The bestselling author of America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, Mark Steyn publishes regularly in National Review, the Washington Times, and Investors' Business Daily and in venues in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Hollywood writer and producer Rob Long began his career as a screenwriter for the hit television show "Cheers." He writes a regular column for National Review magazine and records a weekly radio spot, "Martini Shot," for KCRW in Los Angeles. Mr. Long is also editor-in-chief of Ricochet.com, a center-right website.
Reviewing clips of Ronald Reagan's speeches, Long and Steyn reflect on Reagan's relevance to issues confronting America today. Speaking of Reagan's "The Last Stand on Earth" address, Steyn remarks on "how easily you can pick up the argument [made in 1964 about the threat of Soviet communism] and drop it right down into the current circumstances [the threat of Islamic extremism]." They further review Reagan's positions on socialized medicine, the Constitution (and what Steyn terms "the persistence of the monarchical urge"), and government spending. Finally Long and Steyn challenge Newt Gingrich's assertion that "it is time to let Ronald Reagan go. Not from our reverent memory of course, but as our touchstone, as our icon, as our hallmark, and our reference point."
Rob Long is a writer and producer in Hollywood. He began his career writing on TV's long-running "Cheers," and served as co-executive producer in its final season. During his time on the series, "Cheers" received two Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globe awards. His most recent television series were "George and Leo," starring Bob Newhart and Judd Hirsh, "Love & Money," on CBS, and "Men, Women & Dogs," on the WB Network - all three of which he created with his writing partner, Dan Staley. Their production company, Staley/Long Productions, was based at Paramount Studios from 1993 to 2001, and is currently based at Touchstone. In addition, he and his partner have served as creative consultants on numerous programs.
Mr. Long has been twice nominated for an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, and has received a Writers Guild of America award.
He has co-written several feature film scripts, including "Just a Shot Away," currently in pre-production with a France-based production company.
He is a contributing editor of National Review, and Newsweek International and writes occasionally for the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. His weekly radio commentary, "Martini Shot," is broadcast on the Los Angeles public radio station KCRW, and is distributed nationally. He is a regular political and cultural commentator on the "Dennis Miller Show" on CNBC, and "Day to Day" on National Public Radio.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, "Uncommon Knowledge."
Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life; It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP; and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA.
Mark Steyn is a writer, political commentator, and cultural critic.
He has written five books, including America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, a New York Times bestseller.
Ronald Reagan.Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library(born Feb. 6, 1911, Tampico, Ill., U.S.died June 5, 2004, Los Angeles, Calif.) 40th president of the U.S. (198189). He attended Eureka College and worked as a radio sports announcer before going to Hollywood in 1937. In his career as a movie actor, he appeared in more than 50 films and was twice president of the Screen Actors Guild (194752, 195960). In the mid-1950s he became a spokesman for the General Electric Co.; he hosted its television theatre program from 1954 to 1962. Having gradually changed his political affiliation from liberal Democrat to conservative Republican, he was elected governor of California in 1966 and served two terms. In 1980 he defeated incumbent Pres. Jimmy Carter to become president. Shortly after taking office, he was wounded in an assassination attempt. His administration adopted policies based on supply-side economics in an effort to promote rapid economic growth and reduce the federal deficit. Congress approved many of his proposals (1981), which succeeded in lowering inflation but doubled the national debt by 1986. He began the largest peacetime military buildup in U.S. history; in 1983 he proposed construction of the Strategic Defense Initiative. His administration concluded a treaty with the Soviet Union to restrict intermediate-range nuclear weapons, conducted a proxy war against Nicaragua through its support of the Contras, and invaded Grenada ostensibly to prevent the island nation from becoming a Soviet outpost. He was reelected by a large margin in 1984. Beginning in 1986, the Iran-Contra Affair temporarily weakened his presidency. Though his intellectual capacity for governing was often disparaged by his critics, his affability and artful communication skills enabled him to pursue numerous conservative policies with conspicuous success, and his tough stance toward the Soviet Union is often credited with contributing to the demise of Soviet communism. In 1994 he revealed that he had Alzheimer disease.
