Monday, March 05, 2007

Live Television

Last night flipping through the channels on live TV (Tivo has yet again mistakenly put our account on hold believing we have an invalid credit card on file. 3rd time. Calling again today to get them straight), I stumbled on a speech from Ronald Reagan given more than 40 years ago. A timely message from one of our greatest presidents.

I know there are those that think he was a fool and a disaster of a president, but I humbly submit this: under his watch, and in most things at his prompting, communism in Europe fell freeing millions of souls, our economy rebounded and soared, our national pride was restored, and our military once again became the best in the world. For those that don’t think he was a great man, read his private letters to his wife, friends and contemporaries. Here was a man that loved his God, his country, his wife, his friends and his enemies, and the American people. Isn’t it interesting that just recently Poland has decided to erect a statue of Ronald Reagan in the main square of their capital? That he is loved and revered in so many foreign countries as well as to millions of his own countrymen?

Once again I’ve gone political on a non-political blog, but watching the speech last night fired me up and made me realize how much we need a passionate and plain spoken man (or woman) to lead our country during the decade ahead.

If you are not into politics and don't find this stuff as interesting as I do, stop now. See ya tomorrow.

Ronald Reagan Oct 1964

Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us that they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy "accommodation." And they say if we only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he will forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers. They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer--not an easy answer--but simple.

If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based upon what we know in our hearts is morally right. We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion now in slavery behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skin, we are willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Let's set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace--and you can have it in the next second--surrender.

Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face--that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand--the ultimatum. And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he would rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin--just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it's a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." There is a point beyond which they must not advance. This is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits--not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

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Anonymous said...

What? This ISN'T a political blog? Could have fooled me. ;-)

Good thing I agree with you most of the time.

Christa said...

I was young in President Reagan's administration, but everything I've learned about him leads me to agree with you.

You know what I wish we had now?(brushing aside all the war topics) I wish we had a president who was a great orator. I miss fabulous speeches you can really get behind.

Timothy Frazier said...

I've recently been hunting down and replaying Reagan's speeches as I pine for a new Republican hero. I just can't find the Reagan mix amongst the current contenders. A great orator would be a nice plus, but I'll be happy just to find an uncompromising Christian who is socially and financially conservative to vote for. I'll never find that in the Demmocrat camp, and it's getting scarcer on the Republican side.