As we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the momentous events of the last century, the left continues its transparent and embarrassing attempt to rewrite their complicity with communist totalitarianism out of history, and attempting to erase Ronald Reagan’s role in its defeat. The latest attempt, by the New York Times, not only seeks to erase Reagan’s credit but also to lay the blame for the most recent Iraq misadventure at his feet. The new party line on the fall of the Berlin Wall seems to be that the wall fell as the result of a sort of comedy of errors on the part of the East German government – which, everyone has long understood that the government fumbled its way into a mess it could not get out of. However, this reductionist view completely ignores the fact that a similar chain of events would not have caused the wall to come down at any point in the 20 years prior, as the East Germans would have been able to contain the problem with ease. As Ken White noted on twitter, “Saying that the Berlin Wall fell due to a clerical error is like saying the kingdom fell for want of a nail. The kingdom fell because it was ROTTEN.” Definitely, some of the reasons for the rot were internal, but ignoring the role Reagan played in advancing the rot is a delusional fool’s game.
It’s important to note that a similar cottage industry does not exist on the mainstream right with respect to the history of fascism. No one in good standing in the conservative movement is out there saying that Hitler wasn’t so bad, or that the Nazi empire would have collapsed on its own without the help of FDR or Churchill, or that FDR and Churchill weren’t responsible for the defeat of Nazi Germany at all. The reason for that is that the American left’s history with respect to the battle against communism is so completely embarrassing that it ought to disqualify them from foreign policy discussions permanently.
You would never know it from the return of communist chic, but the 20th century’s experiment with global communism was an embarrassing blight on the entire notion of human progress. Wherever it went, it enslaved people more totally and completely than the most oppressive and brutal Middle Ages despotism. Freedom of thought and expression were brutally controlled and religion was completely suppressed. Citizens were whisked away to prisons in the middle of the night with no due process at all and if their family had the temerity to complain they were disappeared as well. Mass murder was not an unfortunate accident but a natural consequence of communist revolution, as tens of millions of people were killed or deliberately starved to death by their own governments across Eastern Europe and Asia.
The American Left’s reaction to all of this was almost uniformly to either actively aid the Communist cause or to – in their inimitable style which continues today with respect to Islamic terrorism – naively deny the existence of any danger to America at all. Decoded cables have revealed conclusively that the American government – in particular during Democrat administrations – was infested with communist spies, to the point that one of the primary United States representatives to the Yalta Conference where the United States shamefully doomed Eastern Europe to communist domination was a since convicted communist spy, Alger Hiss (a point which liberals to this day bizarrely refuse to concede). Democrats were decidedly less concerned with either the infestation of the government with communist spies or the expansion of communism itself than they were with the personal life or rhetorical tone of Joseph McCarthy, who (in their narrative) menaced the entire country from his lofty perch as a Senator from Wisconsin.
It is difficult to overstate the extent to which the Democrats hysterically warned against the danger of provoking the communists. It’s difficult to conceive in the modern era of an ad like the infamous “Daisy Ad,” which literally warned that Barry Goldwater was going to get us all destroyed by nuclear weapons, but this was standard fare for Democrats during the time period. When Reagan was elected, Democrat alarmism on this front reached a fever pitch. For having the temerity to refer to the Soviet Union as an “Evil Empire,” Reagan was excoriated by Democrats and the press for provoking a dangerous enemy. Reagan’s efforts to spend the Soviet Union into oblivion were opposed by Democrats at every step of the way as dangerous provocation that was going to get us all killed – and no Democrat carried that message with more fervor than our mentally challenged current Vice President, Joe Biden.
Of course, immediately after the Berlin Wall fell, the same people who had been saying for years that the Soviet Union was a dangerous enemy that ought not to be provoked began to immediately attempt to rewrite the story to say that the Soviet Union was rotten and toothless and that the iron curtain would have fallen anyway without Reagan’s help – which raises the question of why just 5 years prior these very same people had been saying that provoking the Soviets was dangerous at all.
Predictably, the Democrats’ overt complicity with the rise of global communism properly destroyed their credibility with the American public on foreign policy for the better part of a generation – a fitting punishment for such a spectacular failure of judgment. Their attempts to rewrite this particular chapter of history utterly failed with anyone who was actually alive and can remember the way they behaved during the Reagan and Bush administrations. The days of relative Republican parity in Congress are a relatively new phenomenon and are due almost exclusively to the realization on the part of the American public that Democrats were not to be trusted with the safety of America.
However, 25 years down the road, they clearly feel the time has come to try again. To paraphrase a passage from Joshua, a new generation has arisen that does not remember Reagan and so the Democrats are going to try their hand at minimizing his place in history and their own spectacular failures in confronting the greatest evil in modern history. They assume in this respect that we will not fight back to correct the record; let us hope that they are wrong.