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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Did Dr. Gosnell Help The Pro-Life Movement

“I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts. — Hippocratic Oath.

One of the big reasons the mainstream media studiously avoided covering the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell is that it doesn't like talking about the late-term abortion industry. It's a topic the media, which is heavily pro-abortion, doesn't want the public to think about. Abortion is supposed to be a quick, clean outpatient procedure, little different from having a minor skin irritation removed. The idea that more than one person is involved in this procedure is suppressed.

But it's hard to avoid that dangerous idea when discussing six-month late-term abortions, in which there is a chance the baby might emerge from the womb and survive. New videos from the pro-life undercover filmmakers at Live Action show abortion clinic doctors and staffers callously discussing ways to dispose of inconvenient born-alive infants — ranging from standing idly by and watching them die, to drowning them in jars of toxic solution, or even flushing them down toilets.

It's all so horribly dehumanizing. However divided national opinion might be on the topic of abortion, we should all be able to agree that babies born alive deserve medical assistance, and their status as people should be recognized. But then our moral calculations might begin flowing backward from that recognition, and we may wonder how the humanity of a child is completely erased simply because he rests a few inches further inside the womb. And babies much younger than 24 weeks look fully human in sonograms don't they? That's one of the reasons public opinion on abortion remains in flux, decades after a notorious Supreme Court decision that was supposed to settle the matter once and for all.

The trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, facing the death penalty for the deaths of four infants and one woman in his clinic, is over. America has moved on. It's exactly what the pro-abortion contingent wants. They want Gosnell out of the news because they want abortion out of the news. Ongoing discussion provokes thought about the status quo. And pro-aborts want to keep things as they are. And, they have reason to be confident.

Our president, whom no one can accuse of not being politically astute, showed up this week, despite the Gosnell story, as the first sitting president ever to address Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.

When Kirsten Powers brought attention to Gosnell, with her USA Today column, she said it wasn't about abortion. "This is not about being pro-choice or pro-life," she wrote. "It is about human rights." For Powers, the story was about lack of supervision. And, of course, where abortions are carried out legally, clinics should be supervised and inspected.

But to leave the story there is to be content with the tip of the iceberg. And the whole iceberg is a huge story that all of America should be looking at. The whole iceberg is bigger than abortion itself. It is about how profoundly America has changed since Roe v Wade, in 1973, made abortion an accepted part of American life.

Let's be clear that pro-aborts and pro-lifers differ on far more than technicalities about when life begins. They differ about what life is.

In the state of Pennsylvania, where Gosnell was doing his dirty business, abortion is legal until the developing child is 24 weeks — 6 months — old. Among Gosnell's many transgressions was performing abortions after 24 weeks. But Planned Parenthood, and their guest speaker, our president, oppose that 24-week limit. They believe abortion should be legal until the child is born

It should also be pointed out that in the Keystone State a 14-year old girl can walk into a Planned Parenthood abortion mill and get an abortion sans parental consent or knowledge. This same 14-year old girl would need parental consent to visit a nail salon for a manicure.

Tom Ridge, the once progressive liberal governor of Pennsylvania, signed legislation reducing the state’s inspections and regulations on abortion clinics for fear of causing higher costs to doing abortions and thus driving some of the marginal abortion clinics, like DR. Gosnell’s, out of business thus reducing the access to cheap abortions. Tom Ridge has remained silent on the Gosnell trail for obvious reasons.

In 2007, shortly after the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, which banned a brutal abortion procedure most commonly used to destroy infants from 15 to 26 weeks old, then-Senator Obama spoke at a Planned Parenthood event and decried the decision. He called it part of a "concerted effort to steadily roll back" access to abortion.

Justice Kennedy, who wrote the decision, included a description of one of these procedures on a 26-week-old infant. It takes a certain deadening of the heart, of the soul to read the description of the little baby clasping his fingers and toes as the doctor jams his scissors into his skull, and still believe this should be permitted.

Since Roe v Wade, we've given birth to a new materialistic culture of narcissism where reverence for life itself is gone. Life has become a commodity and people use each other as cavalierly as they destroy innocent young life. As our reverence for life has diminished, so has our reverence for the institutions that surround and support it.

Scholars at the Brookings Institution observed in 1996 that Roe v Wade contributed to the collapse of marriage and the dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock births. The idea that children were part of a sacred institution called marriage started disappearing. The sense of honor, the sense of shame disappears in this culture of self.

In 1965, seven years before Roe v Wade, less than 10 percent of American babies were born to unwed mothers — 24 percent to unwed black women and 3.1 percent to unwed white women. As of 2010, this was up to 41 percent of our babies born to unwed mothers — 73 percent to black women and 29 percent to white women. Sixty percent of our out-of-wedlock births are to women in their 20's.

President Obama became the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood on Friday. Not surprisingly, he didn’t have anything to say about Kermit Gosnell, or the wave of medical emergencies at abortion clinics, or the sex-selection abortions Live Action discovered at Planned Parenthood. Obama didn’t even use the word “abortion” in his speech. Abortion is so wonderful that even the most strident abortion radical ever elected to the White House can’t bring himself to say the word.

At a time when the headline of the day is a story about the bloody massacres of babies born alive in Kermit Gosnell's clinic, the almost bone-jarring contrast of Obama's speech at Planned Parenthood freezes every normal sense of credulity in unbelief.

The story of one baby born alive in the Pennsylvania Gosnell horror mill is that the child was swimming in a toilet, trying to get out. It was pulled from the toilet only to have its spinal cord snipped while the mother was still in the room.

If the abortion industry didn’t enjoy the nearly religious devotion of the Left,20130412_inq_pgosnell12-a it would be Occupy Wall Street’s favorite example of a big business that pays big bucks for political influence, so it can operate with ridiculously lax oversight, weak safety standards, and lavish subsidies. Kermit Gosnell preyed relentlessly upon poor black women, while treating his assistants like sweat shop labor. The excuses offered by Planned Parenthood when its staff is caught flaunting the law on undercover video are reminiscent of tobacco company executives trying to claim that smoking isn’t bad for you. The Democrat Party has expressed a willingness to shut down the entire government to protect Planned Parenthood subsidies. When a prominent charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, tried to decouple from Planned Parenthood, the response was straight out of “The Sopranos.” You are required to fund this organization, and you are not allowed to stop. They’ve got a lot of money, political clout, and media influence available to enforce that directive.

“Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere,” Obama declared in his speech. ”It’s not going anywhere today, it’s not going anywhere tomorrow.” Well, of course not. It’s a billion-dollar corporation with $90 million annual profits that gets over $540 million in taxpayer funding that spent $12 million on highly effective political action during the last election. And really, as long as it’s a properly supervised business selling legal goods and services, there’s no reason it should “go anywhere.” It just shouldn’t be propped up with funds extracted by the government from people who don’t support its activities, especially since much of the dissenters’ money is recycled into political activity against them.

The abortion industry thrives politically by associating its politics with human identity. Opposition to Planned Parenthood is caricatured as hatred of women, even when the corporation’s critics are themselves women. That’s a neat trick, if you can pull it off: equating dissent with hatred. It’s not easy to lose a debate, if you can establish those ground rules.

And yet, the abortion lobby seems increasingly worried that they might be losing the national debate. Some of the panic is artificial, and profitable, folding neatly into the “progressive” narrative favored by the liberals who have been taking America over the edge of a cliff. ”The fact is, after decades of progress, there’s still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century,” warned Obama. Haven’t liberals lately been telling us that we should return to the tax policies of the Fifties, because they were prosperous despite the high nominal tax rates that nobody actually paid? Isn’t Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, relentlessly determined to ensure the 21st century remains saddled with the voter identification systems of the 1950s?

