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FROM THE ANTHOLOGY: Essays for the Presidency

The First Term: Four More Years: Diplomacy Restored?

Reagan in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1982.

Nineteen hundred and eighty-five begins as a year of promise in world affairs. The Soviet Union has returned to the bargaining table with the United States after a year's hiatus. The Middle East is relatively quiet despite the violence in Lebanon. The situation in Central America is unhappy but seemingly stalemated. Nowhere are American forces engaged in combat. No catastrophes hover over President Reagan as he begins his second term.

Nineteen hundred and eighty-four marked a passage of sorts for the Reagan Administration. After three years of stifling rhetoric and inaction, the White House and the State Department returned to more traditional diplomatic forms—moderate words that allow for compromise, and actual engagement with adversaries previously shunned. Of equal importance, President Reagan and Secretary of State Shultz assert that the Administration has restored America's position and power in the world, and that on this basis they are ready to pursue

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