04 February 2011

Ronald Reagan @ 100: Portrait in Courage

"a one-man battalion"

Ronald Reagan's well-sorted views regarding the USSR, communism, and the then-emerging Cold War were initially formed by his own personal experiences in the Hollywood labor strike in the Fall of 1946. 

According to author Peter Schweizer's (Reagan's War) research of Soviet archives, the Hollywood strike's leader - pugnacious rabble-rouser Herb Sorrell- was directly funded by the American Communist Party and received operational help/strategy from Soviet agents.

Sorrell was head of the Conference of Studio Unions (CSU), and the goal was nothing less than (communist) control of the Hollywood film industry. He had said at the onset of the of the strike "There may be men hurt, there may be men killed before this is over"- and had brought in crews of goons, just in case things got rough as he was predicting... a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Screen Actors' Guild had voted on whether to join the pickets, but a majority of actors decided not to honor the strike. Reagan's own employer at the time -Warner Brothers Studio- was determined to keep up to production schedule, and simply advised SAG actors crossing the picket line to sneak-onto the studio lot through a drainage pipe...

But that rubbed Ronald Reagan the wrong-way right from the start, as he saw having to 'sneak' as being intimidated by an unjust cause, one that fought with underhanded methods... and he didn't like it. Reagan told WB security "If I'm going to cross the picket line, I'm going to cross the picket line"- and did just that, marching right through the daunting union throng. The movie star soon emerged as the brave leader of the anti-strike, anti-communist movement in Hollywood.

But it wasn't long before Ronald Reagan received a phone call warning that if he continued to oppose the CSU strike, he would never be able to work in films again... as a union 'crew' would find him and "disfigure his face with acid." Reagan soon obtained a gun for the protection of himself and his family, which he kept packed in a holster or laying at arm's reach on his nightstand.

Communist sympathizers and useful idiots in Hollywood proceeded to denounce him as a "fraud", "stooge", and "fascist"... even old friends turned on him. 
Reagan's beautiful actress wife Jane Wyman later blamed the emerging political mission and the environment of fear that was created by these ruthless new union enemies for their divorce. 

But when dust cleared, the strike had collapsed- and Reagan's leadership and courage had impressed even his most bitter opponents. In 1947 several actors, writers, and directors testified before the Un-American Activities Committee of the US Congress on communist influence in Hollywood. Both the Congress and press were extremely impressed with Reagan's poise and intelligence in testimony... it was clear to all the man had done his homework.


Later, in 1951 actor Sterling Hayden testified that the 1946 Hollywood strike had failed because the CSU had run into Reagan, who he described as a "one-man battalion". Obviously, those later caught off-guard by Reagan's prompt crushing of the air-traffic controllers' strike in 1981 hadn't studied the new President's record in dealing with these union types. And Ronald Reagan's heroic and often lonely fight against Communism became, and was to remain for 40 years, highly personal. 

Later -when others in the US were seeking an accommodation with the USSR from the Eisenhower on-through the Carter Administrations- Reagan's belief in the American capitalist system told him that this was ill-advised: on-the-contrary if the USSR was forced to compete in a real all-out arms race with the US, their weaker economic system simply "couldn't keep up". Few agreed with this position at the time, and it was actually widely ridiculed. However, Reagan's lack of respect for the Soviet Union's centralized economy was 100% validated in his own time as President in the 1980s.

Naturally, such an unbending strategy for dealing with the USSR earned him criticism from all quarters of the press and academia as a "warmonger", and a trigger-happy, "self-assured bumpkin" with an "overly simplistic world view"... among other things. 

But while most feared what they saw as invincible Soviet power, Ronald Reagan told them "The Russians aren't ten-feet-tall" and spoke of inherent weaknesses in the communist system that few others realized. This was a difficult position to take, but events later showed Reagan was right... typically, he displayed visionary leadership and unbounded political courage.

While campaigning for Barry Goldwater in 1964 -regarding appeasement of the USSR 'to avoid war'- Reagan declared: "There is only one guaranteed way you can have peace... and you can have it in the next second: surrender!". These unwavering views were often unappealing to a large chunk of the electorate... but here was a man who was sincere in his convictions above all else, and had little taste for political opportunism. Even Reagan's KGB file defined him with grudging respect as a "convicted anti-communist" and a "firm and unbending politician, for whom words and deeds are one in the same."

Once elected US President in 1980, Ronald Reagan's military buildup and confrontational approach with the USSR were still unpopular. With both double-digit inflation and unemployment inherited from the Carter administration, his own 1981 cabinet was highly divided on the issue of increased military spending and new weapons systems... but President Reagan held firm with plans to confront both militarily and economically what he came to dub the "Evil Empire". When most called the Warsaw-Pact nations of eastern Europe "Soviet satellites", he more accurately referred to them as "captive" states... he rejected political relativism and told it like it was.


Reagan's foreign opponents felt threatened by his influence long before he became President. KGB agents stationed in the US were told in the 1970's that someday, they may be called upon to "get rid of Reagan". There was also a stillborn mission by Cuban agents to nip this problem in the bud in the 1960's... and assassinate him. There were three known attempts on Ronald Reagan's life before deranged lunatic John Hinckley shot him in 1981.

As California Governor in the late 1960's, Reagan was well-known for his outspoken views on topics ranging from campus radicalism to Cuba and the Soviet Union. He became the number one opponent of Berkeley radicals, whom he didn't hesitate to call "brats" and "freaks" at press conferences and in his speeches. 