But with those little spurts of nostalgia out of the way, we’re back to the “progressive” ideology that insists the failed economic policies and social degeneration of the Left are inevitable and irreversible, so any attempt to change course is “turning back the clock.” There is no reason to take this idea seriously. ”Change” can move in many different directions, including the rediscovery of ideas we might realize were abandoned in error. The modern era could be right about some things, wrong about others, and the same can be said of previous decades. Why does anyone accept the notion that the only alternative to embracing every single “progressive” failure is hopping into a time machine and returning to the days of Ozzie and Harriet? Let’s allow for the possibility that the past sixty years saw both triumphs and mistakes. We are not cursed to live with the mistakes for eternity.

There is reason for Planned Parenthood to worry about all that lovely government money drying up, as the bills come due for decades of absurd government spending. They’ll soon find themselves in a bitter war with other politically-connected dependents of a tapped-out Uncle Sam, and then all of them will be crushed together under the weight of mandatory entitlement and debt spending, which on our current course will leave nothing for either Planned Parenthood or the Pentagon within a few decades. Planned Parenthood will need all of its political weapons oiled and loaded to prevail in the arena of insolvency so this is not a good time for them to see polls that Americans are souring on abortion. They don’t seem to be in any mood to outlaw the procedure entirely — perhaps they never will be — but they’re growing uncomfortable with those late-term spinal-cord snips. They had no idea how bad things have gotten. That’s why the media thought it was so important to keep the Gosnell trial off the front pages and nightly newscasts. The really dangerous question — the one our media gatekeepers don’t want American voters asking – is: “How did this happen?” Followed inevitably by: “How often does this happen?”

Pro-lifers often wonder about the sociological damage inflicted by decades of abortion. The word “hope” gets thrown around a lot by politicians — it’s a trademark of President Obama’s — but what is more hopeless than the termination of a child’s life? How much despair can any society be expected to swallow without growing ill?

This brings me to the effect the Gosnell trial will have on the public, even with its limited media coverage.

J.D. Mullane, a reporter for the Buck’s County Courier Times has been covering the Gosnell trail since it began and written about the testimony he has heard and the lack of coverage by the media. Some of the following may be very disturbing but it makes my point. For many years people either pro-abortion or ambivalent to the issue have sat around their coffee tables sipping a glass of chardonnay or merlot talking about the benefits of abortion and the right of women to choose. Even when those pollsters call and ask you questions about abortion they are very academic in the questions. They certainly don’t ask if you are in favor of seeing the spine of 24-week old baby being cut with a pair of scissors or having its skull crashed and flushed down a toilet. If they did I am sure the polls would show a much different result for those who favor this barbaric procedure. Gosnell has brought the ugly and inhumane details of abortion to those who have closed their eyes to what happens when a woman or young girl walks into an abortion clinic.

It matters not whether Gosnell gets the death penalty or not. He is 76-years old and will spend the rest of his life behind bars and probably would die before an execution would be carried out with the appeal process as it is.

Here are a few of Mullane’s observations posted: Monday, April 15, 2013:

“It is hard to decide the most appalling images to emerge Thursday at the murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. What happened in his abortion clinic is beyond any morbid Hollywood horror.

Tiny severed feet and hands stored in jars over a sink in the “procedure” room.

Digitalis injected into the stomachs of pregnant women to stop the beating hearts of their unborn babies so that they would be born dead.

Survivor babies whose spinal cords were severed, whose brains were removed with suction, whose tiny bodies were placed in a waste bin for disposal.

Then there is commonwealth exhibit C-147, depicting a large baby balled in the fetal position, bloody, stuffed in a bin. “Big enough to walk me home,” joked Gosnell when he saw the child’s remains, testified Ashly Baldwin, a clinic employee.

Gosnell, 72, is charged with killing seven born-alive babies and causing the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, an immigrant from Nepal who had sought an abortion at his West Philadelphia clinic. The clinic was busy, doing brisk cash business, catering not only to local women in West Philadelphia, but also women from the affluent surrounding suburbs of Bucks and Montgomery counties. Gosnell’s reputation for no-wait abortions was so well known, women would fly in from other states.

The prosecution alleges that Gosnell’s clinic regularly delivered live babies in the third trimester and killed them by severing their spinal cords or a “snip,” which according to testimony is what Gosnell called the procedure.

On Thursday, when I was there, Ashly Baldwin, 22, testified that she began working at the clinic when she was 15. Though unqualified and unlicensed as a medical technician, she began medicating women, even administering injections with a butterfly needle, under Gosnell’s instructions.

She testified that she saw digitalis injected, and explained that its purpose in abortions is to kill the unborn child so “it would come out dead.”

But in some of the most horrifying testimony of the day, Baldwin described how she saw babies born alive, with hearts beating rapidly, some of them moving and “flinching,” and some making baby sounds or “screeching.”

Until the FBI raided his clinic in 2010, he had operated for 30 years at 3801 Lancaster Ave., in the clinic he called the “Women’s Health Society.”

There was little healthy about it. Bloody floors, dirty equipment. The filthy gynecological bed with stirrups on which Karnamaya Mongar went into cardiac arrest from a drug reaction, and later died, sat in the middle of the courtroom, in front of the jury.

Tina Baldwin testified that Gosnell treated women differently, based on their race. White women “with money” were taken to an “immaculate” upstairs room where Gosnell treated them personally. Poor black, Latino and other women were kept in the clinic’s dingy, dirty downstairs rooms, and were usually treated by medically unqualified staff.”

Mullane then shifted his reporting to the absence of media coverage of the trial:

“Thursday’s testimony had sensational details. The court staff, convinced it would attract journalists from around the nation, has set aside three rows of seats to accommodate up to 40 reporters. But all Thursday morning, as Ashly Baldwin testified to horror after horror, only one reporter was in the reserved seating — me.

Several local news outlets were there, scattered about the mostly516b8dd430ff7.preview-300 empty courtroom. The Philadelphia Inquirer had a reporter there. NBC10 sent a blogger for its website. The AP stopped in, but the reporter told me that resources are thin and trial coverage is not gavel to gavel.

An hour into afternoon testimony, Jon Hurdle of The New York Times showed up, and a few minutes later was gone.

The lack of daily media coverage for the most sensational abortion trial angers pro-lifers who said there is a “media black out” on the Gosnell trial.

I asked one of the court staff why so few are interested.

“If you’re pro-choice, do you really want anybody to know about this,” he said, motioning to the filthy medical equipment set up in the courtroom.

It’s a good point. As saturation coverage of the Sandy Hook elementary school coverage has caused Americans to reconsider the limits of the Second Amendment, saturation coverage of Kermit Gosnell’s clinic would likely cause the same reconsideration of abortion rights.

The details are that horrifying.”

On Sunday I saw an interview with Mr. Mullane on the Fox News’ Huckabee show. He did not go into the graphic details of the trial, I had to find those on my own, However, he did talk about the lack of coverage and the effects on those reporters who did cover the trial.

He mentioned one instance where he was talking to, in his opinion a “very liberal” reporter who was pro-abortion and had written to this effect. Mullane said that after one day of watch the trial the reporter told him he had changed his mind by 180 degrees and was now definitely against abortion of any sorts. This is what a splash of the real world can do to someone — even a liberal. It’s easy to talk about things that don’t directly affect you — it’s another thing to witness those things.

How about those jurors and court officials who heard days of testimony? How will they react when the trial is over? Will they tell their family and friends what abortion really is? I think they will need too or suffer nightmares the rest of their lives. They probably will need some help to mitigate the effects of PTSD or PTSS. If a soldier seeing the brutality of the battlefield in Afghanistan or the first responders at Sandy Hook need help I pray the court will furnish the jurors the same medical help.

Now that the trial is over here are a few of the closing arguments. According to The Blaze:

“For more than two hours, the doctor’s lawyer, Jack McMahon, delivered compelling remarks directly to the jury, appealing for its members to be fair and judicious while considering the very-serious charges against his client. While McMahon painted Gosnell out to be a victim of a government witch-hunt of sorts, Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron’s remarks framed him as a dangerous and murderous doctor with little compassion for those he purportedly harmed.

