1983: President Reagan drew a sharp contrast with the USSR

It was one of President Reagan's greatest moments.

It happened during a speech on this day in 1983.  He spoke at a convention of the National Association of Evangelicals in Florida.  He drew a sharp contrast between freedom and communism.  President Reagan had done it before in a 1982 speech at the British House of Commons.

This is what he said:

And this brings me to my final point today.  During my first press conference as president, in answer to a direct question, I pointed out that, as good Marxist-Leninists, the Soviet leaders have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is that which will further their cause, which is world revolution.  I think I should point out I was only quoting Lenin, their guiding spirit, who said in 1920 that they repudiate all morality that proceeds from supernatural ideas — that's their name for religion — or ideas that are outside class conceptions.  Morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of class war.  And everything is moral that is necessary for the annihilation of the old exploiting social order and for uniting the proletariat.

Well, I think the refusal of many influential people to accept this elementary fact of Soviet doctrine illustrates an historical reluctance to see totalitarian powers for what they are.  We saw this phenomenon in the 1930s.  We see it too often today.

This doesn't mean we should isolate ourselves and refuse to seek an understanding with them.  I intend to do everything I can to persuade them of our peaceful intent, to remind them that it was the West that refused to use its nuclear monopoly in the forties and fifties for territorial gain and which now proposes a 50-percent cut in strategic ballistic missiles and the elimination of an entire class of land-based, intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

At the same time, however, they must be made to understand: we will never compromise our principles and standards.  We will never give away our freedom.  We will never abandon our belief in God. 

And we will never stop searching for a genuine peace, but we can assure none of these things America stands for through the so-called nuclear freeze solutions proposed by some.

The truth is that a freeze now would be a very dangerous fraud, for that is merely the illusion of peace.  The reality is that we must find peace through strength. 

President Reagan was known as "the great communicator."  This is because he spoke from the heart, as he did on this day in 1983! 

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

It was one of President Reagan's greatest moments.

It happened during a speech on this day in 1983.  He spoke at a convention of the National Association of Evangelicals in Florida.  He drew a sharp contrast between freedom and communism.  President Reagan had done it before in a 1982 speech at the British House of Commons.

This is what he said:

And this brings me to my final point today.  During my first press conference as president, in answer to a direct question, I pointed out that, as good Marxist-Leninists, the Soviet leaders have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is that which will further their cause, which is world revolution.  I think I should point out I was only quoting Lenin, their guiding spirit, who said in 1920 that they repudiate all morality that proceeds from supernatural ideas — that's their name for religion — or ideas that are outside class conceptions.  Morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of class war.  And everything is moral that is necessary for the annihilation of the old exploiting social order and for uniting the proletariat.

Well, I think the refusal of many influential people to accept this elementary fact of Soviet doctrine illustrates an historical reluctance to see totalitarian powers for what they are.  We saw this phenomenon in the 1930s.  We see it too often today.

This doesn't mean we should isolate ourselves and refuse to seek an understanding with them.  I intend to do everything I can to persuade them of our peaceful intent, to remind them that it was the West that refused to use its nuclear monopoly in the forties and fifties for territorial gain and which now proposes a 50-percent cut in strategic ballistic missiles and the elimination of an entire class of land-based, intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

At the same time, however, they must be made to understand: we will never compromise our principles and standards.  We will never give away our freedom.  We will never abandon our belief in God. 

And we will never stop searching for a genuine peace, but we can assure none of these things America stands for through the so-called nuclear freeze solutions proposed by some.

The truth is that a freeze now would be a very dangerous fraud, for that is merely the illusion of peace.  The reality is that we must find peace through strength. 

President Reagan was known as "the great communicator."  This is because he spoke from the heart, as he did on this day in 1983! 

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.