Man Without Qualities

Sunday, June 06, 2004

On Never Learning

The apparently infinitely recalcitrant New York Times editorializes:

Looking back now, we can trace some of the flaws of the current Washington mindset - the tax-cut-driven deficits, the slogan-driven foreign policy - to Mr. Reagan's example.

Yes, those tax-cut-driven deficits that formed an integral part of policies the somehow restored the United States to prosperity, and that slogan-driven foreign policy that somehow turned out to be essentially correct when the Soviet Union dissolved and the Russians started confessing its misdeeds wholesale.

Has the person who wrote this editorial never been to Russia or consulted with any Russians or other people from the former Soviet Union? There don't seem to be many of them who would choose to accuse Ronald Reagan of having maintained a slogan-driven foreign policy. Most Russians seem to pretty much say he got the major points all right the first time around - and thank God he did.

Mr. Reagan had vision, enough vision to see many things as they were and to see where they were headed. That was especially true in foreign policy - where his keen observations and predictions were routinely dismissed by the Times as "slogans." Mr. Reagan was very unlike the New York Times, which began its coverage of what would become the Soviet Union by missing the real story of the Bolshevik Revolution because its writers and editors "were nervously excited by exciting events" (as Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz wrote in 1920), and ended its coverage of the Soviet Union by denying that predictions (including Mr. Reagan's) of its impending end were more than ignorant, partisan "slogans". Indeed, the Times persisted in its denials almost up to the day that misbegotten pseudo-nation dissolved and consigned itself to the dustbin of history - admitting it had been an "Evil Empire" all along.

This hilarious editorial proves that even years after the fact the Times is still incapable of seeing things that Ronald Reagan saw so clearly and correctly when they still lay years in the future.

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