The Reagan era was as depressing a chapter as there's been in contemporary American politics. I don't understand why a progressive would invoke Reagan's presidency as anything but an example of how easy it is for a charismatic President (which isn't the same thing as a good one) to trash the ethical core of this country. Reagan didn't care about the details of his own policies, let alone anyone else's. Fact is, he was too lazy and out of it to bother with hard work. That was left to cynical advisers and operatives who made Nixon's henchmen look like Boy Scouts. He didn't know much about history or economics. He didn't care about unionized workers or the environment or women's rights or anything else that might have been deemed a "progressive" cause at the time. And he lucked out when the Soviet Union fell during his time in office after a decades old arms race finally took the fight out of the "evil empire."
It was only "Morning in America" because Jimmy Carter was stuck with the Iran hostage crisis... and because the major media hated Carter for not being a polished Ivy League liberal.