“In the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Muslim world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, Egypt still cannot feed itself. … There stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.”
Those are Ronald Reagan’s words–just swap out “Muslim” for “Communist” and “Egypt” for “Soviet Union”–spoken in 1987, outside the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. This is the speech in which Reagan declared, “Mr. Gobachev, tear down this wall!” The full text of the actual speech is reprinted in Ronald Reagan: A Life in Photographs, the new book by Peter Robinson, who had a hand in crafting the speech–and who is my latest podcast victim.
Next week’s podcast: Bill Kristol on Irving Kristol.