 3, 1980, Ronald Reagan delivered what is called the Election Eve Address to engage America by discussing the issues approaching America. Reagan provided answers for these problems and focused on the idea that America was once unique and superior because of their freedom and liberty. People praised America all over the world, striving to become it, and have watched it take a turn downhill, representing the idea: American Exceptionalism.
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Reagan focuses on this in his address and breaks up his speech into four key parts in order to present a clear perspective to the nation and leave the audience with something to think about.
The first division of his address begins with the many disappointments both Reagan and the nations people hold with their government. Reagan responds to temporary liberalism and the issue of government intervention, while exercising individual freedom over federal power. Both Reagan and agreeing citizens, discussed their overall dissatisfaction with the federal government as the time of the 1980 election approached. They believed their dissatisfaction was caused by previous events, leaders, and matters building up. Reagan stated, Many of us are unhappy about our worsening economic problems, about the constant crisis atmosphere in our foreign policy, about our diminishing prestige around the globe, about the weakness in our economy and national security that jeopardizes world peace, about our lack of strong, straight-forward leadership (Reagan, p.1). He emphasizes the idea that things are still worsening if there is no change introduced and that the government contains too much control. Reagan focuses his attention to leaders from the past and his belief that they are the reason for the nations breakdown. The nation experienced a period of extreme inflation and this effected many people, in addition to the economy. America’s economy was suffering and many people were taken from their jobs, leading to a high unemployment rate and many bankrupt businesses. Reagan’s idea of this mention was to explain that he was here to help the United States through this downfall. He wanted to present the distressing matters in the economy to clearly show the nation they were facing a difficult time. He promises to bring the best leaders he can to government in order to improve the nation for the American people.
Next Reagan focuses on his strong plan for reconstruction and turns his focus towards a hopeful and successful future. This is a great strategy for a presidential candidate and he begins to talk about America as you and me. Reagan introduces strategies to strengthen the nation and begins with limiting the federal government’s spending, which contributes to lowering the citizens tax rates. This small improvement will provide many benefits for the people and will help with all aspects of the economy over time. Businesses will begin to get back up on their feet as saving money and investing become more relevant. He discusses that any politician could make these changes, yet he touches upon his past accomplishments and performance as the Governor of California to point out that he is an experienced man. He expresses his confidence in reform by stating, That’s why I am confident we can affect the reforms I have mentioned ”reforms that will get government off our backs, out of our pockets and up to the standards of decency and excellence envisioned by the founding fathers (Reagan, p. 2). The nations urgency for a strong and motivational leader could be fulfilled by Reagan’s goals to achieve peace and renew the nation. The dreams and aspirations that America particularly wanted are the ideas and solutions that Reagan could provide as their Republican candidate.
Throughout the third subdivision, Reagan suggests the people and government will begin to unite more as a group which will facilitate the renewal of a strong economy. Reagan expresses desire for America if they unify, Together, tonight, let us say what so many long to hear: that America is still united, still strong, still compassionate, still clinging fast to the dream of peace and freedom, still willing to stand by those who are persecuted or alone (Reagan, p. 4). He illustrates that the nation is capable of uniting as one and living in harmony with one another. Reagan wants an enduring peace with all other nations without the interference of government. If the federal government and the citizens were to become unified, the safety of the American people would increase as an equilibrium is discovered. Reagan ends this division by bringing concern to the future and the children of America, he believes citizens will make the right choice to improve the vision of the future.
In Reagan’s final subdivision, he travels back in time pointing out many of America’s successors and monuments remaining in remembrance of such great men. The Great men of the past are remembered in America and the people around the nation will always come back to these men who provided hope and freedom. Reagan states, These visitors to that city on the Potomac do not come as white or black, red or yellow; they are not Jews or Christians; conservatives or liberals; or Democrats or Republicans. They are Americans awed by what has gone before, proud of what for them is still…a shining city on a Hill (Reagan, p. 6). At this point all Americans are considered united no matter their different views because of everything the great men of Washington have offered.
Reagan’s Election Eve speech demonstrates the sophistication, intelligence, and great judgement that Reagan beholds. He proposes his ideas for change while providing hope for the citizens and their children. As a presidential candidate, Reagan introduces the nations issues and the need for change in order for society to thrive with government and not be overpowered by them. He offers solutions to the problems that the United States is facing and does so with an ambition for confident change. Reagan concludes his speech with complementary arguments which authorize him to gain the votes of the audience and win their approval.
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