Presidents aren't vat-grown superbeings birthed right before their first primary debate -- though both U.S. major parties are surely looking into that technology by now. That means they bring a lifetime's worth of experiences to the job. Winston Churchill had been a military officer all of his life; something that greatly helped him fend off the Nazis. Barack Obama was a professor of law before his presidency, which allowed him to know exactly which obscure rule Republicans were using to screw him over next. Ronald Reagan was a Hollywood celebrity who once acted in a movie opposite a monkey. If you've been paying attention, you now know that, out of those three, that made him the most qualified head of government of all.
"Be fair, It was an ape."
More than once did Hollywood's grip on the impressionable Reagan influence his presidency. The Day After, a 1983 film extolling the horrors of nuclear war, was often considered to be a hit piece on Reagan's defense policy. After watching the film, Reagan wrote in his diary that he would ensure that the world would never see a war like in that movie -- except for when they saw it in that movie. Reagan's newfound interest in nuclear war was so important to him that it even inspired him to attend a Pentagon briefing on the subject -- which shocked the generals, who didn't even think Reagan knew his way around the building after three years of presidency.
Reagan's interest in nuclear disasters continued after watching War Games, the 1983 hacker movie featuring a still-cute Matthew Broderick being the first person to break the internet. Reagan began questioning the security of the government's computers, fearing some plucky teenager could gain access to sensitive information and play Space Invaders with his nuclear bombs. Like before, Reagan proved to be exactly right, learning that national security was far from secure. He revised the policies on security, but only at the very last second, for maximum tension.
You can take the president out of Hollywood ...
Yet Reagan's weirdest Hollywood influence happened long before then. Having watched the sci-fi classic The Day The Earth Stood Still and being so convinced by its 1951's special effects, Reagan began fearing a possible alien invasion. So when he became the 40th president of the most powerful nation on earth, he began seriously worrying about the country's line of defense against a space invasion. Reagan became so obsessed with this thought that he randomly threw it out to Mikhail Gorbachev upon meeting in Geneva in 1985, and again in his United Nations speech two years later. Though there's a silver lining to Reagan's obsession with "little green men." Instead of ordering a bunch of Martian-seeking missiles, Reagan expected that all nations' differences and bias would melt away, leaving the citizens of Earth to stand side by side, united in their battle against the foreign invaders ...
And then he would fly a fighter jet into the alien's mother ship, like in the documentary Independence Day.
Carolyn lets Hollywood dictate all of her tweets.
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