The Corner

Culture

Obama and Reagan: A Reply to Critics

In the last two days, I have written many posts on Cuba — on Obama’s visit. One of them had to do with some photos: Our president posed in front of the Castros’ secret-police headquarters, with its giant mural of Che Guevara. I thought this was pretty bad.

On Twitter, I had some critics — from the left! This was a surprise and a joy. I have not heard from the Left in years. When I’m blasted, it’s from the right. I thought the Left had forgotten all about me. But they (some of them) picked up that one blogpost, somehow.

Mainly, they tweeted a picture at me: a picture of Reagan, speaking under a bust of Lenin. Big hypocrite, I was! They also said, “You love Saudi Arabia” — proving that they don’t read me after all.

Anyway, I set out to answer them in a little post. But it became an article, which is in our homepage. Check it out, if you like. Kind of interesting. And you will love, I think — love — reading Ronald Reagan. Hearing his voice, as you read.

One more thing: Sometimes you write something for just a dozen people or so. Even fewer. And a few people will recognize an allusion — an echo — embedded in my piece.

I say that Reagan was indeed speaking under a bust of Lenin (to students at Moscow State University in 1988). “But his speech was pure anti-Leninism. Everyone in that auditorium, and everyone in the world, knew that Ronald Reagan was an anti-Communist to his very bone marrow.” How about the current president? The one who went to Havana? “We know no such thing.”

Here is Irving Kristol, in a famous essay from 1952: “. . . there is one thing that the American people know about Senator McCarthy: he, like them, is unequivocally anti-Communist. About the spokesmen for American liberalism, they feel they know no such thing.”

McCarthy set anti-Communism back a long way. (WFB often lamented this.) Reagan showed what anti-Communism can be: a sine qua non of decency, for one thing.

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