>>The happiness to which you refer is not a healthy one, rather an perpetual state of childhood where person responsibility and individual charity is taken up by the government.
this is exactly the black-and-white-worldview i was criticising.
your second sentence is neither grammatically correct nor based on facts.
europe is declinig in creativity?
...what the %@("!?
economic decline? opposed to the health of the us-economy?
demographic decline? so? what? white people in the US will be a minority soon. check your own demographics. also, do you want there to be 29475696345723682568 trillion billion people living on planet earth? why? because bigger is better?
this is black-and-white BS.
But thanks for prooving my point...
@poultine: The conditions of America, especially for African Americans improved substantially under Reagan while Socialism has been the death of the Soviet union and very soon Europe and Canada. An idea is only outdated if it has failed, which the welfare state has.
@amu: The weakness and decay of urban America and the steady loss of rights under the expansion of government are perfectly good reasons to dislike socialism and big government. If an argument is still valid, why should it have to be made in an original way?
@Fora2: I don't care if universal health care is cheaper than it's privatized counterpart. It's how much it fails in performance is what concerns people, not to mention how it gives more power to the countries political elite."Our system is crippling American business and just making insurance companies rich", um, I believe that the democrats who have controlled congress for the past three presidential terms should be held accountable for not letting insurance companies compete at a state level which would avoid that problem altogether .
@Sokratez: The happiness to which you refer is not a healthy one, rather an perpetual state of childhood where person responsibility and individual charity is taken up by the government. It does not result in creativity and productive society. Also the nanny state that you want America to "wake up to" is largely responsible for demographic, economic and creative decline of Europe and Japan. No thanks.
@email@example.com: I would be disappointed if we did not cover the health care of our commander in chief. He was able understand why most Americans are better off choosing privatized health care in the long run regardless.
I laughed so hard listening to this my sides hurt. This buffoon, this utter clown, this traitor to our country actually, Ronald Reagan, railing against socialized medicine. HE WAS COVERED UNDER UNION, OR GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE HIS ENTIRE LIFE ! Good enough for him, but just not good enough for us saps.
And the follow up, what utter morons. Canadians live three years longer than we do !
These anti-government morons would have us live without any government, indeed privatize everything, right ? I mean the private sector is such a huge success ! Other than the utter failure of the auto industry, the banking industry, the airline industry, and countless other failures for which the government had to bail them out.
Let me quote this right wing messiah, Ronald Reagan, in reverse "Private industry is not the solution, it's the problem" !
The reason Steyn is beating up on Obama's ideas, compared to Reagan's is twofold. First, because Obama's ideas are no different, really, from a lot of Progressive ideas of the early 20th century, which, at bottom, are not a lot different from true right-wing collectivist ideas of the Middle Ages.
Marxism, the root of Progressivism, is Hegelian to a large degree - that history has a direction, that wealth is generated from natural resources and sweat. That's pretty much the view of any duke, monarch or bishop of a thousand years before, only with more sophisticated reasoning, prose and carefully chosen historical examples.
Reagan's position on the Soviet Union and on freedom really were pretty ground-breaking (by that I mean between the end of the 18th century and the end of the 20th century). Between those two points you had a lot of philosophies focused on centralizing power. Before Reagan, the Western world had accepted detente as the way to deal with Socialism: that is, live with it guardedly. After Reagan, the position was, "we can beat this thing.
