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.
Obama’s weakness was so palpable that no less a John McCain supporter than Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) called him out:
Speak out, loudly and clearly, about what is happening in Iran … and unambiguously express … solidarity with the brave Iranians who went to the polls in the hope of change and … are now looking to the outside world for strength and support.
Reagan’s support of similar strivings for freedom “in Poland and other parts of the Eastern bloc” during his presidency leave little doubt the he would have stood against Ahmadinejad on this one. Radio host Mark Levin put it this way: “As president of the United States … Reagan … [spoke] out repeatedly and forcefully in support of the freedom movements, and [did] whatever he could short of direct war to help them.”
But Obama is not Reagan, so it makes sense that he is siding with recently ousted (Leftist) President, Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, even though Zelaya was thrown out of office for abuses of power. That’s right — the same Obama who can’t speak a word to support Iranians that are being labeled political dissidents then gunned down in the streets of Tehran equates Honduras’ congressionally sponsored removal of a would-be dictator with “moving backwards.” And of course Hugo Chavez shares Obama’s position.
How far “backwards” do Obama and comrade Chavez think Honduras moved during Reagan’s presidency? On Reagan’s watch, Honduras escaped the clutches of the Leftists long enough to achieve new levels of freedom.
And Honduras was not alone. During the Reagan years “dictatorships collapsed in Chile, Haiti, and Panama, [while] nine more countries moved toward democracy; Bolivia (1983), Honduras (1982), Argentina (1983), Grenada (1983), El Salvador (1984), Uruguay (1984), Brazil (1985), Guatemala (1985), and the Philippines (1986).”
With the anti-Reagan in the White House, I wonder how long the freedom movements in Iran and Honduras can survive.
And considering Obama’s gullibility, evident in his recent description of Russian President Medvedev as “straightforward, professional, and trustworthy,” I wonder how long it will be until we’re giving up our nuclear advantage in order to show the Russians that we are “trustworthy” as well.