Ronald Wilson Reagan
was an American actor and politician who served as US Senator from California from 1971 to 1995, being the leader of the Farmer-Labor Party in the Senate for a combined approximately 19 years. Characterized as a principled social democrat and a strong trade unionist, Reagan was famously the de facto
leader of the "Gang of Four", a group of Farmer-Labor senators consisting of himself, Walter Mondale (MN), Mo Udall (NM), and George Wallace (AL) who, along with a sizable number of Farmer-Labor representatives, broke with the party establishment to support the impeachment of President Jacobetti in 1979, leading to his removal as FLP Senate leader by the party establishment. Reagan and the other pro-impeachment members of the party would break and form the Independent Labor Party the next year, running Mondale for president and Udall for vice president on a third party ticket in that year's presidential election. Jacobetti, who was running for an unprecedented third term, would blame his election loss on "Reagan and his buddies" despite the fact that the winner, the Freedom Party's Donald Rumsfeld, carried 57.4 percent of the popular vote. Shortly after the election the ILP, including newly elected officials elected under its banner, would fold back into the FLP, with the party beginning to distance itself from Jacobetti, with Reagan being reinstated as Senate Minority Leader and becoming the new de facto
leader of the party. Reagan would be selected as the FLP nominee in 1984, running an aggressive campaign as a left-wing firebrand. During the campaign he gave his famous "Miss Liberty speech," in which he sung the praises of collective bargaining and spoke of a potential loss of freedom under Rumsfeld's economically right-wing policies, drawing parallels to Soviet suppression of collective bargaining rights in Poland (see below for a partial transcript). While Rumsfeld would win a second term, the FLP greatly outperformed initial expectations, bringing it back as a viable political force. He would refuse the nomination in 1988, with the nomination instead going to Kansas Senator Gary Hart. Reagan would campaign aggressively for Hart, however the Freedom Party nominee, Lincoln Governor Bob Dornan, still won the election. Reagan would also aggressively campaign for the 1992 FLP nominee, John Glenn, who managed to win the popular vote but not the Electoral College. In 1994, Reagan would announce his retirement from politics due to being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He would live another ten years, dying in 2004 from pneumonia complicated by his Alzheimer's. Today he is known as one of the most famous American politicians to have never won the presidency or vice presidency.
Exerpt from Reagan's "Miss Liberty speech":
"They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost. They remind us that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. You and I must protect and preserve freedom here, or it will not be passed on to our children, and it will disappear everywhere in the world. Today the workers in Poland are showing a new generation how high is the price of freedom, but also how much it is worth, that price. I want more than anything I've ever wanted to have an administration that will through its actions, at home and in the international arena, let millions of people know that Miss Liberty still lifts her lamp besides the golden door."
(out of character note: that is an OTL Reagan speech which I simply recontextualized)