President Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign ran a 30 second TV commercial titled “The Bear.” The video was simply a bear walking slowly through a forest. The narration was equally simple: “There is a bear in the woods. For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don’t see it at all. Some people say the bear is tame. Others say it’s vicious and dangerous. Since no one can really be sure who’s right, isn’t it smart to be as strong as the bear? If there is a bear.” At the end of the narrative a man appeared on screen and the bear retreated.
The ad was devastatingly effective because the American people easily recognized the message. The Russian bear was roaming the world looking for countries and societies to swallow and force into a global communist “workers paradise.” President Reagan had been a lifelong opponent of communism, while American liberals were boosters of the Kremlin Commissars and vociferous opponents of Reagan, and any American politician who stood strong against communist imperialism.
Since at least 1968 the mainstream of the Democrat Party has been knee-jerk in its opposition to American anti-communism and equally knee-jerk in its support of Russian expansionism and mischief making around the globe. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, then America’s ambassador to the U.N., coined the phrase “Blame America First” to describe the Democrats at the 1984 GOP Convention. She was 100 percent correct and by 1984 the American electorate instinctively understood that. This understanding greatly contributed to Reagan’s 49 state sweep in the election.
Which brings us to the current Democrat hysteria about Russian “hacking” of our recent election – a pure fiction – and their artificial horror that President Trump has been civil to Russian President Putin. Here are two predictions you can take to the bank about all this: 1) The Democrat disdain for Russian authoritarianism is 100 percent phony, as 21st century American liberalism is indistinguishable from Russian totalitarianism; and 2) At the first sign that the Commie Cossaks in Moscow are at odds with President Trump on any policy, the Democrats will pivot on a dime and revert to their slogan of “no enemies on the Left” which has guided their foreign policy positions for 50 years. Trump will be the bully and Putin the aggrieved good guy.
For those looking for a bit of déjà vu, feast on some of the epithets (for UCLA grads that means mean words) thrown at President Reagan.
“He has always been drawn to radical activities. He has a propensity toward right wing radical activities … a flawed person with a defective mind … Reagan has a bully syndrome, combined with a very inadequate personality … it’s a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous combination.” – Former CIA Director John Stockwell.
I listed this first so those with short attention spans can add some perspective to the current cow pies being thrown at President Trump by our “intelligence” agencies.
“He is the most dangerous person ever to come this close to the presidency … he is a menace to the human race.” – The Nation” magazine.
This rag is still publishing, and as you might guess said almost exactly the same thing about Donald Trump.
“He is shallow, superficial and frightening” – Time magazine.
Hmm, now where have I heard that recently?
“He’s a criminal who used the Constitution as toilet paper.” – Actor John Cusack, proving that the current generation of Hollywood “stars” is not the first to be brain dead.
Though there’s tons more I think you get the idea. But there’s one more historical tidbit that should not be overlooked in a conversation about Russia, America and elections. That is the fact that the waddling sot from Massachusetts – Senator Ted Kennedy – Democrat hero and role model to testosterone overloaded Democrats everywhere, directly – yes directly – asked the Kremlin Commissars to help defeat Reagan for re-election.
In 1984 communist aggression was still in full flower around the globe, from Afghanistan to Africa to Central America. Because of KGB files released after the collapse of the Soviet Union (thank you Ronald Reagan), we now know that the last “Camelot” torch bearer took time out from his pastimes of mainlining Scotch and drowning his secretarial staff to make secret overtures to the KGB to thwart Reagan’s re-election.
According to the February 2, 1992 “London Times,” “In a letter addressed to then-Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov, dated May 14, 1983, KGB head Viktor Chebrikov explained that Kennedy was eager to ‘counter the militaristic policies’ of Reagan.” Former Sen. John Tunney, D-Calif., who was Kennedy’s law school roommate at the University of Virginia, traveled to Moscow on May 9 and 10, 1983, just days before Chebrikov’s letter, presumably to make the plea in person.
This is not to imply that “Teddy” was a communist – he was not. He was a drunk and a whore-monger whose meager IQ points were easily overpowered by ambition and Johnny Walker Red. But is most certainly is to state unequivocally that the current Democrat shock at Russia taking an active interest in our elections is 100 percent phony. The Kennedy / KGB story has been in circulation without credible refutation for a decade or more.
I have no qualms about how President Trump will deal with Vladimir Putin. Trump and Putin will deal with each other as George Patton and the Russian General did in that memorable scene from “Patton,” when they finally agreed to toast the end of the war “one SOB to another.”
And while it is refreshing to hear that the Democrats finally acknowledge the existence of a dangerous bear in the world, and nice that they actually say something bad about Russia – we’ve been waiting only 50 years for them to do so – that tune will change the nanosecond that President Trump is at odds with Putin.
The Democrats will revert to their default foreign policy stance – regardless of the adversary or circumstance, the United States is wrong. There is no bear. Happily President Trump will be leading an America with a newly invigorated self respect and armed forces ready to oppose the bear, ISIS and any other threat to America’s freedoms. Amazing grace.
Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.