From Peter Scheizer's great book, "Reagan's War: The Epic Story of his Forty-Year Struggle and Final Triumph over Communism" --
"What separated Reagan from (Joseph) McCarthy and some of the other anti-communists at the time was his belief in the profound weakness of communism. For McCarthy, communism was a thing to be feared, an ironclad doctrine with strong adherents. For Reagan, on the other hand, communism appealed to the weak. Far from being a sign of intellectual strength or political courage, its wellspring was personal weakness."