The second reason is this: Collectivists tend to draw a binary distinction between collectivism and liberty. This is fallacious. Collectives aim in very few directions. That's one reason why Marxist governments of the 20th century kept running into the same things: demagoguery, racism (yes, round-eye gringo), nationalism (you yanqui), mass murder, starvation, etc. Smaller collectives are not, generally, so brutal, but they must either remain isolated (island tribes) or they begin to fall apart and die off (Shakers, Kibbutzim) because people start to realize they're being had. On a large scale, they collapse into repression and violence, or servility candy-coated with libertinism (which is different from liberty). I add this last one because when Americans talk to Europeans about freedom, you often hear about how Scandinavians run around topless or some such. That's nice - also enjoyable - but that culture also misses the profound point that the difference between liberty and libertinism is that the former has a component of responsibility.
YOU are free, but you are at risk, and therefore you must provide for yourself. Libertinism says, "gimme." One way to gimme was to import lots and lots of Northern Africans and other such Muslims. Who, by the way, are not as fond of topless beauties in public as maybe you or I. (Which means Europe's clock is ticking.)
But liberty works differently from collectivism, and that's why it is always fresh. If you're a Progressive, and you truly respected freedom, you'd be happy using your own resources - your own sweat, natural resources, and more importantly, your mind - for your own ends and for those causes you thought admirable. So if you thought abortion clinics should be funded, for example, you'd do it. You would not require me to do it. (We'll leave aside the thorny question of whether it is right or wrong, or how one assumes to know what a human being is as opposed to a mere human, or how far we want to take utilitarian arguments.) If I didn't believe in such a project, I might put my resources into to promoting adoption.
We would both be free to do as we please. This is why it is an outright lie to call Reagan a right-winger. It is true that he supported regimes that were right of center, but in every case I can recall (I may be wrong) they were closer to the center (liberty) than the left-wing regime supported by the Soviets. Put another way (and some of these examples do not involve Reagan, but I hope you see my point), neither the Republic of South Viet Nam, South Korea or Taiwan were what we'd call free democracies until recently and only two of those.
Would you rather have lived under the corrupt buffoons of South Viet Nam or under the North Vietnamese? Would you rather live under the military regime of Lon Nol in Cambodia, or under the Khmer Rouge? Would you rather have lived under what was essentially a dictatorship in Taiwan or would you rather be swapping dead infants as your last food source in mainland China? Would you rather be working in a plant today selling Americans Hyundais or would you rather be scraping ice cabbage out of the ground with your bare hands in a prison camp near the Yalu River in North Korea?
Now, I had seen mention a couple of times about the differences between European and American healthcare, rankings, prices and such like.
Let me just address these quickly:
1. Whenever you see a ranking you must ask for who did it and the methodology. Within agreeable context, there is no value to the ranking. They're just words.
2. That being said, there is a standard for one facet of healthcare that I think is fairly universal, being that it is decided upon by international input and generally not vigorously disputed: the Nobel Prize for Medicine. If you look at the list of prize winners from the late 60s to today, you will notice a preponderance of Americans. Odd, considering the supposed dearth of American health coverage. What does it tell you? It tells you that Americans are the ones innovating, and probably bearing the cost of innovation. An example of this is Canadian prescription drug coverage. The Canadians like to tell us they pay far less for prescription drugs (more on prices in a bit). But margins are margins and profits are profits and investment cash is investment cash, so what's really happening is that Canada is basically using buying power and patent enforcement to strong arm pharmas. But the cost doesn't go away. Instead, Americans pay it, resulting in a price swing from Canadians to Americans.
3. Scandinavians often neglect to mention that they are oil countries with tiny populations. Having buckets of money for a relatively small demographic allows certain advantages when it comes to disbursing funds. They had the oil curse and turned it into an advantage. Unlike, say, Venezuela or Mexico, both of which produce tons of oil, are very left-wing and suck.
4. Europeans as a whole neglect to remember the principle of substitution and the cost of America's military presence. (Brought about because of European stupidity, by the way.) If America pumps billions and billions of dollars into defending Europe every year, it is wealth Europeans can spend on flouncy things like health care. Again, you see a swing from one country to the next. Should America do what Europeans so often tell it to do - withdraw from the world - Europe's budgets would either collapse or Russia would start salivating again.
