THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AND PROGRAM OF THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION Gordon Cawelti Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development In 1980 Ronald Reagan was elected President by an electoral vote of 489 to 49 over incumbent Jimmy C a r t e r . Among both Reagan supporters and others, his margin of victory was interpreted as a mandate for his platform of cutting taxes, reducing inflation, balancing the budget, getting government "off our backs," and restoring our national defense posture. In reality, however, Reagan's vote plurality victory was only marginal. It has always been my impression that the media can make presidential contenders out of extremely marginal candidates -- as were Ronald Reagan in 1979 and George Wallace in 1971, and as Jesse Jackson was in the 1984 primaries. Such persons, despite their lack of experience, are great communicators who are able to oversimplify and dramatize emotional but relatively meaningless issues that other candidates, in trying not to offend significant segments of the voting population, choose not to overemphasize. Reagan, of course, made it all the way, despite being generally recognized as the least well-informed candidate in a long while. His strengths were a well-articulated conservative
Current Issues in Education – Purdue University Press
Published: Oct 5, 1984
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