Ronald Reagan Statues……Overdue Tributes

FROM THE US:  Residents of Britain and Western Europe in the early and mid 1980s and beyond were treated to a non-stop diatribe about President Reagan’s’ “failings.”  He was a warmonger, a dangerous idealog, an idiot, an uneducated “B” movie actor.  According to the wisdom of newspapers, television and comedy shows he was risking World War III.  Thirty years later he his honored with statues in both Budapest and London.  Sweet vindication.

Ronald Reagan was a Conservative by any definition.  He espoused freedom of choice and self determination.  He championed individual rights and challenged the status quo of the Cold War.  Reagan refused to accept the Soviet Union as a legitimate government for hundreds of millions.  In return he was vilified by Progressives, Liberals and Socialists as an unqualified spokesman for human rights.  He was demonized.

Americans recognized a different man.  Certainly he was unfairly criticized by the US media but they could not dent his popularity.  Reagan was a true American.  He understood the Constitution and he could communicate his idealism and beliefs in ways that made people feel good about themselves and their country.  Democrats voted for him in their millions.

It is not hard to understand why Reagan is so honored in a country like Hungary.  The West watched impotently as Russian forces brutally suppressed a freedom movement in 1956.  The 1980s Solidarity movement in Poland could not have succeeded without the knowledge that America, through Reagan, supported it.  Reagan would not back down to the Soviets and they broke.  But what might be happening in Britain that earns Reagan a statue?

Britons were led to hate Reagan.  He risked their comfortable peace with a despotic and brutal dictatorship that was the Soviet Union.  It is to hoped that the lessons of Reagan are taking root.  Government oppression is never to be accepted and accommodated.  Oppression can be brutal or benign.  The restrictions on human activity as legislated by the European Parliament have never been popular with the British.  Can it be true that Britons are coming to the realization that more government, not less, is a desirable goal?

The answer is probably not.  Talk to a Briton about a problem and the response is likely to be “the government should do something.”  Reagan succeeded the hapless Jimmy Carter and was able to reverse his damaging Presidency.  The far more disastrous Barack Obama will be succeeded by someone we can hope will have learned from Reagan.  But the Europeans seem enamored with Obama.

While Western Europeans will grudgingly give Reagan his due but probably learn nothing, at least it is possible Americans will relearn the forgotten lessons of thirty and forty years ago.  Socialism does not work.  It is both repressive and oppressive.  Obama might be a superstar in Europe but a statue would be a cruel joke.


6 Comments on “Ronald Reagan Statues……Overdue Tributes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>