McMahon offered a fiery diatribe, defending his client against the600x39987 first degree murder charges for four infants allegedly killed after birth and a third-degree charge for the death of Karnamaya Mongar, an immigrant who died following an abortion. While admitting that the clinic, the Women’s Medical Society, wasn’t perfect, the lawyer launched into a major defensive, railing against the notion that it was a bloody “house of horrors,” as prosecutors, pro-life advocates and the media have maintained.

He defended Gosnell as an asset to the community who provided low-cost health care and an opportunity for young females in the neighborhood to learn. Rather than rooting its arguments in fairness, the attorney accused the prosecution of prejudice; he called the case against Gosnell “elitist” and “racist” and said that the charges and claims have been blown out of proportion.

“This isn’t a perfect place by any stretch of the imagination — but it’s not what they say it is,” McMahon continued, going on to claim that Gosnell was singled-out because he is an African American.

Of particular frustration to McMahon was the use of the aforementioned term — “house of horrors.” While he noted that it “sounds good” and “makes for good press,” he rejected the label and said that it has been manufactured to convince people to come alongside the prosecution’s concocted vision of what unfolded.

From showing images of a clinic that was clean and well-organized (to contradict the prosecution’s claims that the Women’s Medical Society was a dirty and disease-ridden establishment) to continuously berating the prosecution over its tactics and purportedly untrue statements, McMahon was candid.

“That, ladies and gentleman, is not a house of horrors,” he said, after showing the jury images of a clean and organized clinic environment.”

The state was much more graphic in its closing remarks

“The prosecution delivered an equally compelling case, going through, one-by-one, all 54 witness testimonies to paint Gosnell as disorganized and murderous. Going into gruesome detail, the prosecution outlined the notion that the doctor slit babies’ spinal cords and essentially forced women to go through delivery, later terminating the children after birth.

Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron wasted little time in responding to many of McMahon’s counterpoints, painting Gosnell out to be a doctor who kept poor records, who used untrained staff and, through witness testimony, a medical professional who put his patients at risk.

The assistant district attorney also appealed to the jury, noting that this case has been a turning point — one in which people will likely think twice before merely trusting their doctors’ qualifications and policies. Seeing as many of Gosnell’s patients were unaware of what was allegedly going on, Cameron attempted to use the case as a call for the jury to be more aware of whom they trust with their medical care (especially considering the charges against Eileen O’Neill, a clinic staffer who is also on trial for allegedly pretending to be a doctor).

“This case is not about abortion, he stressed, noting that the procedure is legal so long as it is conducted before 24 weeks and in a safe location.

“This case is not about racism or elitism. It’s not about a rush to judgment. It was conducted, held before a grand jury,” Cameron continued, replying directly to the charges that McMahon had waged against the prosecution during his closing arguments.

Cameron’s diatribe followed a similar layout. He noted the importance of having basic standards for clinics, regardless of whether they are in urban, suburban or rural areas. Citing Steven Massof’s testimony (another unlicensed doctor who worked in the clinic), he noted that the office was purportedly flea ridden and dirty.

Cameron’s diatribe followed a similar layout. He noted the importance of having basic standards for clinics, regardless of whether they are in urban, suburban or rural areas. Citing Steven Massof’s testimony (another unlicensed doctor who worked in the clinic), he noted that the office was purportedly flea ridden and dirty.

The district attorney added that the women who saw Gosnell trusted him and that, by the prosecution’s assessment, the doctor failed to live up to the Hippocratic Oath – and to his responsibility to patients. Then, he proceeded to go through the testimony of all 54 individuals, using their words to highlight the prosecution’s belief that Gosnell killed babies after birth and that his clinic was, indeed, a “house of horrors.”

In addition to allegedly killing the four babies after birth, Cameron accused Gosnell of hitting patients during procedures. Of Baby A, who he said would have had a 70 to 80 percent chance of survival (the prosecution estimates that he was killed at 29.5 weeks), he said that, “It had scissors jabbed into its beck and it slowly suffocated to death”

Cameron also argued that, at the least, it was Gosnell’s responsibility to keep the babies comfortable. He said, “Whether that baby’s going to live or not, you’ve got to make them comfortable,” claiming that, in the cases of these children, that simply didn’t happen.”

Cameron’s final remark was:

“A baby making a noise has to have air, has to be alive,” said Cameron.

Later, while closing, Cameron turned to Gosnell, pointed and asked, “Are you human?” For those angry over the charges against the doctor, this statement will certainly resonate. But for those who agree with McMahon and believe that this entire scenario has been a witch-hunt, Cameron’s accusatory words will surely be met with disdain.”

I am sure the left-wing media, those who were not at the trial and the ones sipping their merlot will try to spin this as one-of-a kind witch hunt. Planned Parenthood will spend millions on a new public relations effort to restore the tarnished image of abortion. But I think the genie is out of the bottle and Gosnell will make that difficult. All of the protests and marches by the forces of pro-life for the past 40 years could not have had the impact that this one quack doctor has. We still talk about Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin when it comes to genocide. We still mention the name of Dr. Mengele when it comes to in human medical experiments. Now we can mention Dr. Kermit Gosnell in the same context when we talk about abortion.

The mainstream media reported that Obama delayed his now-famous (or infamous) speech at Planned Parenthood so he could visit and console the families of those who lost loved ones in the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion.

It seemed for a moment that the president had a heart, and perhaps he could put some priorities in order. That is called PR -- or in a far more honest vein, it is pure propaganda.

After hearing of the horrors and murders in Pennsylvania under Dr. Gosnell, we may be better-served to see the president skip both visits and instead visit the Gosnell clinic for a pause and a prayer — if the ghosts of those murdered there would allow it.

Had he visited the clinic on the day the baby was swimming in the toilet, would he have pulled it out and demanded its life be preserved? Would he in a moment of honest conscience stood with the helpless?

Mr. Obama has already answered that question. In the speech made at Planned Parenthood he clearly stated where he would stand. He said "You've also got a president who's going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way."

Mr. Obama sees himself as leading the nation into the 21st century, and he justifies his abortion stand as protecting women's health. We can only wonder if he skipped every biology class ever offered in high school and college. Being pregnant is not a health problem, and living, perfectly viable unborn human beings, in or out of the mother's womb, don't have any health problems, unless the will to live is now considered unhealthy.

Soon, as our resources diminish to care for our growing aging population, we will start dealing with our elderly as we do our unborn.

But if everything is meaningless, who cares? The people who are aware of the 50 million aborted babies since the Roe v. Wade decision care.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Will We Ever Have Another Ronald Reagan?

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. — Ronald Reagan

This question has been asked many times since 1988. Republicans constantly claim the mantle of the great communicator and all of them have fallen short. George Bush was not Reagan. John McCain, while claiming to follow in Reagan’s footsteps, fell far short, however, his running mate Sarah Palin came close. And Mitt Romney, while a good businessman was certainly not a Ronald Reagan in any sense of the word.

In order to form the basis of comparison to evaluate our current crop of so-called Republican conservatives we must first look at who Ronald Reagan was and what and how he did the things he did to restore our economy, national defense and the moral clarity of America. In essence we have to look at the Reagan Revolution — the great rediscovery of our values, our principles, and our common sense.

Ronald Reagan rejected the notion that the West, and the United States in particular, was in a period of inevitable decline. At the time of his election in 1980, America's economy was hampered by high taxes and inflation, and the growing menace of Soviet tyranny abroad. Reagan understood America to be unique and exceptional in world history because of its founding principles of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." Nicknamed the "Great Communicator," Reagan helped restore to the American people a belief in and adherence to their founding principles and a renewal of the American spirit

Reagan began his career as a Hollywood movie actor, eventually rising to the head of the Screen Actors' Guild. It was through Reagan's leadership that the union resisted a takeover by Communist sympathizers, though this event placed him in great personal danger. Reagan grew up a Democrat, but through his work with the General Electric Theater television series and his travels around the country meeting and talking with ordinary American workers, his views on the importance of limited government and the free market. Reagan's endorsement of Barry Goldwater for President in 1964, and in particular his nationally-televised "A Time for Choosing" speech, launched Reagan onto the national political stage. Beginning in 1967 he served two terms as governor of California, during which time he worked to reform welfare and opposed the violent anti-war and anti-establishment protests across college campuses.

