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In 1932, Ronald Reagan registered as a Democrat and cast his first vote for FDR, who captivated him with his Fireside chats. As a young man, Ronald Reagan also respected the ideas of fellow Democrat Woodrow Wilson, citing this quote: “Liberty has never come from government…. The history of liberty is the history of limitation of government’s power, not the increase of it.” Ronald Reagan believed he was a Democrat through and through. Self-described as a “near hopeless hemophilic liberal” who “bled for causes,” Reagan continued to support Democratic candidates. In 1948, he hit the campaign trail for Hubert Humphrey and Harry Truman because he “wasn’t a tax-and-spend Democrat.” However, Ronald Reagan’s positions began to change in the ‘50s. General Dwight Eisenhower was considering a run for the Presidency and was encouraged to do so by many Americans. The problem was that no one knew which political party he would lead. To force the issue, in 1952 Reagan joined several other Democrats in sending a telegram to Eisenhower urging him to run for President as a Democrat. Once Eisenhower decided to run on the Republican ticket, Ronald Reagan campaigned and voted for him, believing he was the best man for the job and casting his first Republican vote. By 1960, Ronald Reagan believed that the Democratic Party was no longer the party of Thomas Jefferson or Woodrow Wilson, saying, “I realized the real enemy wasn’t big business, it was big government.”

Audio Length: 11:50