5. The price you pay for healthcare is not the price you pay for healthcare. You must first actually figure out what the total costs are - including all the taxes. Your out of pocket expenses are meaningless until you do that. The other thing you should do - and this is hard - is be honest about the true cost of innovation and the effects of other distortions. In the U.S. for example, we subsidize Medicare and Medicaid when we go to the hospital. It's a complex system of various parties (the government, the insurers, the hospitals, the people on Medicare/caid the average Joe) lying to one another about what the cost of treatment is. The result is waste, distrust and higher prices. It's not the result of the free market. It's the result of meddling with price signals.
Finally, first principles: Collectivism is merely the imperialism of your neighbor. It isn't any more noble than that. It doesn't matter so much whether it's justified by a monarchy, a theocracy, or the dictatorship of the proletariat (ok, the dictatorship of a clique that claims to act for the proletariat). We are, by all evidence, individuals. We have our own DNA, our own origins, our own dreams and our own, individual, deaths. That anyone should desire to be the master of another person's possession of those things is ipso facto evidence of their evil. That's all the justification against Socialism that is needed.
I may be wrong but it seems that my deathly prose has been found wanting. Never the less, I stand by each and every single word I wrote.
However, I don't intend to waste time answering such a torrent of vitriol, hatred, not mention childish and obscene language, masking as rational argument. Your tone only reveals the mind of a petulant adolescent who, after having been found to be a fraud, blindly strikes out in anger.
In the words of Mark Levin, constitutional lawyer and a nationally syndicated broadcaster, America is now living under a soft tyranny that must be resisted and turned back before its too late. You would do well to read his all time best selling book, Liberty and Tyranny. There will find a reason, logic aplenty for what I have written. It will take, however, an open mind and the courage to confront your undoubted strongly held beliefs.
To be exact, as a Dutchman I have to pay €120 per month for full health care coverage and the quality of the medical system is ranking fourth in the world. The health insurance company is a self-chosen private company. The packages are slightly different and you can get special options too.
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
Many in this nation and abroad have not studied history and are blissfully unaware that what Obama is proposing nothing new, but simply warmed over socialism.
No, on the contrary, I'm rooting for America to finally make it into the 21st century.
USA! USA! USA!
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
Obamas' whole purpose was to try to out do his hero Franklin Roosevelt
Where do you guys get this stuff? Seriously, your argument is that all Obama ever wanted is to set some kind of guinness record?!? Seriously? Do you want to seriously participate in a discussion or was that just another Glenn-Beck-Style-Joke?
I can do funny. I can be very funny. And you just asked for it...
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
Unless your are native born American it is hard to understand the passion we hold for freedom and independence.
Well, if you're talking about white men killing native Americans, then I sympathize. But if all you know is American history, then you'll look like a fool talking like that to a native Australian - they got killed by white men too, you know? And do you think after all Germany, Christians, Romans, etc. did to the Jews they do not understand the passion for freedom and independence?!? And the Afghan people, who have been invaded more times than anyone can count?!? Ever heard about Apartheid? The French Revolution? Jesus Christ ...
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
As our founding document, The Declaration of Independence said, we declared that we have the right to Life, liberty and the "pursuit" of happiness.
yeah, and health care is really just for "happiness" - "life" has nothing to do with it. (sarcasm, in case you do not get that) ... and does it really say "pursuit" in quotes? Or did you add those quotes to make "your" point? How about if "I" put something in quotes, like that: we have the "right" to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Meaning of course that while you have the "right" to whine all you want here on Fora, that doesn't mean that a magical Reagan-Zombie will dig itself out of it's grave and give you a b**wjob… or any other governmental institution will actually *do* anything to protect you from Russia. Having the "right" to something after all does not mean that you should get it for free, provided by a paternalistic nanny-state, right? Just because you have a "right" to life doesn't mean that companies cannot sell deadly poison labled as "wellness-food". That's your logic! Your logic! Not very logical, but still yours!