After unsuccessful campaigns for the Republican nomination for President in both 1968 and 1976, Reagan ran again in 1980, this time securing both the nomination and winning the election against the incumbent Jimmy Carter. Domestically, Americans faced an economy hampered by high taxes and inflation. Internationally, the United States was still in the midst of the Cold War, and what seemed like a rising Soviet Union. Reagan refused to believe that the West, particularly America, was in decline. His message of greater freedom and prosperity both at home and abroad were based upon an understanding of America's founding and the timeless principles of liberty that required application to the challenges of the 20th century.

Reagan's policies, both domestic and foreign, were successful. From the time of his election in 1980, to his final full year in office, 1988, the United States saw large declines in inflation, unemployment, and overall tax rates, among other indicators of growing national prosperity. Abroad, Reagan affirmed the idea of "peace through strength," refusing to capitulate to Soviet demands and intimidation, and, with the aid of leaders like British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Pop John Paul II, meeting the threat of Communism around the world. In perhaps the most dramatic moment of his Presidency, Reagan, at a speech beneath the Brandenburg Gate of the Berlin Wall, told Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall," the most visible symbol of Soviet oppression in Europe. In the next four years, the world witnessed first the destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

To better understand Ronald Reagan we have to go back to 1964 and his support of Barry Goldwater. After serving as the President of The Screen Actors Guild and defeating the potential take-over of the Hollywood union by communists and suffering insults and threats to his personal security to the point of having body guards and carrying a firearm he joined General Electric as a roving ambassador giving speeches around the country and making TV appearance. During this time, while traveling mainly by train, he began reading the works Milton Friedman, James M. Buchanan, William F. Buckley, books on the Founders and the Federalist Papers. It was during this period from 1954 to 1964 he began his metamorphous from a Roosevelt Democrat to a Conservative Republican and began to think about entering politics.

In 1964 he gave one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century when, in support of Barry Goldwater’s campaign in in the 1964 presidential election. In the speech he laid out, in a clear and concise manner, what conservatisms represented. Here are a few choice excerpts from that speech, A Time for Choosing, and the video is shown below — it is well worth watching over and over again if you want to better understand Ronald Reagan and his beliefs. His comments are as valid today as they were 49 years ago:

“But I have an uncomfortable feeling that this prosperity isn't something on which we can base our hopes for the future. No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income. Today, 37 cents of every dollar earned in this country is the tax collector's share, and yet our government continues to spend $17 million a day more than the government takes in. We haven't balanced our budget 28 out of the last 34 years. We have raised our debt limit three times in the last twelve months, and now our national debt is one and a half times bigger than all the combined debts of all the nations in the world. We have $15 billion in gold in our treasury—we don't own an ounce. Foreign dollar claims are $27.3 billion, and we have just had announced that the dollar of 1939 will now purchase 45 cents in its total value.

And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as "meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government." Well, I for one resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me—the free man and woman of this country—as "the masses." This is a term we haven't applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, "the full power of centralized government"—this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.

Meanwhile, back in the city, under urban renewal the assault on freedom carries on. Private property rights are so diluted that public interest is almost anything that a few government planners decide it should be. In a program that takes for the needy and gives to the greedy, we see such spectacles as in Cleveland, Ohio, a million-and-a-half-dollar building completed only three years ago must be destroyed to make way for what government officials call a "more compatible use of the land." The President tells us he is now going to start building public housing units in the thousands where heretofore we have only built them in the hundreds. But FHA and the Veterans Administration tell us that they have 120,000 housing units they've taken back through mortgage foreclosures. For three decades, we have sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning, and the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan. The latest is the Area Redevelopment Agency. They have just declared Rice County, Kansas, a depressed area. Rice County, Kansas, has two hundred oil wells, and the 14,000 people there have over $30 million on deposit in personal savings in their banks. When the government tells you you're depressed, lie down and be depressed.

So now we declare "war on poverty," or "you, too, can be a Bobby Baker!" Now, do they honestly expect us to believe that if we add $1 billion to the $45 million we are spending one more program to the 30-odd we have—and remember, this new program doesn't replace any, it just duplicates existing programs—do they believe that poverty is suddenly going to disappear by magic? Well, in all fairness I should explain that there is one part of the new program that isn't duplicated. This is the youth feature. We are now going to solve the dropout problem, juvenile delinquency, by reinstituting something like the old CCC camps, and we are going to put our young people in camps, but again we do some arithmetic, and we find that we are going to spend each year just on room and board for each young person that we help $4,700 a year! We can send them to Harvard for $2,700! Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that Harvard is the answer to juvenile delinquency. (Editor’s note: $4.700 in 1964 would equal $35,000 in today’s dollars)

But seriously, what are we doing to those we seek to help? Not too long ago, a judge called me here in Los Angeles. He told me of a young woman who had come before him for a divorce. She had six children, was pregnant with her seventh. Under his questioning, she revealed her husband was a laborer earning $250 a month. She wanted a divorce so that she could get an $80 raise. She is eligible for $330 a month in the Aid to Dependent Children Program. She got the idea from two women in her neighborhood who had already done that very thing.

Yet anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we are denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we are always "against" things, never "for" anything. Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." There is a point beyond which they must not advance. This is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits—not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”

Suffice it to say while Barry Goldwater was defeated by Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 Presidential Election Ronald Reagan’s star was on the ascendency.

In 1966 Reagan was elected Governor of the State of California defeating two-term Governor Edmund (Pat) Brown. Reagan turned California’s economy around and set the foundation for the next three decades of business growth and expansion turning the Golden States into the 5th largest economy in the world. The one mistake he admits in his autobiography was the signing of the state’s abortion rights bill.

Early in 1967, the national debate on abortion was beginning. Democratic California state senator Anthony Beilenson introduced the "Therapeutic Abortion Act", in an effort to reduce the number of "back-room abortions" performed in California. The State Legislature sent the bill to Reagan's desk where, after many days of indecision, he signed it. About two million abortions would be performed as a result, most because of a provision in the bill allowing abortions for the well-being of the mother. Reagan had been in office for only four months when he signed the bill, and stated that had he been more experienced as governor, it would not have been signed. After he recognized what he called the "consequences" of the bill, he announced that he was pro-life. He maintained that position later in his political career, writing extensively about abortion.

On a personal note when Reagan was elected governor I was running a survey crew for the California Division of Highways (now CALTRANS) doing the construction layout for the San Diego Freeway (I-405) in Orange County. One of the first things Regan did was to audit all of the state agencies to see how efficient or inefficient they were in accomplishing their stated mission. For this audit he appointed teams of three — on member from the State Personnel Office and the other two from the private sector with expertise in the mission of the agency.

One day one of the teams showed up on our construction site and interviewed my survey crew. As the supervisor I was prohibited from participating in the interview. The interview lasted about 30 minutes and when it was over I queried my crew to see what was said. They told me they were asked questions as to what they were doing, what their mission was, did they understand the work, did they like their job, and what their morale was. They told me that when the interview was over the representative form Shell Oil gave then each a business card and told them if they ever left Division of Highways they should contact him for a job interview. Evidently he was impressed with the crew. The Division of Highways did well, but the Mental Health Department and the DMV did not fare as well.

In 1976 Reagan entered the presidential campaign challenging Gerald Ford (who hated Reagan) for the Republican nomination. By a close delegate vote Ford won the nomination (1.187 to 1,070) and went on to lose to the peanut farmer from Georgia, Jimmy Carter.

The next for years brought misery to the people of the United States. The Misery Index, a combination of unemployment and inflation, rose from 13% to 20%. Like the band playing the tune “The World Turned Upside Down” at Lord Cornwallis’ surrender after the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 Jimmy Carter had turned our world upside down South American countries were falling to Communism, many liberals and academics believed that the Soviet Union had a better system, and Iran was holding our diplomats hostage. The anti-hero was replacing the hero and John Wayne was out and Woody Allen was in.

