Pursuing Freedom and Democracy: Lessons from the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Cold War (1945–1991) was a crucial conflict in American and world history. At stake was whether the world would be dominated by the forces of totalitarianism, led by the Soviet Union, or inspired by the principles of economic and political freedom, embodied in the United States. Reagan knew that a power dependent upon the suppression and the oppression of its own people, as well as the people of other countries, could never endure. For Reagan, freedom would ultimately prevail, provided we adopted the right strategies and the right policies for our leadership of the world.

The victims of Communism demand accounting, apology, and repentance. Without such things, the age of Communism lives. Without such things, there remains a Berlin Wall, of the mind and spirit, that has not fallen. Pope John Paul II sparked a moral revolution, a revolution of conscience rooted in cultural reclamation, which eventually produced something that Communism simply could not handle: solidarity. Ideas and principles, friends and allies, leadership and statecraft all matter for governments who seek a political structure where liberty and justice are not just appreciated, but attained.

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