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
Happiness is a construct of the human spirit. It lies deeply in all of us. Its interpretation and implementation is up the individual NOT to any paternalistic nanny state, no matter how well intended.
No, it is not. Dogs can be happy, too. It's a dogma. Get it?
But you are right, it is up to us, to decide what we want. Every once in a while we all gather together and talk about it, and if a big majority decides to do something cool, then we will do it! That's the essence of democracy. Why do I get the distinct feeling that you just don't get that?
So, its interpretation and implementation is up to the individual, not the state?
So the right for "life", its interpretation and implementation is up to the individual, not the state? So the right for "liberty", its interpretation and implementation is up to the individual, not the state? So, no more military? After all, you wouldn't want a paternalistic nanny state, protecting and fighting for you little babys, now would you?
Or are you making a more general point: The government must not implement anything that is in the Declaration of Independence. That's what you're saying, "right"? But according to your own argument, isn't that exactly what Obama is doing?!? It just doesn't make any sense to me... Sorry...
Also, I just realized you misquoted the Declaration of Independence and left out the term "unalienable", which according to my dictionary means among other things that you must never pay for it. Now that's something we could talk about, but I suspect that would be too "constructive" for your taste...
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
Now at last the American public have awaken to the mortal danger that Obama poses for this country.
Smear-campaigns by FOX and propaganda paid for by greedy CEOs, that's what you call "waking up"? I'd call it propaganda...
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
The prospect of the bringing the failed Socialist models, especially in Medicine, of Europe are starting to be felt by the general public.
I like my health care, I can afford my health care, no matter what. Knowing, that I do only have to worry about my health, and not about how I can pay for it, makes me very happy. By the way: I am a customer of a private health insurance company, and knowing that I can switch to another company anytime makes me feel even better. I believe you'd call that "free market", but if that is a concept unknown to you, no worries. Oh, and just for the record, I know you're not going to believe me, because obviously FOX is your personal Jesus, but social programs in Europe, Canada, the South-Americas, Africa, Australia and Asia – well, everywhere except the US and the Moon - are doing just nicely. Yes, costs are always a problem. But stopping to eat, just because you'd rather spend your money on shoes, well, I invite you to try it sometime. And food is just one example of the things we so called "socialists" just like to not have to worry about too much. It's the 21st century after all... I do not want to work like a slave on the field 14 hours a day just to feed my family. We also don't like acid rain, or uranium in out drinking water, or how fast people are driving in front of a kindergarden or school, or whether people can just shoot each other on the street.
We have rules for that, AND SO DO YOU! Just because we have 6 rules and you have only 5 DOES NOT MAKE EUROPE SOCIALIST!!!
There are things I can do in the US, which I cannot in Germany, but there are also thinks I can do in Germany, which I cannot in the US. I don't understand how that makes us bad and you good. Just like I never understood my grandpa when he talked about "the evil Jew", I don't understand Americans talking about "the evil Socialists".
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
The only question is how much damage will be done to our beloved country before the electorate finally wakes up from this nightmare.
Didn't you just say that they did already wake up? Are you rotating reality every time you say another sentence so it fits the point you wanna make? Never mind, I know you do, because I, too, watch Glenn Beck :-p
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
you will see how we plan to disrupt, delay, and if necessary, sabotage his disastrous attempt to take over American medicine. [...]
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
Yeah, well, there's just a tiny-little-bit of nonsense here. America isn't a tyranny. You know, there was this independence thing, and something called democrazy, I think that's when people like to demonstrate, oh never mind...
Obama was elected by the people! It's called democracy!
Voting and stuff, you know?
Sure, we can debate if a cruel tyranny is better or worse than one based on good intentions. We can also debate if there is a teapot in orbit of mars. It's just, you know, that the US isn't a tyranny, so making that point just shows that you live in a dream world.
If you disrupt society and sabotage the will of the people, then maybe *you* prefer tyranny.
