How would you analyze President Reagan's First Inaugural Address in 1981?How would you analyze President Reagan's First Inaugural Adress in 1981?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reagan's First Inaugural Address gave him the platform and opportunity to introduce his smaller vision of government in a clear manner.  This is the speech in which he argued that "government is not the solution" to the many problems America faced at the time.  The idea of being able to explore this is something that is a major part of his speech.  I think that in analyzing the speech, one has to focus on how Regan wishes to bring a deregulated focus into government affairs.  His belief of how this will "trickle down" to all Americans is brought out in his assertion that there is a "special interest group" who will benefit greatly from this deregulated emphasis:  "We, the people."  Reagan does a great job of combining the dire need for deregulation along with the vision of hope and prosperity he sees as intrinsic to American identity.

epollock | Student

To a few of us here today, this is a solemn and most momentous occasion; and yet, in the history of our Nation, it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place as it has for almost two centuries and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle. --Ronald Reagan Inaugural address on Jan 20, 1981

And so began his speech to the nation. In it, he laid out his views that government is not the answer and that it lies with everyone themselves. He was a very non-Federalist, states-rights advocate, and chided previous spending and tax increases. He would later go back on those claims.