None of the self-styled Realists understood why Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech caused such uproar. Something that is less noted is the titanic boost it gave to opponents of the regime in the Soviet Empire.
Let me first talk about the Realist Uncle. Those who worked in the samizdat movement would often say that their worst enemy was not the regime, but their Realist Uncle. On television you would often see a Soviet family sitting around the dinner table talking. We used to do that. We would sit at the dinner table for an hour or two and talk before going tot he other rooms.
What we did not know was that in Russia, there WERE no other rooms. You sat at the table until you moved it and went to bed. So here you were, risking imprisonment with a tiny illegal publication. If you were caught, your Realist Uncle would, at best, lose his permit to live in Moscow. His not reporting you was a felony.
And your Realist Uncle was an old man, who thought he represented Wisdom and, of course, Realism. You listened to him attack you as a daydreamer for the entire evening around the table, pointing out Soviet Power.
Reagan was exactly what your Realist Uncle was NOT. He proclaimed the Soviet Empire was Evil, which meant that it was not a natural thing, but a blot on the face of the earth. The term “Evil Empire” made the USSR mortal. It was no longer one of the two natural superpowers that EVERY, and I mean EVERY “Realist” said would coexist forever with the West. Countries that routinely killed people trying to escape from them were Evil. Reagan had to put “Mr. Gorbeczev, tear down this Wall!” into his Berlin speech THREE TIMES when his staff marked it out.
The Realists on his staff took it out.
Where in the hell have these “realists” BEEN the last forty years?
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