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
We are "Americans" not British and certainly not of the gene pool of a effete and decaying Europe.
Wow, now you sound like a Nazi, nice going...
Originally Posted by VLDdeSan
If you are not American do not try to understand us.
Right, lets be more ignorant towards each other, because that solved a lot of problems in the past, like Slavery and Women's Rights, Child Labour, the Holocaust, ...
I posted some comments on several boards prior to the 2008 election. The subject was the awful prospect for my country if Obama was elected. I wrote then that I knew that I spoke for millions of Americans who were genuinely fearful for the future of the United States with Obama as President. I said at the time that his initiatives, if enacted, will do lasting harm to the safety and welfare of the country.
Many in this nation and abroad have not studied history and are blissfully unaware that what Obama is proposing nothing new, but simply warmed over socialism. Obamas' whole purpose was to try to out do his hero Franklin Roosevelt, by further increasing the cancerous intrusion of the federal government in all our lives. It is a indisputable fact of history that with few exceptions, virtually every thing Roosevelt did in the economic sphere, from 1932 onwards, failed. His policies ended up prolonging the depression for millions of innocent Americans. Unfortunately, we are repeating the exact same mistakes of the past.
The previous poster, Sokratez, said that he will never understand Americans. In a way I sympathize with his plight. Unless your are native born American it is hard to understand the passion we hold for freedom and independence. As our founding document, The Declaration of Independence said, we declared that we have the right to Life, liberty and the "pursuit" of happiness. Happiness is a construct of the human spirit. It lies deeply in all of us. Its interpretation and implementation is up the individual NOT to any paternalistic nanny state, no matter how well intended.
Now at last the American public have awaken to the mortal danger that Obama poses for this country. The prospect of the bringing the failed Socialist models, especially in Medicine, of Europe are starting to be felt by the general public. Obama and the circle of deluded fools that he has assembled for his administration are beginning to fail, like all collectivists and socialists have in the past. The only question is how much damage will be done to our beloved country before the electorate finally wakes up from this nightmare.
If the Republicans take the House of Representatives in November, as polls currently predict, one of the first measures planned will be to "defund" Obamacare. I won't try to explain what that means here but I assure you that this will be a top priority of a new Republican Majority in the House and perhaps even the Senate. Go to Google and input "Obama defund health care law" and you will see how we plan to disrupt, delay, and if necessary, sabotage his disastrous attempt to take over American medicine. Reagan was all too right when he warned us. Now its up to us to "right" this precious Republic we inherited before its too late.
Sokratez would be better served if he remembered the warning of one of Britain's greatest writers, C.S. Lewis, when he wrote: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
We are "Americans" not British and certainly not of the gene pool of a effete and decaying Europe. If you are not American do not try to understand us. Just wait and watch in the coming months when hopefully the dismantling of Obama's tyranny will begin. Then, perhaps some glimmer who and what we truly are will finally penetrate your blindness and cynicism.
Regan was very good in "painting the world in black and white", and then utterly destroying one side and embracing the other.
For Example (Part 07. Reagan on the Rise of Big Government):
The fat/thin-statement. So according to Regan most people think that way. Therefore most people want big government. So big government makes people happy with government programs, people want more programs, programs get bigger, more people get to be happy. Therefore socialism is bad, because it makes people happy and it grows, and that's bad. Every real American knows that.
And what was the response from Mr Long: "The guy is just great!"
I can only shake my head, because I just don't understand Americans...
The U.S ranks 32nd in overall health care, just behind Costa Rica? Every other industrialized nation has 'universal health care' at half the cost??
Avg. U.S. cost is $6,000+ per person. Avg. in Japan, France, Britain, Italy, Germany, etc., is $3,000 per person or less.
Some countries use government run systems. Some, like Japan, use private "non-profit" insurance. All have complete coverage at half the cost.
Our system is crippling American business and just making insurance companies rich.