Ronald Reagan’s legacy, long after his passing, continues to be distorted by the leftist academic community, one professor noted at a panel discussion held at the Heritage Foundation. Francis Marlo, an associate professor of International Relations at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, said that the Left does not like giving Ronald Reagan credit for ending the Cold War.
The panel discussion centered around the recently published book, “The Grand Strategy that Won the Cold War,” and Marlo’s remarks centered around correcting the record on Ronald Reagan’s Cold War exploits. Marlo stated, “The intent of this book is to address those flaws, highlight those flaws” and to correct the narrative.
He said that at one point, one observer called Reagan “an amiable dunce” who wandered around the White House during his two terms, which is a common opinion of his detractors. However, “that has largely been discredited,” Marlo said. He pointed out that there are books that parrot this viewpoint even now, such as a book by Francis Fitzgerald, called Way Out in the Blue. Marlo continued, “There’s been a gradual change now; unfortunately, the story is only slightly better.”
“Ronald Reagan,” Marlo said, “gets credit, but gets credit for changing” during the Cold War. He added that academics perpetuate the narrative that Reagan shifted to “becoming a strong believer in détente” between 1984-1985. “This is the Reagan reversal story,” Marlo noted, and the narrative is of Reagan “becoming a moderate [then] the Cold War ends.”