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Alexander's Column

30 Years After USSR Collapse, Mindless Millennials Embrace Socialism

Ignorance is bliss — until it is not...

Mark Alexander · Nov. 11, 2019

November 9th marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall — and the precipitous disintegration of the tyrannical Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its East Block gulags.

I remember well President Ronald Reagan’s forceful remarks two years earlier. On 12 June 1987 at the Brandenburg Gate in then-West Berlin, he spoke pointedly to the Russian leader of the USSR. He demanded: “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Reagan spoke near the location where John Kennedy delivered his “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”) unification speech on 26 June 1963, but it took President Reagan to crush the Soviet empire without firing a Cold War shot, at least in open warfare. There were a great many American lives lost endeavoring to contain the communist threat, most notably in Korea and Vietnam.

A military colleague on our National Advisory Committee, Rob Locke, recounted that the Brandenburg Gate officially opened on 22 December 1989. That night, he and a friend, both in military uniform, crossed into East Berlin. They received a very different welcome reception compared to the one for which they had spent their previous decade training.

President Reagan’s speechwriter, Peter Robinson, now a Hoover Institution fellow, observed that State Department officials wanted Reagan’s bold call for Liberty struck from his speech. However, notes Robinson: “After the Berlin Wall toppled … Reagan’s words … came to define a turning point in U.S.-Soviet relations. What was once deemed audacious had become auspicious.”

A day ahead of this weekend’s anniversary, a statue of President Reagan was unveiled at the U.S. embassy in Berlin. Donald Trump’s U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, dedicated the embassy terrace overlooking the Brandenburg Gate in President Reagan’s name, and that is where his statue will reside, despite objections from the German government.

Some European nations have institutionalized historical ignorance…

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was a young Army tank commander in West Germany at the time of Reagan’s Brandenburg remarks, channeled his advocacy for freedom in his own comments at the ceremony dedicating the statue. Pompeo rebuked “former KGB officer” Vladimir Putin and described how Russia continues to “invade its neighbors and slay political opponents.”

I have been in the belly of the Soviet beast more than a few times in my career and know firsthand the consequences of socialist tyranny. In stark contrast to the efforts to secure our southern border, the Berlin Wall, like the rest of the Soviet block border, served the purpose of keeping people IN, not out.

However, today, largely as the result of influence by the relentless leftward march of the Socialist Democrat Party and their echo chambers in academia, almost 70% of Millennials say they would vote for a socialist candidate. They have inherited the Liberty they take for granted, not earned it, and have been led far astray by populist politicos like Bernie Sanders and there legions of “useful idiots. Fully a third of those young people say they approve of communism.

Ignorance is bliss — until it is not…

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