On June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
Two years later, it fell, and Communism crumbled, a marvellous demonstration of the power of stating the obvious.
Reagan’s opponents considered him a simpleton.
But in fact he had a tremendous gift of clarity. He always knew the Soviet economy was a failure because central planning could not work.
He knew communism was a social failure because it could not satisfy the human spirit.
Despite the “sophisticated” commentators who argued for fundamental moral equivalence between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, Reagan knew the U.S.S.R. was an evil empire that needed barbed wire, machine guns and landmines to keep its inhabitants trapped in the “workers’ paradise”.
And he knew that it was right and useful to say so clearly and distinctly.
Maybe it’s worth trying again.
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