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Are Reagan and Reaganism Still Relevant in the Age of Trump?

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President of the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, joined The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) on Feb. 1, 2022, to discuss the relevance of former president Ronald Reagan’s political and economic policies in the Trump era. TFAS places high importance on the value of civic discourse, which the two guest speakers illustrated through their respectful debate.

Gov. Scott Walker shares why he believes Reagan remains relevant in the Trump era.

Gov. Walker shared his thoughts first. He reminisced on coming of age during Reagan’s presidency and noted that the former president had an immense impact on his life. Walker said the key principles of Reagan’s administration, the disciplined way he lived his life and his ability to think in big ideas are what make him relevant today.

“What I love about Reagan is that he was a happy warrior,” Walker said. “This is something we like to pass on to the young people we work with today – that you can be strong, and bold, and courageous.”

Boaz took the mic next to provide a brief overview of different political ideologies, like classical liberalism, conservatism and libertarianism, and how they have changed over time.

What I love about Reagan is that he was a happy warrior. This is something we like to pass on to the young people we work with today – that you can be strong, and bold, and courageous.” – Gov. Scott Walker, President of YAF

David Boaz provides perspective on political ideology throughout history.

“I’ve always believed that the best aspect of American conservatism is its commitment to protecting the individual liberties proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed in the Constitution,” Boaz said. “And Ronald Reagan spoke for that brand of conservatism, and that’s the conservatism that seems to have disappeared in today’s Washington.”

He said he would like to see a revival of Reagan’s brand of confidence and patriotic optimism with freedom of speech and individual liberty at its roots.

After sharing their preliminary thoughts, the two debated Reagan’s overall relevance in modern American society and answered insightful questions from the audience.

Watch the webinar recording to hear Boaz and Walker’s full remarks.

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