Among the 43 men who held the office of president before Barack Obama, the late Ronald Reagan stands out as one of few who defended America and her interests regardless of the political costs.
It was Reagan who told us that we were exceptional because our nation was exceptional. It was he who pulled us from the mire of the Carter years by reminding us we had a rendezvous with destiny and an obligation to be a shining city on a hill. And it was he who won the Cold War through an approach combining diplomacy with the willingness to employ guns and bombers when pens and papers weren’t enough.
But the pendulum has swung, and Obama stands before us as the anti-Reagan.
The first few months of Obama’s presidency have been marked by apologies for American arrogance, claims that no nation can force its morals on another, and Obama’s refusal to credit Reagan — or even the West in general — with having won the Cold War.
Although Reagan put America first, he used his presidency to promote freedom across the globe. From his 1985 State of the Union address:
Freedom is … the universal right of all God’s children. Our mission is to defend freedom and democracy. … We must not break faith with those risking their lives on every continent [as they seek] to defy Soviet-sponsored aggression and secure rights that have been ours from birth.
Reagan’s words were not hollow. He fought from “Afghanistan to Nicaragua” to bring freedom where it had not been.
But what has Obama done on behalf of “those risking their lives … [to] secure rights” in Iran in the wake of a false election?
As freedom-starved Iranians took to the street to protest that Iranian President “Ahmadinejad was declared re-elected by a wide margin” over Hossein Mousavi in a fraudulent vote count, Obama remained silent. As the peaceful protests were shattered by government-sponsored shootings of Mousavi’s supporters, Obama’s silence continued. Eventually, with a weakness only John Kerry could love, Obama gathered the courage to say he supported “human rights in Iran generally.”
Whatever that means.