In 1967, Secret Service agents fired upon two men lighting gasoline bombs next to Governor Reagan's mansion. Reagan's principled, patriotic stands soon earned him a spot on the hit-list of the Weather Underground... the group even kept a bullet with Reagan's name on it at their headquarters. These radicals were planning an armed, Marxist overthrow of the US Government, and they had contacts with the intelligence services of countries such as Cuba, Czechoslovakia, and North Vietnam. They had also collaborated with a Cuban agent on the 1968 plot (broken up by the FBI) to assassinate Reagan.

In the wake of his two-term presidency, it became apparent that Reagan's belief system, common-sense insights, principled leadership, and raw courage had won the expensive and dangerous Cold War without firing a shot... while simultaneously bringing this country eight of the best years' it's ever seen. 

Considering that Obama's fawning hacks in the MSM have found it useful to hijack the Reagan legacy for their own purposes lately, let's call them on that a bit: Never mind the fact that their political agendas couldn't be more opposite... just how does our current "leadership" fit into this story of valour, honor, and principle?

Unlike Reagan's brave political stands, which had earned him at best lost friends and public condemnation -and at worst a divorce and death threats- serial prevaricator Barack Obama has a record of adopting pragmatic, self-serving platforms that get him the power and positions that serve his aspirations... first and foremost. This of course includes support of -and promotion by- the Democratic Chicago Machine- one of the most corrupt in the country, and with whom BHO made no waves: just "get along to get ahead".


And there was no shame in seeking the support of powerful -yet controversial- Leftist figures in Chicago politics to aid his career and perhaps garnish some "street cred": anti-American racist Reverend Wright, Nation of Islam nut Louis Farrakhan, and shady political mover/racketeer Tony Rezko, among others got him started... today, it's on to the the big-time with hyper-rich socialist market-manipulator George Soros.

Obama also received an early boost from former bomb tossing members of the very same Weather Underground that had planned a Marxist overthrow of the US Government... and attempted to put a hit out on Ronald Reagan for years. Unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn (who had bombed numerous US Government buildings in the 1960's) actually hosted a meet-and-greet for Obama at their home in 1995... relevant due to the fact that a defiant Ayers insisted after the 9/11 Al Qaida terrorist attacks "I don't regret setting bombs."


Obama mentor Bill Ayers, 1968

During the 2008 presidential campaign , Obama distanced himself from all these controversial figures. Not too surprising, considering the ice-cold opportunism and lack of character this man has displayed throughout his political career- from thrown elections to gangster connections like Tony Rezko and the unsavory Giannoulis clan- whatever it takes. Obama will use anybody to get what he wants -typical narcissist- then treat them like yesterday's rubbish when they bring any heat or once the political value of the relationship has been depleted.

Obama had spoken during the 2008 campaign of reaching an accommodation with determined and aggressive foes of the United States, such as Iran and Syria, and has taken the same diplomatic tack since taking office.  Sadly, this is exactly the kind of appeasement of an insatiable enemy that Reagan called for ceaseless vigilance against. What else can a militarily and economically weaker nation like Iran, Syria, or North Korea- or a terrorist organization like Al Qaida- do to get their way with us, except to attempt to scare a majority of our electorate with frightening brinkmanship? Such a situation cries-out for a true leader... opposite of we've got now.


What a contrast this scheming Leftist snake Obama provides to towering success and time-proven principles of Ronald Reagan. Regardless of the current JournaList narrative, Obama is plainly no Reagan... and his backers mostly no friends of the United States. It's truly difficult to fathom just how far we've fallen under this regime... the current occupant of the WH Oval Office is pretty much everything ole Dutch tried to warn us about: 
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction; it's not something we pass along in our bloodstream. It must be fought-for, protected, and passed-along for them to do the same"
But today in America, constitutionally- aware patriots are standing-up and fighting, just like Ronald Reagan did in that 1946 Hollywood strike. And we will put this country back together, as we must: American liberty is not anyone's to take or give away... we owe it to future generations.

-God Bless Ronald Reagan for showing the way-


Happy Birthday, Mr President
____________________________________________

celebration at Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara today

14 comments:

Government Mess said...

Outstanding piece James! I had to link you and put this on FaceBook, Twitter and all my forums. I appreciate all your hard work. I don't have as much time to blog as I used to so I apologize for not stopping by as much as I would like. Keep up the amazing tireless work you are doing my friend. You are awesome! Have a great weekend bro!

Reaganite Republican said...

Wow- thanks GM, much obliged

Enjoy your weekend, sir-

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Great work RR! Happy 100th President Reagan!

Reaganite Republican said...

Yep- the actual date is the 6th, on Sunday... but Palin is doing the keynote that opens the weekends' activities at RRC tonight- I plan to post the speech here ASAP

Aurelius said...

Happy birthday President Reagan

Always On Watch said...

Excellent essay!

I'll be linking to this on February 6.

Reaganite Republican said...

Thanks, Always!

Amusing Bunni said...

This is excellent! Mr. Reagan was SO MUCH a better man, and President that the pretender could ever DREAM of being! Well done, RR.

Maggie Thornton said...

James, this is a masterpiece. I think the Reagan Library should hire you. Linked at my place.

Reaganite Republican said...

Thank you Bunni and Maggie~

Hey, the 100th only rolls-around once... something special, and so was he

No Sheeples Here! said...

@RR,

Splendid piece. I think you may have brought a smile to The Gipper's face with this post. It certainly brought one to mine.

Reaganite Republican said...

Thank you kindly, NoSheeples~ sure miss that ole guy

Red said...

It happened again! I posted on here that I linked you but no dice. Maybe my browser is freaking out. Grrr! Anyway, You and Carol were linked at Corndog yesterday.

Reaganite Republican said...

You're Good People, Red- I've always said that!

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