Ronald Wilson Reagan Part 50 (Self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly)

President Reagan speaking at a Take Pride in America event with actors Clint Eastwood and Louis Gossett Jr. in the Rose Garden. 7/21/87.

Former President George W. Bush delivers a eulogy for Ronald Reagan. part 2

On Tuesday night I went to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock  Trojans v. N. Texas Mean Green game. UALR won a thriller at the buzzer. In fact, they were down by four points with 25 seconds left. That was one of the most amazing comebacks I have ever seen.

March 10th at 6:30pm will be the last game for John Pelphry possibly. If Tennessee eliminates the Razorbacks from the SEC Tournament then many believe Pelphry will be gone. I personally think that Jeff Long will give him one more year to coach these fine recruits he signed. We will see.

In a prophetic speech concerning the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan predicted that “the march of freedom and democracy will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history.” I am posting in the coming days excerpts from one of Reagan best speeches ever.  He addressed the members of the British Parliament on June 8, 1982.
We have not inherited an easy world. If developments like the Industrial Revolution, which began here in England, and the gifts of science and technology have made life much easier for us, they have also made it more dangerous. There are threats now to our freedom, indeed to our very existence, that other generations could never even have imagined.

There is first the threat of global war. No President, no Congress, no Prime Minister, no Parliament can spend a day entirely free of this threat. And I don’t have to tell you that in today’s world the existence of nuclear weapons could mean, if not the extinction of mankind, then surely the end of civilization as we know it. That’s why negotiations on intermediate-range nuclear forces now underway in Europe and the START talks — Strategic Arms Reduction Talks — which will begin later this month, are not just critical to American or Western policy; they are critical to mankind. Our commitment to early success in these negotiations is firm and unshakable, and our purpose is clear: reducing the risk of war by reducing the means of waging war on both sides.

At the same time there is a threat posed to human freedom by the enormous power of the modern state. History teaches the dangers of government that overreaches — political control taking precedence over free economic growth, secret police, mindless bureaucracy, all combining to stifle individual excellence and personal freedom.

Now, I’m aware that among us here and throughout Europe there is legitimate disagreement over the extent to which the public sector should play a role in a nation’s economy and life. But on one point all of us are united — our abhorrence of dictatorship in all its forms, but most particularly totalitarianism and the terrible inhumanities it has caused in our time — the great purge, Auschwitz and Dachau, the Gulag, and Cambodia.

Historians looking back at our time will note the consistent restraint and peaceful intentions of the West. They will note that it was the democracies who refused to use the threat of their nuclear monopoly in the forties and early fifties for territorial or imperial gain. Had that nuclear monopoly been in the hands of the Communist world, the map of Europe — indeed, the world — would look very different today. And certainly they will note it was not the democracies that invaded Afghanistan or supressed Polish Solidarity or used chemical and toxin warfare in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia.If history teaches anything it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly. We see around us today the marks of our terrible dilemma — predictions of doomsday, antinuclear demonstrations, an arms race in which the West must, for its own protection, be an unwilling participant. At the same time we see totalitarian forces in the world who seek subversion and conflict around the globe to further their barbarous assault on the human spirit. What, then, is our course? Must civilization perish in a hail of fiery atoms?Must freedom wither in a quiet, deadening accommodation with totalitarian evil?


Little known presidential facts:

  1. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the first president to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.h
  2. After President Bush Sr. vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister, a new word entered the Japanese language.Bushusuru means “to do the Bush thing,” or to publicly vomit.k
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