Ronald Reagan and Republican Party
Ronald Reagan used the phrase in political campaigning during his election challenge against Jimmy Carter in 1980, accusing the incumbent of weak, vacillating leadership that invited enemies to attack the USA and its allies. Reagan later considered it one of the mainstays of his foreign policy as President of the United States. In 1983, he explained it thus:
- "We know that peace is the condition under which mankind was meant to flourish. Yet peace does not exist of its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it and pass it on to future generations. George Washington's words may seem hard and cold today, but history has proven him right again and again. "To be prepared for war," he said, "is one of the most effective means of preserving peace." Well, to those who think strength provokes conflict, Will Rogers had his own answer. He said of the world heavyweight champion of his day: "I've never seen anyone insult Jack Dempsey."
The approach was credited by many for forcing the Soviet Union to lose the arms race and end the Cold War. "Peace Through Strength" is the official motto of the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).
"Peace Through Strength" appeared in the Republican Party platforms of 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2012.
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