Reagan was not deterred by his defeat at the 1976 Republican Convention and after touring the country and gather support he handily won the nomination of his party.

The 1980 presidential campaign between Reagan and incumbent President Jimmy Carter was conducted during domestic concerns and the ongoing Iran hostage crisis. His campaign stressed some of his fundamental principles: lower taxes to stimulate the economy, less government interference in people's lives, states' rights, a strong national defense, and restoring the U.S. Dollar to a gold standard.

In the 1980 presidential election Reagan defeated his opponents Jimmy Carter and the liberal Republican John Anderson, who ran as an independent. Reagan received 489 Electoral Votes and 50.8% of the popular vote carrying 44 states including California. Carter received 49 Electoral Votes, 41.0% of the popular vote and carried 6 states plus the District of Columbia. He failed to carry his home state of Georgia. Anderson received 6.6% of the popular vote and received no Electoral Votes and carried no states. The world was about to be turned upside-right.

In his First Inaugural Address set forth his vision and plan to turn the United States around. In his January 20, 1981 speech Regan said the following:

“Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, causing human misery and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.

But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades, we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children’s future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.

From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

We hear much of special interest groups. Our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and our factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we are sick —professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, "We the people," this breed called Americans.

So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We are not, as some

would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope.

We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we are in a time when there are no heroes just don’t know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter—and they are on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They are individuals and families whose taxes support the Government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life.

I have used the words "they" and "their" in speaking of these heroes. I could say "you" and "your"

because I am addressing the heroes of whom I speak—you, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God.”

Reagan refuted the claims of the major claims of the progressive liberals and their belief in the bureaucratic administrative state with just a few words.

His first act as President was to sign an Executive Order repealing the price control on gasoline thus increasing the supply and bringing down the price. In 1981 he brought the marginal tax rates down from 70% to 50% and was able to do this with a Democrat controlled House. He also worked with Paul Volker, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve to institute some painful measures to restore the economy. These policies were called “Reaganomics.” By 1982 the economy began to turnaround.

I remember this very well as the owner of a business. In 1982 I had to enter a merger with another similar firm to stay afloat. By 1983 we were on a growth path once again.

During the 8 years of Reagan’s presidency (1981-1989) he, along with a hostile House and media accomplished the following:










Prime Interest Rate



Top Marginal Tax Rate



Gasoline per Gallon

$1.35 ($3.81 today)

<$1.00 ($2.82 today)

Median Family Income

$33,000 (

$38,000 – a 15% increase

Poverty Rate



Other Reagan accomplishments:

  • The top 5% of earners went from paying 35% of the government’s taxes to 46% even with lower rates due to dramatic increase in the top earners.
  • Charitable contributions went from $65 billion to$100 billion, a 54% increase
  • The deficit went from $2.5 billion to $2.5 billion – this is not a typo.
  • Tax receipts increased by 50%
  • The S&P had an annual gain of 25%
  • Employment of Blacks rose 29% cutting their unemployment rate in half.
  • Black families making more the $50,000 per year increased by 86%. During the Carter Administration this figure was 2.5% for whites and 1% for Blacks. Reagan’s policies changed this to 14% and 18% respectively.

In essence Reagan’s policies were lifting all boats

The question you need to ask yourself is if you had a time machine where would you go —1963, 1973 or 1983?

But 1984 Reagan’s policies were working and the 1984 election proved it.

The United States presidential election of 1984 was the 50th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 6, 1984. The contest was between the incumbent President Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate, and former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate.

Reagan carried 49 of the 50 states, becoming only the second presidential candidate to do so after Richard Nixon's victory in the 1972 presidential election. Reagan touted a strong economic recovery from the deep recession of 1981–1982 and the widespread perception that his presidency had overseen a revival of national confidence and prestige. Mondale's only electoral votes came from the District of Columbia, which has never given its electoral votes to a Republican candidate, and his home state of Minnesota, which he won by a mere 3,761 votes.

Reagan's 525 electoral votes (out of 538) is the highest total ever received by a presidential candidate. Mondale's 13 electoral votes is also the second-fewest ever received by a second-place candidate, second only to Alf Landon's in 1936. In the national popular vote, Reagan received 58.8% to Mondale's 40.6%. No candidate since then has managed to equal or surpass Reagan's 1984 electoral result. Also, no post-1984 Republican candidate has managed to match or better Reagan's electoral performance in the Northeastern United States (Known to be a very Democratic region in modern times) and in the Western United States. Much of this success for Reagan can be attributed to the so-called “Reagan Democrats” — mainly blue collar workers with a great amount of patriotism and common sense.

Reagan was also equally successful, much to the disdain of the progressive liberals, academics and media, in foreign affairs.

Many bone-headed progressives and academics believed the Soviet system of government was better. The Left believed that the USSR would always be there and we needed to go along to get along. Many on the Right believed the USSR would always be there and we would never get along.

Reagan took a third position. He believed the USSR was an intimate threat to civilization and a failed system that could not last forever, perhaps no more than a decade. He was right on both counts.

He believed we needed to be militarily strong, globally strong, and morally strong if we wanted to win the Cold War. His doctrine, AKA the “Reagan Doctrine”, was based on three pillars:

  1. Rebuilding the U.S. Military
  2. Aiding countries wishing to maintain or regain their freedom, and
  3. Being absolutely clear on the distinction between freedom and tyranny.

For years we had lived with the Truman Doctrine of containment greatly influenced by George F. Kennan. In the late 1940s, his writings inspired the Truman Doctrine and the U.S. foreign policy of "containing" the Soviet Union, thrusting him into a lifelong role as a leading authority on the Cold War. His "Long Telegram" from Moscow in 1946 and the subsequent 1947 article "The Sources of Soviet Conduct" argued that the Soviet regime was inherently expansionist and that its influence had to be "contained" in areas of vital strategic importance to the United States. These texts quickly emerged as foundation texts of the Cold War, expressing the Truman administration's new anti-Soviet Union policy. Kennan also played a leading role in the development of definitive Cold War programs and institutions, notably the Marshall Plan.

Soon after his concepts had become U.S. policy, Kennan began to criticize the foreign policies that he had seemingly helped launch. Subsequently, prior to the end of 1948, Kennan was confident the state of affairs in Western Europe had developed to the point where positive dialogue could commence with the Soviet Union. His proposals were discounted by the Truman administration and Kennan's influence was marginalized, particularly after Dean Acheson was appointed secretary of state in 1949. Soon thereafter, U.S. Cold War strategy assumed a more assertive and militaristic quality, causing Kennan to lament over what he believed was as an aberration of his previous assessments.

The problem with containment was that the game was rigged. Like the game of chess the USSR kept moving the pieces all over the board while we unable to keep up.

Reagan took a slightly different course. He believed preventing the expansion of Soviet Communism and influence cold best be accomplished by aiding those who wanted to be free, like the Solidarity movement in Poland. Working closely with Margaret Thatcher and the Polish Pope John Paul II he was able to influence and assist these nations with moral and financial support while increasing the defense capabilities of NATO.

The elite universities had given up on any distinction between right and wrong harping that no values were different from any other values. It was just a matter of interpretation and a get along attitude. Evidently Reagan did not get this memo on moral equivalency. He stuck to his principles and beliefs no matter the critics in academia and the media.

At the time of Reagan’s election we had a policy of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). This policy was based on the fact the United States and the USSR had more than enough nuclear weapons to destroy one another several times over and that neither nation would be crazy enough to initiate a nuclear war in Europe or anywhere else. This gave the Soviets an advantage as they would go about the world initiating little brush fire war of independence while we were muscle-bound with nukes and could do little to prevent them from fomenting trouble around the globe. Reagan needed a game changer.

He thought MAD was madness so in 1983 he came up with something called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) otherwise known as “Star Wars.” On March 23, 1983 Reagan gave a nationally televised address to the American people announcing this new initiative:

The calls for cutting back the defense budget come in nice, simple arithmetic. They’re the same kind of talk that led the democracies to neglect their defenses in the 1930’s and invited the tragedy of World War II. We must not let that grim chapter of history repeat itself through apathy or neglect.

