Robert Knight

When he launched the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), the elite media ridiculed it as “Star Wars.” They were so out of touch that they didn’t know most Americans loved that heroic film trilogy. In 1983, to liberal hysteria, Mr. Reagan proclaimed the Soviet Union “an evil empire.” Four years later, he went to Berlin and said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” More liberal hysteria. Two years later, in November 1989, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. By 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed.

In 1992, Vladimir Lukin, a Soviet foreign policy expert and ambassador to the U.S., admitted, said Mr. Roberts, that, “It is clear that SDI accelerated our catastrophe by at least five years.”

Meanwhile, amid liberal cries that Mr. Reagan was kicking orphans into the snow, America’s economy soared under his economic policies. Pretty good for an ignorant cowboy. I was at the L.A. Times working as a news editor during Mr. Reagan’s terms in the oval office. Many in the newsroom often expressed disgust, which signaled to me that he was doing the right thing.

By contrast, Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is appeasement, and his strategy for governing and for re-election is boilerplate Marxism: confiscatory taxation, income redistribution and class warfare: rich against poor; whites against blacks; Republicans against women; green activists against industrialists; homosexual activists against Christians and Jews; oil and coal companies against the planet, the Supreme Court against ObamaCare, and Occupy Wall Street against basic hygiene.

But this titanic cultural and political struggle we are undergoing is about more than Barack Obama. A litany of negative cultural influences has brought America to the brink of bankruptcy, decadence and decline. Anyone who isn’t brain dead knows that America is at a crossroads. Karl Marx believed that economics dictates culture. But it’s really the other way around. When people worship false gods, they lose their God-given freedoms and prosperity and fall into dependency.

The Left has turned government into a false god. If not countered by a citizenry versed in personal responsibility and God-given unalienable rights, that false god cripples its competitors – the family, churches and community groups – what Edmund Burke called the “little platoons” of civilization. ObamaCare’s attack on Catholic hospitals is only the beginning if that monstrous law is not overturned or repealed.

We don’t have to imagine what Ronald Reagan would have thought of ObamaCare. Long before he became president, he recorded a video against socialized medicine. You can find it at, the website of the Carleson Center for Public Policy – by clicking on “The Reagan Resolve,” a compilation of Mr. Reagan’s actions and statements on domestic policy that tell us what he would do if he were here today.

Mr. Reagan’s first deal with the Democrats was a promise of $3 in cuts for every new dollar in taxes. You can guess what happened. The tax hikes went into effect, but the cuts did not. In fact, spending went up. Mr. Reagan did not forget this. His subsequent policies led to the longest sustained recovery in history.

Unfortunately, his successors kept buying the liberal moonshine, hoping against history that they were dealing with honest brokers. When Republicans “reach across the aisle,” they come back looking like Captain Hook.

We are, indeed, in a titanic battle of worldviews. One of them will refloat America’s economy guided by the Constitution and America’s heritage, and the other will sink it like a rock. It’s too bad that tax time, which inspires reflection on government spending, is not closer to election day. Mr. Obama’s absurd attempt to compare himself to Ronald Reagan would be fresher in the public mind.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.