“These are the values inspiring those brave workers in Poland. The values that have inspired other dissidents under Communist domination who have been willing to go into the Gulag and suffer the torture of imprisonment because of their dissidence. They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost. They remind us that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. You and I must protect and preserve freedom here or it will not be passed on to our children and it would disappear everywhere in the world. Today the workers in Poland are showing a new generation how high is the price of freedom but also how much it is worth that price.”
– Ronald Reagan, kicking off his presidential campaign with a Labor Day speech at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey. Delivered 1 September 1980.
* I saw a point on this the other day. Who, other than Reagan, can Republicans point to as an icon? There’s really nobody. So, given that, and given the main voice of conservative thought today (Fox), it’s not the least bit surprising the actual acts of Reagan are so far removed from the ideological whitewashing that has been imposed on his actions after he left office.