In 1980, I was in my mid-twenties and although I was leary of some of Reagan's ideas, and their consequences...Not the ones the "liberals" harp on, but others...I genuinely liked the man because he showed leadership. He reminded Americans of their heritage and assisted in renewing the American "spirit" of Individualism and liberty that was all but destroyed by that witless dolt Carter.
The main thing Reagan did that was negative, and we are suffering from it today, is he reintroduced religion into the 'mainstream' again. He allowed the vermin to crawl out from under their rocks and infect us all with their dogma's and their blind stupidity. At a time when reason is all but forgotten in American culture, religion has stepped into that void and taken over the debate on social issues where they have no business being.
So, while Reagan presided over the collapse of Communism, he unleashed a more virulent form of tyranny over the mind of man by constantly refering to religious beliefs.
Until and unless American's recapture their secular, non-skeptical, heritage, we are doomed to become a theocracy, worse than Iran. This is why Bush's "faith-based initiatives" must be turned back at all costs.
In a way, I wish Bush had the moral confidence Reagan had, because while his speech writers write the correct things most of the time, Bush himself cannot convey the proper intellectual or moral confidence needed to inspire the American people, nor rekindle that fundamental "spirit" of American freedom we so desperately need from our leadership today.