This is why I’m speaking to you tonight--to urge you to tell your Senators and Congressmen that you know we must continue to restore our military strength. If we stop in midstream, we will send a signal of decline, of lessened will, to friends and adversaries alike. Free people must voluntarily, through open debate and democratic means, meet the challenge that totalitarians pose by compulsion. It’s up to us, in our time, to choose and choose wisely between the hard but necessary task of preserving peace and freedom and the temptation to ignore our duty and blindly hope for the best while the enemies of freedom grow stronger day by day. The solution is well within our grasp. But to reach it, there is simply no alternative but to continue this year, in this budget, to provide the resources we need to preserve the peace and guarantee our freedom.

If the Soviet Union will join with us in our effort to achieve major arms reduction, we will have succeeded in stabilizing the nuclear balance. Nevertheless, it will still be necessary to rely on the specter of retaliation, on mutual threat. And that’s a sad commentary on the human condition. Wouldn’t it be better to save lives than to avenge them? Are we not capable of demonstrating our peaceful intentions by applying all our abilities and our ingenuity to achieving a truly lasting stability? I think we are. Indeed, we must.

After careful consultation with my advisers, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I believe there is a way. Let me share with you a vision of the future which offers hope. It is that we embark on a program to counter the awesome Soviet missile threat with measures that are defensive. Let us turn to the very strengths in technology that spawned our great industrial base and that have given us the quality of life we enjoy today.

What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant U.S. retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?

I know this is a formidable, technical task, one that may not be accomplished before the end of this century.

Yet, current technology has attained a level of sophistication where it’s reasonable for us to begin this effort. It will take years, probably decades of effort on many fronts. There will be failures and setbacks, just as there will be successes and breakthroughs. And as we proceed, we must remain constant in preserving the nuclear deterrent and maintaining a solid capability for flexible response. But isn’t it worth every investment necessary to free the world from the threat of nuclear war? We know it is.”

This speech sent shockwaves not only through the USSR but also through our allies. SDI) was proposed to use ground-based and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic offense doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) was set up in 1984 within the United States Department of Defense to oversee the Strategic Defense Initiative.

The ambitious initiative was widely criticized as being unrealistic, even unscientific as well as for threatening to destabilize MAD and re-ignite "an offensive arms race". In light of Reagan's vocal criticism of MAD, the Strategic Defense Initiative was an important part of his defense policy intended to offset MAD. It was soon derided, largely in academia and the mainstream media, as "Star Wars," after the popular 1977 film by George Lucas. In 1987, the American Physical Society concluded that a global shield such as "Star Wars" was not only impossible with existing technology, but that ten more years of research was needed to learn whether it might ever be feasible. Of course the academics and universities soon changed their tune as federal grant money began flowing from the Department of Defense and National Science Foundation for research and development. To them this was the new space program.

Today the United States holds a significant advantage in the field of comprehensive advanced missile defense systems through years of extensive research and testing; many of the obtained technological insights were transferred to subsequent programs and would find use in follow-up programs.

Under the administration of President Bill Clinton in 1993, its name was changed to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) and its emphasis was shifted from national missile defense to theater missile defense; and its scope from global to more regional coverage. It was never truly developed or deployed, though certain aspects of SDI research and technologies paved the way for some anti-ballistic missile systems of today. BMDO was renamed to the Missile Defense Agency in 2002.

Many of Reagan’s critics missed the point with his SDI program. It did not matter if our science was not able to keep up with his initiative, what mattered is that the USSR believed we could do it. They knew it would not only take the best brains in physics, space technology, and computer science it would also take billions of dollars of which they had neither. Reagan was now playing chess with the Soviets and they were losing.

In 1987 Reagan gave his famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Although strongly advised by the State Department Eagan edited the prepared speech and added these famous lines:

“There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

These lines echoed around the globe and within two years the wall was down and the Soviet Union was collapsing under its own corrupt weight. On the night of November 9, 1989 the wall began to come down and freedom was making its way back to the nations of Eastern Europe.

I was in East Germany prior to the wall coming down and shortly after. I saw the total corruption of the socialist state and how it had suppressed the people for 44 years. The only regret I had was that I could not have taken the scores of academics, who touted the wonders of the socialist state, with me and rubbed their noses in the despair it fostered on the peoples of these nations.

In Reagan’s Farewell Address delivered from the Oval Office on January 11, 1989 he gave us a warning for the future — warning we are ignoring today.

“Well, back in 1980, when I was running for president, it was all so different. Some pundits said our programs would result in catastrophe. Our views on foreign affairs would cause war. Our plans for the economy would cause inflation to soar and bring about economic collapse. I even remember one highly respected economist saying, back in 1982, that "the engines of economic growth have shut down here, and they’re likely to stay that way for years to come." Well, he and the other opinion leaders were wrong. The fact is, what they called "radical" was really "right". What they called "dangerous" was just "desperately needed."

And in all of that time I won a nickname, "The Great Communicator." But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation -- from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I’ll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.

Finally, there is a great tradition of warnings in presidential farewells, and I’ve got one that’s been on my mind for some time. But oddly enough it starts with one of the things I’m proudest of in the past eight years: the resurgence of national pride that I called the new patriotism. This national feeling is good, but it won’t count for much, and it won’t last unless it’s grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties.

But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom -- freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs protection.

So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important: Why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, four years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-day, I read a letter from a young woman writing of her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, "We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did."

Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.

And that’s about all I have to say tonight. Except for one thing. The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the "shining city upon a hill." The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that; after 200 years -- two centuries -- she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

We’ve done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for eight years did the work that brought America back. My friends, we did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger. We made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all”

Yes Ronald Reagan was a great communicator, but more importantly he communicated great ideas that resonated with the American people.

Who will be the next person to authentically wear the mantle of Ronald Reagan? Will it be Mario Rubio or Rand Paul? Will it be Ted Cruz or Mile Lee? Perhaps it’s Scott Walker or Susana Martinez? After reading this long profile of the Reagan Revolution Perhaps the person has yet to emerge on the public stage yet, but when he or she does you will recognize him or her and I am sure the media and academia will just as vicious towards them as they were to Reagan. The question will be can that person withstand the slings and arrows and convince the American people the right now our world is upside down and we need to take a new course. It’s our time for choosing.

It’s Time For A Moratorium on Visas for Muslim Students

“There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” — George Washington, Fifth Annual Message, 1793.

Infamously ill-tempered Fox News co-host and former Democrat strategist Bob Beckel suggested last Monday that the U.S. stop accepting foreign Muslim students until the ones already here have been thoroughly vetted.

“The hatred for the United States runs deep,” he said during a broader discussion on the Boston Bombings.

“I think we really have to consider, given the fact that so many people hate us,” he added, “that we’re going to have to cut off Muslim students coming to this country for some period of time so that we can absorb what we’ve got, and look at what we’ve got, and decide whether some of the people here should be sent back home or to prison.”

Unsurprisingly, the liberal pundit’s moratorium recommendation stirred up controversy on both sides of the aisle. Fox News’ Megyn Kelley, for example, challenged him to defend his position.

“It wouldn’t have stopped the Boston Marathon bombing, but there is a lot of investigation that needs to be done and take a break and get that done and take a two-year hiatus” from awarding visas to students from Muslim countries, he explained.

“How do we get there?” Kelly asked.

She pointed out that among 75,000 Muslim student visas in the U.S., only five have been linked to terrorist activities.

“The numbers are not in favor of saying let’s penalizing,” she said.

“Of the 74,995, how many of those have been looked at very carefully?” Beckel said. “We have a lot of students here who may themselves harbor feelings about resentments. They come from countries where they brainwashed against the United States from the beginning.”

But even after being challenged by Kelley, Beckel refused to back down, reaffirming his position later in a tweet and during a Tuesday broadcast of Fox News’ “The Five.”

