Rees Lloyd: June 12, 1987: President Reagan’s "Tear Down This Wall!"

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On June 12, 1987, at the Brandenburg Gate, outside the  infamous “Berlin Wall” established by the communist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics led by then-Premier Gorbachev to prevent Germans in communist East Berlin from escaping to free capitalist West Berlin, President Ronald Reagan delivered his now famous speech challenging: “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!”

At the time, Reagan was hailed by patriots and lovers of freedom for challenging the communist Soviet Union, then-a Super Power. But Reagan was denounced and ridiculed at the time by communists, socialists, progressives, liberals and elitist media, in Germany, Europe, and in the United States.
Reagan was called, among other things, an “amiable dunce” (by liberal Democrat Party guru Clark Clifford), and a reckless war monger and  madman by provoking the communist USSR into war with his challenge to Gorbachev to “Tear Down This Wall,” and by reaffirming in his speech his refusal to retreat from his Strategic Defense Initiative, the defensive missile system denounced and ridiculed as “Star Wars” by Liberals.
Reagan refused all Soviet demands, including in so-called “Summit Meetings” with Gorbache–that Reagan abandon his SDI defensive missile policy, which Reagan explained in his speech that he pursued after “…the Soviets challenged the Western alliance with a grave new threat, hundreds of new and more deadly SS-20 nuclear missiles capable of striking every capital in Europe.”
Reagan’s refusal to retreat from his strong military stand led to an avalanche of denunciations and ridicule by liberal Democrats and elitist liberal media at home who demanded he appease not challenge the Soviet Union, the other nuclear super power.
Reagan, however, has been vindicated by history: Two years after Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall,” speech, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. So did the communist Soviet Union, which collapsed entirely. Gorbachev would later admit that the Soviet Union collapsed because of Reagan’s refusal to retreat from his Strategic Defense Initiative, that the liberals had branded an unworkable “Star Wars,” war-provoking strategy.
Gorachev explained that Reagan’s strategy did work—it brought down not only the Berlin Wall, but the Soviet Union itself. Gorbachev said that Reagan’s refusal to retreat in the face of Soviet threats forced the Soviet Union to compete militarily and its already moribund socialist economic system could not compete but instead the Soviet Union imploded, and ceasing to exist as a totalitarian union of socialist republics.
Reagan’s speech has resonance, and valuable lessons to be learned even today. This includes, of course, meeting the challenge of the totalitarian ideology of jihadist Islam and the more than fifty countries established as Islamic theocracies, spawning and sponsoring international terrorism and offering non-Muslim free peoples the choice of conversion to Islam; diminished status as subjects upon imposed special taxes are imposed for failure to convert; or death for refusing to submit to Islam.
It also means deciding how to meet the economic crisis facing America. That is, whether America should continue to stand by the principles of free enterprise, personal responsibility, and limited government upon which the United States has become the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. Or, alternatively, whether the United States should  follow the principles of European-style big government socialism, personal dependency on government, and government controlled command economy.
That is, we face on June 12, 2012,  the need to make decisions like those presented on June 12, 1987, when President Ronald Reagan stood at the Berlin Wall,
pointed to the success of the economy of free enterprise, low-tax West Berlin, the so-called “Economic Wonder” after the devastation of WWII,  and the utter failure of the socialist economy on the other side of the Wall, and then changed the world with his call to freedom: “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!”
 

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