Paul  Weyrich

There was considerable reaction to my commentary as to why Hollywood is not producing movies on the 100 million people killed by Communism. The best e-mail was a one-sentence declaration. The gentleman said, "We'll get movies about the Communist atrocities when there are no more Communists in Hollywood." I had largely forgotten about that. Of course, leftists but actual Communists? I do not think so. When Ronald Reagan was President, all you had to do was say a magic word and he would tell you how he had fought the Communists and won. He was President of the Screen Actors Guild and as such co-operated with government authorities in tracking down the Communists and seeing to it that they paid for their wrong choice.

I saw President Reagan shortly before his summit meeting with President Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland. A number of us had expressed great concern lest the President give away SDI. His Chief of Staff had assembled a group of tough anti-Communists who he was sure would be reassured after they met with the President. Others danced around the issue. I put it right to the President. "We are concerned about your upcoming meeting with Mr. Gorbachev and we are fearful about the future of SDI." Rather then reassure us, Reagan launched into a long monologue about his having defeated the Hollywood Communists in the 1940s. He offered not one word of assurance to us about the upcoming summit.

What Reagan was trying to tell us was that he knew how to fight the Communists and he did not intend to lose. It turned out our fears were unfounded. When Gorbachev offered a deal to get rid of all offensive missiles pointed at the United States in return for our scrapping SDI Reagan walked away from Reykjavik with no deal. That bit of courage likely cost Republicans control of the Senate in 1986.

Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
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