Last week was the thirtieth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech before the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando Florida (on March 8, 1983). Today, Russia is just as evil, and has been governed for an extended period as the USSR never was by a proud KGB spy. But if you look to the current occupant of the White House for leadership in this continuing battle with evil, you look in vain.
In his famous speech, Reagan boldly declared of the Russians:
They preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth. They are the focus of evil in the modern world. So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.
Even if Barack Obama doesn’t, the people of Russia and the members of the U.S. Congress know how little has changed since then.