Chapter 16 - Reagan’s Freedom Strategy: Key Freedom Speeches, Public Diplomacy, Supporting Anti-Communist Resistance


Reagan’s extraordinary “must read” freedom speeches reviewed in this chapter include his inaugural addresses, his Notre Dame and “evil empire” speeches; his addresses to the British, European and Portuguese parliaments and the United Nations; and his “tear down this wall” speech in Berlin. Other speeches in Normandy, Hambach, and Moscow are reviewed in this chapter and in Part II chapters on Reagan’s overall revolutionary Cold War grand strategy of “peace and freedom” and “peace and strength” in confronting and defeating Soviet imperialism.

Public Speeches and Public Diplomacy. The dramatic speeches cited here and the Reagan Administration’s compelling related fact-filled public diplomacy reports, little known to current generations, are cited extensively in this book and are now readily accessible in its Internet Document Library. In expressing Reagan’s vision and leadership, and his faith in freedom and Divine Providence, the speeches and reports brought unprecedented moral and strategic elements of “soft” power to bear in informing and encouraging the American people and freedom forces around the globe to reshape existing Cold War realities by resisting the Soviet totalitarians and defending the cause of freedom, independence, and peaceful progress.

1. The Battle of Ideas: Freedom Strategy and Public Diplomacy

Throughout his political journey from labor union leader to broadcaster, governor, and president, Reagan spoke enthusiastically about his beloved America and its exceptional faith, experience, and responsibilities in advancing the cause of freedom against the anti-democratic and anti-humanitarian Soviet ideology and empire. Like Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963, Reagan could say, in contrast to many of his more pessimistic opponents, “I still have a dream” about America’s and freedom’s future.

Reagan: A Great Communicator and Great Emancipator. Reagan’s speeches, directives and public diplomacy documents reviewed in this chapter reflect a core emphasis of his Cold War strategy: i.e., what a free and strong America and other forces resisting the Communist totalitarians could bring to the world by securing and expanding the sphere of human freedom. Reagan’s freedom message took the Soviet Cold War challenge head-on in adding to other instruments of statecraft by pressing for fundamental changes required to open up the regime’s dragging, unwieldy central planning bureaucracy and its unworkable Communist blueprints.

[Book pg. 371]