Friday, June 11, 2004

WAS IT ALL A DREAM?

I lived through it. In the early 1950's I remember looking up at the sky and seeing what could only have been military jet bombers at 30-40,000 feet. I always crossed my fingers and hoped they weren't Russian.

In the 1960's, while living in south Florida, I remember the Bay of Pigs and the Missile Crisis, when a few thousand troops were bivouacked a couple of miles from my house and there were missile launchers set up on the beaches from just south of Miami all the way to Key West.

I remember my first visit to Berlin in the mid-1970's, gazing across The Wall at people who were living in tyranny, with an empty, hollow look in their eyes.

And I remember it all coming down when Gorbachev finally threw in the towel and admitted that totalitarian communism couldn't survive. I knew when that happened why it had happened and I knew who made it happen.

Since last weekend, I have heard pundits say Reagan was "at the right place at the right time" or "just lucky" or "had nothing to do with it". I've got to believe that those who say that still hold steadfast to the belief that Reagan was a wind-up toy with as much gray matter as Buzz Lightyear.

For those who may still hold on to those "beliefs", read this, this and, for a different perspective, this. The last is a link to an article by the founder of "Solidarity", Lech Walesa. In it, he says:

I distinguish between two kinds of politicians. There are those who view politics as a tactical game, a game in which they do not reveal any individuality, in which they lose their own face. There are, however, leaders for whom politics is a means of defending and furthering values. For them, it is a moral pursuit. They do so because the values they cherish are endangered. They're convinced that there are values worth living for, and even values worth dying for. Otherwise they would consider their life and work pointless. Only such politicians are great politicians and Ronald Reagan was one of them.

Amen.

PS My favorite picture of the week.


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