A Lesson From Ronald Reagan via David Gergen


Former Reagan adviser and Establishment figure David Gergen was on CNN among the numerous, usual talking heads discussing President Obama’s recent speech and Trump’s numerous comments on Islam.

Gergen brought up the moment when Reagan declared the Soviet Union an evil empire, comparing it to the moment Trump called the Orlando shooter a radical Islamist terrorist.

Back in the early 1980s, President Reagan was trying to decide whether to call the Soviet Union an evil empire. I was among those who urged him not to do that on his staff. I thought it was wrong. I thought it would upset the Soviets.”

Gergen was mistaken and even said so. It was nice to see him acknowledge his error.

“I think in retrospect I was wrong. He used the term. I think it worked well.”

Thankfully, Gergen hasn’t been so insulated that he’s blind to everything, just nearly everything. Today, though, he finally got something right. Lucky us.

“Tony Dolan who was a speechwriter was the one who persuaded him. He had the better argument and that is rhetorically confronting, telling, having plain-spoken truth about what you’re facing helps to clarify and helps to strengthen your hand.”

Calling evil for what it is, calling it out, is a very necessary part of fighting it.




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