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In Law and Order, Ronald Reagan Was a Supporter of Big Government


Once in office, actors-turned-politicians behave in a manner quite the opposite of some of their best-known roles. Former action heroes-turned-governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura left their machine guns, killer robots,
six-shooters and pile drivers behind when they took office. Schwarzenegger proved
himself to be an especially flexible politician, hiring a Democrat as his chief of
staff, in sharp contrast to his on-screen persona, which tended toward
the unequivocal and violent, whether you’re talking Conan the Barbarian or the Terminator . And while
you might argue that Ventura used the People’s Elbow on behalf of the citizens of Minnesota on a number of occasions, he was liberal when it came to social policies.

In the 1953 Western, Law and Order,
the most successful actor-turned politician, Ronald Reagan, played Frame Johnson, an uncommonly principled lawman who
cleaned up Tombstone. Johnson is such an adherent to the law, he goes after his own
brother to make him stand trial. He also forces the townspeople to
surrender their guns so as sheriff, he could better enforce law and
order. It’s a far cry from the laissez-faire Reaganomics he would go on to practice 30 years later, once his backdrop shifted
from the silver screen to the White House.

Check out Reagan’s politics as Tombstone’s Sheriff. For a full schedule of Law & Order on AMC, click here.

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