When it was over, Americans realized that behind Reagan’s friendly nature was a steely determination to protect our country against the threat of Soviet nuclear missiles. Just as today’s mainstream media is bent on undermining Trump’s call to put Americans first in our dealings with Mexico, the media of the 1980s were overwhelmingly pro-Gorbachev and anti-Reagan in their daily coverage.
Left-wing celebrities from around the world converged on Geneva to support the media narrative that a stubborn President Reagan was refusing to consider Gorbachev’s reasonable proposals for world peace. Congresswoman Bella Abzug, actress Jane Alexander and the inevitable Jesse Jackson were giving daily interviews. Phyllis Schlafly led a delegation of 25 distinguished women leaders to Geneva to support Reagan and American nuclear superiority. The media didn’t give them much coverage, but Reagan telephoned Phyllis afterwards to thank them for their support.
Reagan had been elected on a promise to “win” the Cold War against the Communist forces arrayed against America. Before Reagan, our country’s foreign policy was controlled by men like Henry Kissinger, who thought victory was impossible and that his job, as he famously told Admiral Zumwalt, was “to negotiate the most acceptable second-best position” for the United States.
After three decades of steady deterioration of America’s place in the world, Trump is the first candidate since Reagan who is comfortable using Reagan’s vocabulary of winning. Trump has pledged to make America “win” again, instead of being cheated and outmaneuvered by our adversaries and even our so-called allies.
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