Category Archives: Dan Centinello’s Past Politics

Presidential Profile: Ronald Reagan

“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.”

-Ronald Reagan

 

Widely recognized as the driving force behind the nation’s realignment with conservatism in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan’s considerable success in office has cemented him as an icon for conservative-leaning politicians today.

 

Though he is mostly known for his achievements in California and D.C., Ronald Reagan was born in a small town in rural Illinois. Reagan grew up in a working-class family and put himself through school; his childhood experiences inculcated in him a strong belief in the value of dedication and hard work. In 1937, Reagan relocated to California and began working as a sports announcer and actor; years later, he starred in several notable pictures and was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild. In this position, Reagan took strides against the influence of communism in Hollywood and utilized his influence as a significant figure in show business to springboard his entry to political office.

 

As an actor, Reagan was expressly forbidden from involving himself in party-specific politics; in 1945, he was even asked to surrender leadership of an anti-nuclear rally by his employer, Warner Brothers Studios. The restrictions eventually became too much, leading to Reagan’s  decision to drop acting and pursue a career in politics. In 1967, he successfully challenged two-time Governor Edmund Brown for California’s governorship and promptly set about fulfilling his campaign promises to balance the state’s budget and quell student protests. His notable successes in office led to his reelection to office in 1970.

 

But the governorship wasn’t enough for Reagan; he knew that he could do more good from higher ground. In the years following his second term, he expressed his interest in the Presidency and even went so far as to enter a race himself twice. In 1981, he achieved his reach for the Presidency by overcoming incumbent Jimmy Carter. While in office, Reagan espoused a philosophy of creating “Peace through Strength,” and pressed against Soviet influence. His communications abroad eventually led to the INF treaty with the USSR, which effectively ended the Cold War and lessened nuclear stockpiles. Domestically, President Reagan implemented supply-side policies (later called “Reaganomics”) and called for greater economic deregulation and a reduction in government spending. Over the course of his two-term tenure in the Oval Office, inflation dropped from 12.5% to 4.4, while real GDP growth increased to 3.4. Upon leaving the Presidency following his second term, Reagan had a near-unprecedented approval rating of 68%.

 

Ronald Reagan’s past influence on the United States cannot be understated. He lived a long, influential life, passing away in 2004 at the age of 94. However, his standing as a symbol for conservatism and the importance of his achievements remain strong in his absence.

Dan Centinello – Past Politics: American Politics in the 1950s

Halfway through the twentieth century, America had just come out victorious from the deadliest war in history. So, the 1950s was a decade of celebration. There’s a reason they call those born in the 1950s the baby boomer generation. The fifties were a time to focus on family and the American dream. Television was starting to catch up to films as a popular form of entertainment and the film industry was churning out stars like Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Sophia Loren. This was the decade when Elvis shook his pelvis and the Barbie doll was born.

Even with all the excitement, though, the 1950s was tinged with darker aspects (segregation, the Korean War, and the fear of Communism, to name a few). Here, we take a look at some of the important American political events between the years 1950-1959.

Republican President Dwight Eisenhower sworn into office in 1952

On November 4, 1952, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower became the 34th president of the United States. Having served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces during World War  II, Eisenhower was a popular choice for president, but was a newcomer to politics. Among Eisenhower’s many achievements, include: launching the Interstate Highway System, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). He also established a strong science education via the National Defense Education Act.

McCarthyism and the Red Scare

On April 22, 1954, Senator Joseph McCarthy commenced televised investigations into Communist activity in the United States Army, initiating a wave of paranoia that swept over the entire decade. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), formed in 1938, also instilled a fear in Americans by investigating Communist activity in Hollywood, tarnishing the reputations of those artists who refused to cooperate. Congress voted to condemn McCarthy for his actions that same year, on December 2.

1954 Brown vs. Board of Education

A milestone in Civil Rights history, this May 17 Supreme Court ruling declared racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional according the the 14th Amendment guaranteeing equal protection. This precedent set forth a slow but steady process of integration of public schools.

Alaska and Hawaii admitted as states

Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states, respectively, on January 3, 1959 and August 21, 1959.

Dan Centinello is an avid traveler and at  twenty-something, he’s already a political industry veteran who has worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. To learn more about Dan Centinello, visit the website for Lincoln Strategy Group where Dan is the executive vice president. You can also follow Dan Centinello on Twitter and Instagram.