“Despite the early morning calls from my liberal friends who hung up on me,” Beckel said, he chose not to “pull back” on his suggestion.

“If the FBI could not deal with this fellow in Boston with all they had on him,” Beckel said, “it seems to me that we ought to give time for them to clear up their problems with the current Muslim population here and then let students come back in.”

If Bob Beckel had spent any time on our college campuses, like the University of California at Irvine, he might have taken and even stronger stand against granting student visas to Muslim students. There have been numerous incidents at UCI where Jewish speakers have been shouted down by the Muslin student groups while the campus administration stands idly by.

Who is our enemy? President Barack Obama is convinced it is Americans that simply want to exercise their Constitutional right to bear arms. At the same time, the President refuses to condemn Muslims both foreign and domestic — religious fanatics, like the Boston bombers, who are part of a global jihad and have declared America the “Great Satan.”

For all his education, with all of the intelligence services at his fingertips and with nearly 12 years of attacks on American soil, our President remains willfully blind of what must be done to protect America when it comes to Islam and immigration. Instead, his focus is on guns. This was on display when the President railed the Senate for rejecting his gun-control legislation.

“I see this as just round one,” said the President, surrounded by relatives of the Newtown, Conn., victims as well as former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in Tucson, Ariz.

Obama said Senators are fearful that “the gun lobby would spend a lot of money,” accusing them of opposing the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

Shortly after the capture of the surviving Boston Marathon bomber, Obama went on television to tell Americans not to be quick to judge any one group of people. Translation: Don’t blame Muslims.

This week's bombing of civilians at the Boston Marathon in which three people, including an 8-year-old child, perished upon being torn to bits and 250 were wounded, some most grievously, followed the template set by the other Islamist incidents on Obama's watch. The media stumbles over itself trying not to see why we were attacked while glorifying terrorists, showing them in the most innocent-looking youthful pictures they can find, interviewing irrelevant credulous neighbors and school chums and blaming innocents (us) for the acts of terror. The federal government in large part, starting with the White House, is no better. HSA Secretary Napolitano urges us, "see something, say something" but the major media and all the president's men (and women) seem to operate under a different order, "See, hear, and speak nothing of the Islamist evil that threatens us."

Well, as it happens, I've seen quite a lot of things over the last few years that I'd like to say something about -- enough things to break a heart and to kill a country.

And after the Boston Massacre committed by two immigrant Jihadis, I'm going to say them.

I've seen the president of the United States bow down before the Saudi king, whose country sent fifteen hijackers to topple our towers.

I've seen Obama's minions arrest and jail an obscure California film-maker for creating a YouTube video that criticizes Mohammed. Incredibly, I then witnessed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempt to blame the hapless guy for inciting the Benghazi slaughter

I've seen Obama's UN ambassador hustle to pass UN Resolution 16/18, an "anti-blasphemy law" pushed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to make criticizing Islam an international crime. So if comment on Shari’ah fanatics by critiquing their child marriages, honor killings, homosexual hangings, and genocidal plots to wipe out Israel, you're the one who's going to jail.

Then there’s Janet Napolitano, Obama's Homeland Security Secretary, refuse to use the term "terrorism" and insist on calling jihad-inspired carnage "man-caused disasters." As she helpfully explained to a German interviewer, she selected this term to "move away from the politics of fear" and, presumably, towards the politics of insanity.

How about Obama's Department of Defense, which prosecutes our War on Man-Caused Disasters, order a complete purge of "anti-Islamic content" from all military training materials. Do me a favor: If you see a U.S. soldier, could you explain to him what "jihad" means.

Just this month, it is reported that a U.S. Army training instructor teach his military students that "Evangelical Christianity" is the leading movement of dangerous "Religious Extremism," along with "Catholicism" and "Islamophobia." Funny how that works. I didn't notice the entire city of Boston cowering inside their homes to stay safe from Islamophobes, did you.

Then there’s the FBI conducting an interview with Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 and come up blank. Maybe if Obama's FBI hadn't just purged its counterterrorism training manual of words like Muslim, Islam, jihad, Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Sharia, they might have found a clue.

Three weeks ago, I saw the U.S. Army formally refuse to award Purple Hearts to the 13 soldiers killed and 32 wounded in the shooting rampage of Major Nidal Hassan at Fort Hood. Although Hassan was in extensive communication with Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki before screaming "Allahu Akbar" and opening fire, the military claims Hassan merely committed "workplace violence."

I suppose Hassan's slaughter of the pregnant 21-year-old soldier Francheska Velez was just "sexual harassment." Fort Hood hero Sgt. Kimberly Munley now says that Obama "betrayed" her and the other victims.

How about the Army refusing a Purple Heart to Private Andy Long, who was killed in 2009 outside an Army recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas. His murderer was an all-American boy who converted to Islam at Tennessee State University and traveled to a terrorist training camp in Yemen, before returning home to commit jihad. Does his conversion give credence to Bob Beckel’s suggestion? It certainly does as this is happening on campuses all across the land as butter-minded youth are molded by progressive academics and Muslim student groups like the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine.

Obama threatened to veto the entire 2013 Defense Authorization Act, because it awarded a Purple Heart to Private Long, whom the military claims is merely a victim of street crime. Obama’s three monkeys of Islam are see no jihad, hear no jihad, speak no jihad.

Of course, nobody in the mainstream media seemed to notice, but I watched Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris driven underground in fear of her life after proposing "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" on Facebook. Unlike the late Margaret Thatcher, who provided government protection for author Salman Rushdie when his life was threatened by Jihadis, Obama has given Molly Norris exactly nothing — not even one word of support.

Americans are being disarmed of our right to free speech, our most potent weapon in this brutal war. Obama and his media allies are locking up the language through political correctness to even discuss the nature of our enemy, and leaving us stripped of the basic knowledge we need to resist submitting to Islam.

If you've never read Sultan Knish's blog, you ought to. He's one of the brightest stars of the internet and his comments this week on the media treatment of terrorists could not be more acid nor accurate. In his latest posts he states:

“The media's coverage is weighed down by its old fetish of murder as celebrity. The media covers murderers and celebrities in the same way. It writes exhaustively about them, but rarely meaningfully. The murderer, like the celebrity, is famous for being famous. And fame clips context and suppresses meaning. It becomes its own reference. A thing is famous for being known. It is known for being famous. It enters the common language as a reference. A metaphor.

In the case of the Tsarnaevs, the surface coverage, the endless rounds of interviews with friends and relatives, with anyone who ever met them or retweeted them, is mandatory because it avoids the more difficult question of why they killed.

Prisons are full of 300 pound men who beat their 90 pound wives to death in self-defense and spree killers who felt bullied and misunderstood and defended themselves with killing sprees. The kind of evil we see in movies, the serial killer who gleefully whisper about demonic pacts and the joy of killing, are a rarity. Even human monsters are human. They explain things in terms of their egos. They are always defending themselves against some form of oppression and looking for someone to sympathize with their outrage.

Muslim terrorists are no different.

Islam, as one of the great world religions, has a long history of needing to be defended against small boys, blind female poets and elderly cartoonists. Sometimes Muslims have to defend Islam against each other, the way they are now doing in Syria. Other times defending Islam requires demolishing its archeological sites, the way that the Saudis are doing. Either way defending Islam is difficult work.”

Sultan Knish (Daniel Greenfield) deftly explains that there is a private Islam, which guides the daily life of its practitioners, and a "public Islam" which would force us all to follow the same proscriptions. That Islam, the public Islam, "must be defended by bombs", he argues. Both the media and the administration refuse to acknowledge that distinction.

“Why did Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev detonate bombs at the Boston Marathon? They were engaged in an old disagreement over political systems. Terrorists of the left set off bombs to force a political revolution. Their Islamist fellow-travelers are doing the same thing. Dig away enough of the trappings of the celebrity murderer and you come to the ideas buried underneath all the rubble.

