Ronald Reagan: “Evil Empire”
Speach 8.3.1983 (Address to the National Association of Evangelicals)
There is sin and evil in the world, and we’re enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might. Our nation, too, has a legacy of evil with which it must deal. The glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past. For example, the long struggle of minority citizens…for equal rights, once a source of disunity and civil war is now a point of pride for all Americans. We must never go back. There is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country. . . .
During my first press conference as president, in answer to a direct question, I pointed out that, as good Marxist-Leninists, the Soviet leaders have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is that which will further their cause, which is world revolution. I think I should point out I was only quoting Lenin, their guiding spirit, who said in 1920 that they repudiate all morality that proceeds from supernatural ideas–that’s their name for religion–or ideas that are outside class conceptions. Morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of class war. And everything is moral that is necessary for the annihilation of the old exploiting social order and for uniting the proletariat.
Well, I think the refusal of many influential people to accept this elementary fact of Soviet doctrine illustrates an historical reluctance to see totalitarian powers for what they are. We saw this phenomenon in the 1930s. We see it too often today.
This doesn’t mean we should isolate ourselves and refuse to seek an understanding with them. I intend to do everything I can to persuade them of our peaceful intent, to remind them that it was the West that refused to use its nuclear monopoly in the forties and fifties for territorial gain and which now proposes 50 percent cut in strategic ballistic missiles and the elimination of an entire class of land-based, intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
At the same time, however, they must be made to understand: we will never compromise our principles and standards. We will never give away our freedom. We will never abandon our belief in God. [Long Applause] And we will never stop searching for a genuine peace, but we can assure none of these things America stands for through the so-called nuclear freeze solutions proposed by some. . . .
Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness–pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world. . . .
But if history teaches anything, it teaches that simpleminded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.
So, I urge you to speak out against those who would place the United States in a position of military and moral inferiority. You know, I’ve always believed that old Screwtape reserved his best efforts for those of you in the Church. So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride–the temptation of blithely..uh..declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.
I ask you to resist the attempts of those who would have you withhold your support for our efforts, this administration’s efforts, to keep America strong and free, while we negotiate–real and verifiable reductions in the world’s nuclear arsenals and one day, with God’s help, their total elimination.
While America’s military strength is important, let me add here that I’ve always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.
I believe we shall rise to the challenge. I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last–last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man.
- Annihilation – udryddelse
- Intermediate-range – mellemdistance
- Nuclear freeze solutions – aftaler om stop for udvikling af atomvåben
- Squandering – ødelægge
- Inferiority – underordning
- Screwtape – romanfigur (fra 1942) hos den kristne forfatter C.S. Lewis
- Temptation – fristelse
- Blithely – sorgløshed
- Analyser Ronald Reagans tale, ”Evil Empire”, fra 1983. Hvorledes argumenterer Reagan for, at Vesten er moralsk overlegen i forhold til Sovjetunionen? Hvad er forskellen mellem at tale om en modsætning mellem ”det gode” og ”det onde” i stedet for en modsætning mellem liberalisme og kommunisme eller mellem demokrati og diktatur? Hvilke stater, handlinger, holdninger, personer, idéer mm. nævner Reagan på det godes side? Og hvilke på det ondes side? Hvad var Reagans aktuelle politiske mål med talen?