Jan. 12, 2010
This week marks the 21st anniversary of President Reagans Farewell Address to the Nation. Its especially appropriate to recall it today, for the wisdom he shared, for the good feeling he evoked. There are many parts to the address I could recommend. I especially liked the part where he warned about a loss of national memory. He wanted Americans to remember their history. If we forget what we did, we will forget who we are.
One part of that January 11, 1989 address jumps out at usor should. That decade began with great tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Reagan was heavily criticized. Liberals feared he would get us into a war. They feared World War III. They didnt want him to take tough action against the Soviets and their aggression. They nearly wilted when he called the Soviet Union an evil empire. Yet, at the end of the decade, the Cold War was over. The tensions had eased. And everyone breathed a great sigh of relief. President Reagan had a warning here too:
We must keep up our guard, but we must also continue to work together to lessen and eliminate tension and mistrust. My view is that President Gorbachev is different from previous Soviet leaders. I think he knows some of the things wrong with his society and is trying to fix them. We wish him well. And we'll continue to work to make sure that the Soviet Union that eventually emerges from this process is a less threatening one.
What it all boils down to is this. I want the new closeness to continue. And it will, as long as we make it clear that we will continue to act in a certain way as long as they continue to act in a helpful manner. If and when they don't, at first pull your punches. If they persist, pull the plug. It's still trust but verify. It's still play, but cut the cards. It's still watch closely. And don't be afraid to see what you see.
Dont be afraid to see what you see. How many times have we recently heard people from the current administration referring to Abdulmutallab as the suspect, or the accused. They say he allegedly tried to bomb the incoming Northwest Flight 253 on its final approach to Detroit.
Allegedly? Do we think someone else put explosives in his BVDs? Can you imagine this announcement in an airport waiting area? Please watch your carry-on luggage closely and if anyone tries to give you anything to take on boardor puts something in your underwearmake sure to report it to security.
This administration is afraid to see what it sees. President Obamabelatedly in the view of many of usacknowledged last week that we are at war with Al Qaeda. If thats the case, then why is Abdulmutallab being given a government-paid lawyer and being allowed to clam up? Before that, he was singing like a canary.
Ronald Reagans combination of strong defense and clear-eyed diplomacy brought us all safely through the dangers of the 1980s. The left wing supporters here and in Europe were frozen in terror. Thats why they wanted a Nuclear Freeze. But Reagans firm hand on the tiller brought the ship of state safely into port. Let us all pray that our beloved nation will not have to re-learn those lessons. If were really at war, lets not be afraid to see what we see.