[The media] wants us to speak of foreign policy as an isolated American act and of random violence as arising from thin air. It does not want us to understand the nature of the struggle. It does not want us to know why we die. It is determined to keep from us the reason why Muslims kill.”

It may be that the media dissembles concerning the impetus for these murderous acts because it knows no better. Certainly they give evidence every day of their thin knowledge of the world outside their pressroom cloisters. But one cannot help but feel that from 9/11 on the media has treated Americans as if WE were the murderous thugs who must not learn of the Islamist nature of the slaughterers lest we grab our pikes and scimitars and start off to mosques to behead the innocent. Tom Brokaw told us so last week.

Brendon O'Neill at the Telegraph captured the essence of the media’s wrong-headed reports of so called hate crimes against Muslims since 9/11:

“Clearly, some observers fear ordinary Americans more than they do terrorists; they fret more over how dangerously unintelligent and hateful Yanks will respond to bombings than they do over the bombings themselves. But where is this Islamophobic mob? Where are these marauding Muslim-haters undergoing a post-Boston freak-out? They are a figment of liberal observers' imaginations. In the years since 9/11, the American public has been admirably tolerant towards Muslim communities. According to federal crime stats collected by the FBI, in 2009 there were 107 anti-Muslim hate crimes; in a country of 300 million people that is a very low number. In 2010, a year of great terrorism panic following the attempt by Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in NYC, there were 160 anti-Muslim hate crimes. In 2011, there were 157. To see how imaginary the Islamophobic mob is, consider a state like Texas, fashionably mocked as a backward Hicksville full of Fox News-watching morons: there are 420,000 Muslims in Texas, yet in 2011 there were only six anti-Muslim hate crimes there. It simply isn't true that mad racist Yanks are biting at the bit to attack Muslims.

There were similarly wrongheaded fears of an outburst of mass Islamophobic hysteria in the wake of the 7/7 bombings in London, too. Policemen were posted outside mosques. NHS trusts encouraged doctors and nurses to keep their eyes peeled for anyone who expressed anti-Muslim hate. Trade union officials warned of a "backlash" against Muslims. But the backlash never came. Brits did not rise up in spite and fury against Muslims. Crown Prosecution Service crime figures for 2005-2006, covering the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks, showed that only 43 religiously aggravated crimes were prosecuted in that period, and that Muslims were the victims in 18 of those crimes. Eighteen prosecutions for anti-Muslim crimes -- all those crimes are unfortunate, of course they are; but this was far from an "Islamophobic backlash". As the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, said: "The fears of a [post-7/7] rise in offences appear to be unfounded." Time and again, Left-leaning campaigners and observers respond to terror attacks in the West by panicking about the possibly racist response of Joe Public -- and time and again, their fears prove ill-founded and Joe Public proves himself a more decent, tolerant person than they give him credit for. What this reveals is that liberal concern over Islamophobia, liberal fretting about anti-Muslim bigotry, is ironically driven by a bigotry of its own, by an deeply prejudiced view of everyday people as hateful and stupid. The anti-Islamophobia lobby poses as the implacable opponent of bigotry, yet it spreads a bigoted view of ordinary white folk as so volatile, so brimming with fury, that they are one terrorist bombing away from transforming into an anti-Muslim pogrom. Yes, some prejudiced things have been said about Muslims post-Boston; but far more prejudiced things are being said or implied about ordinary Americans.”

This contempt for the innocent victims of Islamic terrorism permeates the International set of anti-democratic American and Israeli haters. Princeton Professor Richard Falk who sits on the preposterously named and constituted UN Human Rights Commission is an exemplar of this caste of blinkered mandarins. He publicly blamed the bombing on U.S. foreign policy and its support of Israel. Just as he has earlier suggested our government had a hand in 9/11.

As the New York Post's Michael Goodwin observed, Falk's fault finding error is shared with the president:

Yet Falk is not the only one with warped views. His praise for President Obama's apologies to Muslims should give the president reason to pause, but the White House is too busy making sure it passes the test of the Boston bombing trial.

Not so much the test of whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty, about which there seems little doubt. Rather, the trial is a test of American values, according to all the president's men.

Obama himself still refuses to cite Islam as a motive for the bombing, despite the copious evidence investigators and the media have produced. He rushes to judgment only when it suits his worldview.

The dynamic is bizarre. Americans are attacked and, in return, are warned by their president to behave. Obama used that formula to defend the proposed mosque at Ground Zero, saying it was important that "we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about."

Apparently, the president sees the Constitution as a suicide pact.”

There is more than a small hint that other federal agencies were involved in getting a Saudi injured at the scene of the blast and tagged a "person of interest" off a watch list and perhaps even spiriting him out of the country.

A Saudi national originally identified as a "person of interest" in the Boston Marathon bombing was set to be deported under section 212, 3B — "Security and related grounds" — "Terrorist activities" after the bombing on April 15

The Blaze received word that the government may not deport the Saudi national — identified as Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi — as the story gained traction on April 18.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to answer questions on the subject by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Capitol Hill on April 18, saying the inquiry was "so full of misstatements and misapprehension that it's just not worthy of an answer."

An ICE official said April 18 that a different Saudi national is in custody, but that he is "in no way" connected to the bombings.

Key congressmen of the Committee on Homeland Security request a classified briefing with Napolitano on April 22

New info provided to The Blaze reveals Alharbi's file was altered on the evening of April 17 to disassociate him from the initial charges

Sources said on April 22 that the Saudi's student visa specifically allows himphoto2 to go to school in Findlay, Ohio, though he appears to have an apartment in Boston, Massachusetts. A DHS official told The Blaze that Alharbi properly transferred his student visa to a school in Massachusetts

The Blaze sources reveal April 22 that Alharbi was put on a terror watch list after the bombing, and Napolitano confirms he was on a "watch list" April 23.

By week's end, Beck's story, now confirmed after an early denial by Secretary Napolitano, grew even more shocking:

  • “At the time the event file was created for Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, it indicated he was "armed and dangerous"
  • Alharbi was admitted into the country under a "special advisory option," which is usually reserved for visiting politicians, VIPs, or journalists. The event file cover page indicates he was granted his status without full vetting.
  • One of the first excuses given by law enforcement when confronted about Alharbi's pending deportation was an expired visa. But according to the event file, his visa is good until 11-NOV-2016.
  • The event file indicates he entered the U.S. on 08/28/12 in Boston, MA but says he is a student at the University of Findlay, in Findlay, Ohio. He has an apartment in Boston, and doesn't seem to have been a full-time student in Ohio.
  • When a file is created in the system the author(s) are notified via email when it is accessed, and given the email address of the person accessing, so there is a record within the government data system of who deleted them. It was amended to remove the deportation reference, then someone later went in and tried to destroy both the original event file and amended versions. Copies had already been made.
  • The original event file was reviewed and approved by two high level agents — Chief Watch Commander Maimbourg and Watch Commander Mayfield.”

Sure looks like a cover-up. Since there are pictures of Michelle Obama visiting Alharbi in his hospital room, since the Administration has been lying about him repeatedly and altering official records, and since there's as yet no answer as to how and why he was admitted under a "special advisory opinion" and since we do not yet know if he's still here or was spirited out of the country, we have good reason to be suspicious.

In his best-seller The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright traced Islamic hatred of Westerners back to one man, an Egyptian dissident named Sayyid Qutb.

Qutb was an Egyptian author, educator and Islamist theorist who immigrated to the United States in 1948. (He later returned to Egypt.) He has been called “the man who inspired [Osama] bin Laden,” and it is not hard to see why he earned that reputation after you read his philosophy on infidels.

Wright wrote:

“He also brought home a new and abiding anger about race. “The white man in Europe or America is our number-one enemy,” he declared. “The white man crushes us underfoot while we teach our children about his civilization…”

It may be that only two in 10,000 Muslims have bad intentions against the United States; but as the Boston-bombing brothers from Chechnya proved last week, that is two too many. I think we should take Bob Beckel’s advice and place at least a two-year moratorium on the issuance of any visas for students from Muslim countries.