SDI at 30
Reagan’s vision is not a national priority, but should be

3/23/83 (Ronald Reagan Presidential Library)


It has been 30 years now since President Reagan gave his famous speech announcing our missile-defense project. That is a long time, as modern science goes. Thirty years before Reagan’s speech — i.e., in 1953 — Dr. Salk announced his polio vaccine. Fourteen years before Reagan’s speech  — i.e., in 1969 — we landed men on the moon. Think of that: We are now more than twice as distant from Reagan’s missile-defense speech as we were then from the moon landing.

And what have we accomplished in the last 30 years? We have accomplished a fair amount, but not as much as we could have, and not as much as we should have. We have had four presidents since Reagan. Two of them — father and son — have been strongly supportive of missile defense. The other two, including our current president, much less so, to put it mildly. Why missile defense is not a national priority is a mystifying and maddening question.

April 8, 2013    |     Volume LXV, No. 6

  • Congress can limit drone strikes, but the Constitution does not.
  • The alarming scope of the power President Obama claims.
  • Reagan’s vision is not a national priority, but should be.
  • At South by Southwest, the politics are as conventional as the technology is innovative.
  • Justified and the dream of bourgeois life.
  • Obamacare cannot succeed while remaining Obamacare.
  • Catholic reform through evangelical purification.
  • At retirement, the Heritage Foundation’s leader is optimistic, as ever.
  • Prisoners should work and learn rather than be idle.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Vincent J. Cannato reviews Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage by Jeffrey Frank.
  • Kelly Jane Torrance reviews In Sunlight and in Shadow by Mark Helprin.
  • Emmy Chang reviews The PBS American Masters program Philip Roth: Unmasked, written and directed by William Karel and Livia Manera.
  • Bruce Cole discusses many of the notable works on display in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s The Civil War and American Art exhibit.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .