Friday, June 16, 2017

Lest We Forget: Ronald Reagan's Evil Empire Speech

The glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past. For example, the long struggle of minority citizens… for equal rights, once a source of disunity and civil war is now a point of pride for all Americans. We must never go back. There is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country. 

I know that you’ve been horrified, as have I, by the resurgence of some hate groups preaching bigotry and prejudice. The commandment given us is clear and simple: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” 

Ronald Reagan, 8 MARCH 1983

In 1988 I was an intelligence analyst serving in the United States Army. In my lifetime, Ronald Reagan was, and will forever be my definitive commander in chief. Ronald Reagan’s determination to destroy communism and the Soviet Union was a hallmark of his eight-year presidency. He stunned the Soviet Union with his tough stance, calling it an “evil empire” whose leaders gave themselves the “right to commit any crime.”

Yelena Bonner, the widow of Soviet dissident Nobel Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, praised Reagan for his tough course toward the Soviet Union. “I consider Ronald Reagan one of the greatest U.S. presidents since World War II because of his staunch resistance to Communism and his efforts to defend human rights,” Bonner said, “Reagan’s policy was consistent and precise, and he had a great talent of choosing the right people for his administration.” His phrase, ’evil empire,’ became a household word in Russia. Russians like a straight forward person, be he enemy or friend. They despise a wishy-washy person.

Throughout the 1950s, Ronald Reagan gave hundreds of speeches against Communism. His dramatic conversion from being an FDR Democrat to becoming a conservative Republican was rooted in his life-long convictions against Communism. Even during this early time, he showed keen foresight with the aim of containing Soviet aggression and global communism. Nothing about Russian or Communism has changed today as documented by well over 11 U.S. intelligence agencies. The Russian government engaged in a concerted effort to influence and undermine the results of our recent election.

If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he’d have good reason to go after Vice President Mike Pence for defamation of character. The vice president was one of several participants at a CPAC conference who claimed that President Donald Trump reminded them of Reagan. Trump is like Reagan in the same way that a card table is like a racehorse: They have the same number of legs, but after that the similarities are sparse.

The fact that Donald Trump even serves at the same capacity as Ronald Reagan is disdainful to me.

I post this 1983 excerpt from Reagan’s “Evil Empire Speech” for those that seem to have forgotten Ronald Reagan's unwavering position against Russia. Lest we forget.

Richard Zampella