REAGAN, Ronald. Autograph letter signed (''Ronnie''), to Donald Bates, Pacific Palisades, [CA], 19 October 1961. 1 page, 4to (10½ x 7¼ in.), on personal stationery, light paper clip stain at top, recipient's stamp in upper right corner, otherwise in fine condition.
REAGAN, Ronald. Autograph letter signed ("Ronnie"), to Donald Bates, Pacific Palisades, [CA], 19 October 1961. 1 page, 4to (10½ x 7¼ in.), on personal stationery, light paper clip stain at top, recipient's stamp in upper right corner, otherwise in fine condition.
REAGAN PRAISES THE POLITICAL VALUE OF ANTI-COMMUNISM: "AMERICANS ARE HUNGRY FOR SOMEONE TO TELL MR. KHRUSHCHEV OFF"
A prophetic letter in which Reagan recommends the very tactics he would use during his campaign for the presidency and during his two terms in office. Reagan begins by consoling Bates on a recent election defeat: "this was a 'moral victory' in the true sense of the word. The margin of your defeat was even less than one should expect anytime an entrenched machine is challenged. You have to face the fact that a machine has a built in automatic vote to start with." Reagan suggests that he continue his endeavors to obtain political office and offers advice: "Actually you have confirmed my theory that a large conservative vote is just waiting for someone to claim it. Start moving now & without becoming a 'witch hunter' don't ignore the rising tide of anti-communism in the country. Americans are hungry for someone to tell Mr. Khrushchev off".
Although he was still nominally a Democrat, Reagan worked for Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential campaign (and in 1962 officially changed his party affiliation). His own politics had become, in fact, very conservative. His fiery speeches for GE in early 1961 and 1962 were fervently anti-Communist and expressed the unhappiness of the party's right wing with the bipartisan commitment to "containment" that had shaped American foreign policy since 1948. Reagan, like the right's great hero of the early 1960s, Barry Goldwater, spoke of the need for "victory" in the battle against Communism. Prophetically, it was Reagan, a hard-line foe of Soviet Communism for more than forty years who, as President, "told off" Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev with his legendary challenge to "tear down" the Berlin Wall.