Political Civility in the Age of Reagan
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Ronald Reagan believed in developing and maintaining good relationships with those he worked with, regardless of their political orientation. As a result, he earned the trust and respect of political opponents such as Ted Kennedy, Tip O’Neill, as well as Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. This lesson explores whether civility in politics is a necessary component of civic life. Using exclusive primary source material from the National Archives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, students will examine President Reagan’s remarks about Tip O’Neill and excerpts from Reagan’s radio address to the people of the Soviet Union and consider how these accomplishments relate to his use of civil discourse.