Ronald Reagan (1911–2004), the 40th president of the United States, was an actor and a politician. Both professions are noted for having members whose words and actions are sometimes inconsistent, if not contradictory, while being routinely pleasing to the constituent's ear. Unlike many politicians, however, Reagan also had a rare willingness to adjust to circumstances. His law-and-order rhetoric was usually but not always matched by tough action against criminals. Still, he was tough rhetorically, allowing those who admired him to misconstrue him as ...

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