He did, however, keep a steady hand on the wheel during the demise of the Soviet Union. Many critics absolutely screamed blue bloody murder at the time over his assured insistence that we were the good guys, and the Soviet government were the bad guys. But a belief in our own goodness is necessary to our ability to think and act rightly: the Soviet Union was absolutely an "evil empire."
Between the evil moral relativists and the weaklings fearful of the wounded Russian bear lashing out, there was a great deal of pressure for appeasement, capitulation and even financial support from America for the dying empire. Reagan had the good judgment mostly simply not to prop the evil bastards up.
He was not belligerent, nor did he in fact make any move to promote some military conflict with the Soviets, as he was so constantly and ridiculously accused of. He simply made it clear that we were standing our ground, perfectly willing and able to spend the money and defend ourselves.
Reagan shouldn't get credit for ending the Soviet empire. That's too much. The Soviet Union collapsed under it's own weight eventually because communism doesn't work. Praise be, though, that as that time came we had a president with the good sense not to cower or prop them up for another ten years with OUR wealth.
From the top, Reagan masterfully projected his vision that America is good and strong and moral- the shining city on the hill. Introspection and self-doubt are important things- in moderation- but you can't live on that stuff.
Nor should we have to. America IS the shining city on the hill.