MARCH 26, 2009...10:02 AM
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
Zero. That’s how many times President Gorbachev mentioned Ronald Reagan’s name in his address to the Mason community on March 26. Mr. Gorbachev’s lecture, titled 1989: Looking Back, Looking Forward was an opportunity for those in attendance to hear about the historic events of 1989 involving the Cold War and their effects on our world today. And who better to discuss such significant events in our world than a man who was right in the center of it all? However, one key player was conspicuously absent from the recounting of these major events of the 20th century: President Ronald Reagan.
Whether or not you like Reagan or his policies, the idea that his role in the fall of the Soviet Empire, the end of the Cold War, and the collapse of the Berlin Wall is so insignificant as to not even mention his name in a retelling of those events is completely and utterly absurd. Even the left-leaning publication Slate featured an article in 2004 titled “How Reagan Won the Cold War.” Reagan should receive, at the very least, on honorable mention regarding the ending of the Cold War. After all, it was not until he came into office that the United States ended its failing policy of détente, forcing the USSR to comply with Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative and no-nukes policy without compromise. While Gorbachev’s open attitude and relative willingness to accept change were crucial to the successes of 1989, as noted in the Slate article mentioned above, had anyone else been President during this crucial period, “Gorbachev almost certainly would not have received the push or reinforcement that he needed.” The most important thing to note about Reagan’s drive and determination to push his policies through came from his unwavering belief in liberty and free enterprise, combined with his determination to see the fall of Communism. From the very start of his presidency, Reagan made his beliefs clear that Communism would not only fall, but Western ideas would prevail. In a 1981 speech at Notre Dame University, Reagan said this:
“The years ahead will be great ones for our country, for the cause of freedom and the spread of civilization. The West will not contain Communism; it will transcend Communism. We will not bother to denounce it, we’ll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.”
And Reagan was right. Communism did fail and the values of individual liberty and economic freedom arose victorious. Gorbachev told the Mason community that all of the world’s current financial problems are to be blamed on our “blind faith” in free enterprise. Communism is responsible for the deaths of over 100 million people throughout history , while history consistently shows that economic freedom consistently leads to prosperity and a higher quality of life. Reagan knew this and was not afraid to say it. We cannot use Gorbachev and his failing ideology as a guideline for how to map out our future. We must look to the legacy of Reagan; one of freedom and prosperity.
Gorbachev is guilty of a crime on the level of retelling the New Testament without mentioning Jesus we say!!!