Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Carter-Reagan Continuities

Joe asks me to weigh in, so I shall. Yes, there are some striking parallels between Reagan and Carter’s idealism, especially on wanting to abolish nuclear weapons. The fundamental difference in their statecraft, though, is that Carter approached the world through a Kantian moral framework, while Reagan was more Aristotelian; that is to say, Reagan had great practical judgment where Carter had none. And look whose approach succeeded, and whose didn’t.

I am reviewing the Gil Troy book on Reagan and the 1980s shortly in The Weekly Standard, and I won’t give away much here, except to say: I really don’t like it. Stay tuned for the review.

One final footnote: Reagan quickly came to regret signing the abortion bill that Jenkins mentions. Also, his environmental record as president was just as good as his record as governor, as you can see if you review the actual results here.

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