Last week marked the 20th anniversary of Reagan's famous tare down the wall speech. Here in NH Rep. Jason Bedrick marked the occasion with a very passionate speech on the floor of the house. When it came time to printing the speech in the permanent journal of the house Rep Chuck Weed (along with a few others) shouted out loudly "No!". I and others have asked why. In a discussion on one online forum it was suggested that Rep Weed was clearly showing his support of communism, hence his attempts to prevent any negative remarks about it being put on record.
Here is the speech given by Rep. Bedrick:
On June 12, 1987, twenty years ago yesterday, President Ronald Reagan stood at Brandenburg Gate along the Berlin Wall in Germany and issued a challenge: “Gen. Sec. Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
Just two years later, that wall did fall and the Evil Empire came crashing down with it. But in its wake it had left death and destruction of an unimaginable scale.
Yesterday, on the anniversary of Reagan’s famous speech, the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington D.C. was dedicated to commemorate the more than one hundred million people murdered by communist regimes in the 20th century. Josef Stalin once said, “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.” Communism killed more people than Nazism, fascism and religious extremism combined. Were we to pause for a moment of silence for one second for every person who had been killed, we would be standing in this chamber for more than three years.
Ideas for the new monument abounded. Early proposals included a replica of the Berlin Wall, a Gulag prison, or a boat used by the Vietnamese or Cuban refugees. The final monument is a ten-foot bronze statue based on the “Goddess of Democracy” statue that Chinese dissidents built in Tiananmen Square in 1989 before tanks crushed them and their cause. This is especially fitting as a reminder that the world’s most populous nation is still not free today.
Anhthu Lu, a financial analyst in Virginia who left Vietnam on a boat as a young girl and who was a part of the memorial foundation, said: “We need to educate people about the terror of Communism and continue to eradicate it from the world.”
Indeed, this memorial is meant to remember the victims of communism oppression and the heroes who fought against it, like Natan Sharansky; the refuseniks; Aleksandr Solzhenisyn, who exposed the horrors of the Gulags; and the Polish Solidarity movement. But more than that, it serves as a reminder that there’s still a long way to go.
The Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended, but there are those who appear to be bringing it back from the ashes and who are willing to kill every journalist, businessman or ex-spy who stands in their way. Hugo Chavez in Venezuela recently shut down the last national opposition TV station and, like Russia, has nationalized the oil companies. The Chinese are arresting and torturing Christians and the Falun Gong merely for practicing their faith. Kim Jong Il is starving the North Korean people in order to build nuclear weapons. Fidel Castro continues to hold about three hundred political prisoners in Cuba, such as the poet and journalist Raul Rivero.
And, honorable colleagues, if you want to hear stories of escaping communist oppression, you need not look far: just ask Officer Stanley Kolodnicki, one of our very own security guards, who escaped from communist-occupied Poland with his family as a young man.
Now, in reflecting upon the evil that communism has wrought in the world, I’m not saying that we’re a perfect society; indeed, no perfect society has ever existed. Our history has blemishes and we’ve made mistakes as a nation. And yet, one must appreciate the blessings of liberty. Indeed, this year in this very chamber, we debated our nation’s war policy and majority voted to criticize our president and the war and yet not one – not one person feared retribution. Not one person worried that they’d arrested or that they would come home to find that their family had disappeared. We’re fortunate enough that we can take that for granted, but to do the same in any of the world’s communist-controlled countries is to do so at your own mortal peril.
There was an old joke in the Soviet Union about an American lecturing a Russian about freedom. The American explained that, if he wanted, he could walk into the Oval Office and tell him:
“Mr. Reagan, I deplore the policies of the United States. I think you’re leading us down the wrong track.” To which the Russian replied: “So what? I can do that too! Just last week I walked into Gorbachev’s office and I said, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, I deplore the policies of the United States. I think Ronald Reagan is leading them down the wrong track!’”
Adlai Stevenson once said: “Communism is the corruption of the dream of justice… Communism is the death of the soul. It is the organization of total conformity – in short, of tyranny – and it is committed to making tyranny universal.”
I pray that we will live to see the day when this evil ideology is finally relegated to where it belongs: in the ash heap of history.
I'm interested in hearing from others what they think Rep. Weed could have been objecting to within it that he so loudly protested it being placed on public record.
The video of the event is online:
The above speech begins at mark 3:09:00.
In the online forum, the question was also raised on whether or not people really understand what Communism even is. I suspect many like Rep. Weed do understand what it is but because they know it would never be able to be sold directly to the masses it needs to be sold in small chunks.
In 1919 the Communist party put together 8 simple rules to get the public to embrace Communism. Read them and think of how many have already been accomplished.
Communist Rules for Revolution:
1. Corrupt the young; get them away from religion. Get them interested in sex. Make them superficial; destroy their ruggedness. (The trip to Planned Parenthood with middle school kids comes to mind!)
2. By specious argument cause the breakdown of old moral virtues; honesty, sobriety, continence, faith in the pledged word, ruggedness. (Morals like a parent knowing if their kids are getting abortions maybe?)
3. Encourage civil disorders and foster a lenient and soft attitude on the part of government toward such disorders. (Civil disorders seems to be the norm these days)
4. Divide the people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters of no importance. (Controversial matters of no importance seems the run of the norm in today's government)
5. Get people's minds off their government by focusing their attention on athletics, sexy books, plays, and other trivialities. (Considering how few people actually follow what their government is doing I would say this has been long since accomplished)
6. Get control of all means of publicity. (Media bias by the left is subject to it's own article there is so much that can be said)
7. Destroy the people's faith in their natural leaders by holding the latter up to contempt, ridicule and obloquy (disgrace). (Hello!!! Well since done and accomplished)
8. Cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext, with a view to confiscation and leaving the population helpless. (The left has been working this little by little)
We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism. - Nikita Khrushchev
Snopes in the link above believes the Rules of Comunism to be a false document. In their place however any number of quotes about Communism could be used to gain the same effect I was looking for. Feel free to mentally substitute any of the following:
The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property."
- Karl Marx
Communism teaches and seeks two objectives: unrelenting class warfare and the complete eradication of private ownership."
- Pope Pius XI
"Today the primary threat to the liberties of the American people comes not from communism, foreign tyrants or dictators. It comes from the tendency on our own shores to centralize power, to trust bureaucracies rather than people."
- George H. Allen
If you give the government the right to determine the consumption of the human body, to determine whether one should smoke or not smoke, drink or not drink, there is no good reply you can give to people who say, "More important than the body is the mind and the soul, and man hurts himself much more by reading bad books, by listening to bad music and looking at bad movies. Therefore it is the duty of the government to prevent people from committing those faults. And, as you know, for many hundreds of years governments and authorities believed that it was their duty."
- Ludwig von Mises
The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. -Vladimir Ilyich Lenin