In Tbilisi, Georgia

Twice in the last week, nations that had once been slaves of the Soviet Union honored Ronald Reagan with statues.  As a statue of Reagan was being defaced in our own capital, first in Hungary, more recently in Poland, and now in Georgia, “the Gipper” is still remembered as the man whose vigilance and willingness to call evil by its name caused the Soviet Union to wither and die of its own grotesque weight.  He’s cited as the man whose firm stance against the “evil empire” brought the USSR to its end, and with it, the nearly half-century long Cold War.  How stunning it is that while his statue isn’t safe in this country even in his home state, across the region of Europe that had once lived under the tyrannical iron fist of the Soviet Union, he’s afforded more honor and reverence than he receives in some quarters here at home.  None can convince me that this irony isn’t symbolic of the disease that afflicts our nation.  When a man whose efforts liberated millions and whose policies lifted a nation to the pinnacle of its success at home and abroad cannot find respect he deserves at home, it’s time to question the culture that permits such an absurdity to endure.

Most Americans remember Reagan fondly, even some of his opponents at the time.  He was an optimistic leader who thought that the efforts of the people, and their simple values ought to prevail upon their leaders to provide the liberty that has been America’s great promise.  His memory is truly cherished among the great body of the American people, but to doctrinaire leftists, both his political success and his philosophical foundations are occasions for disdain and discontent.  The left simply hates Ronald Reagan.  The simple truth is that he offered a thorough refutation of leftist ideology.  He didn’t need a ten-dollar vocabulary, and it didn’t matter to the American people that he was in his seventies throughout his presidency.  He told it like it was, and still is today.

I find comfort in the fact that while freedom is withering in the US at the hands of Reagan’s opponents, in the eyes of a majority of the American people, he’s still supremely popular.  As his detractors hurl insults at him, in Eastern Europe, leaders whose nations were freed by his efforts are remembering him with statues, and saying plainly what the left has spent two decades trying to pretend hadn’t been so:  Ronald Reagan defeated the Soviet Union.  Others deserve some credit, but theirs were ancillary roles.  Only Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II deserve any mention among western leaders along with Reagan. Let’s consider what others have said recently.  From Tbilisi, Georgia:

In Tbilisi

Georgia’s pro-Western president has unveiled a monument to Ronald Reagan in the capital of the ex-Soviet state praising the 40th U.S. president for “destroying the Soviet Empire.”

Mikhail Saakashvili, whose government has for years had tense relations with Russia, also lambasted Moscow’s attempts to “restore” the Soviet Union by creating an economic bloc with other ex-Soviet nations.

He said Wednesday that the bronze statue that depicts Reagan sitting on a bench “deserves a place in the heart of Tbilisi, the heart of Georgia.”

In Warsaw, Poland, Lech Walesa:

In Warsaw

“Let us bow before Ronald Reagan for the fact that our generation was able to bring an end to the great divisions and conflicts of the world,” Mr Walesa said in a ceremony in the heart of the Polish capital Warsaw.

“What happened seemed impossible or unthinkable. The older generations still remember,” the Nobel Peace laureate said.

“In Poland, we had more than 200,000 Soviet soldiers. Across Europe, there were more than a million, as well as nuclear weapons. Major changes without a nuclear conflict seemed unlikely,” he added.

In Budapest, Hungary:

In Budapest

Prime Minister Viktor Orban and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice helped unveil the statue Wednesday.

Reagan was remembered for the aid and encouragement he gave Hungary and other former Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe to gain back their freedom.

Reagan “changed the world and created a new world for Central Europe,” Orban said at the unveiling ceremony. “He tore down the walls which were erected in the path of freedom in the name of distorted and sick ideologies.”

 

In Newport Beach, CA

This is simply astonishing.  While the people who had lived under the oppressive Soviet boot understand and remember what they have gained, too many in this country have spent the intervening years lying about the nature of the Soviet Union and the philosophy on which it had been based, and little is taught in our schools that would explain the importance that an honest retelling of history demands.  Look at the “Occupiers,”  our modern day iteration of the Bolsheviks.  Their historical understanding is so frightfully narrow, and their philosophical underpinnings so atrociously bankrupt, they believe, with the crude indolence of club-wielding children that the are some sort of “freedom-fighters” while they agitate on behalf of ideas refuted before many of their births.  They tell themselves they aren’t anti-capitalists, as if some sort of self-delusion will prohibit to the rest of us the view of what they’re really preaching.

I don’t think they have any idea what it is for which they now agitate, and as history repeats as the Occu-pests cry out for the United Soviet States of America, I cannot imagine a more fitting spectacle than to see that while these misguided brats rant about the inequities of the markets, they nevertheless don’t realize that what they’re demanding will only make things infinitely worse.  Perhaps it is better that statues of Ronald Reagan are erected and unveiled in Eastern Europe, because at least there, it seems the people will have some reason to remember the reasons for which his memory is honored.  These Occupiers don’t have a clue, but thankfully we have conservatives and the Tea Party who can yet teach them.

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