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Shultz, Reagan, and the Revisionists

- Abstract

The surprising election of a Democratic President in 1992, after a campaign that stressed the “stagnation, drift, and gridlock” of the Reagan-Bush years, has, among many other things, created the political and psychological space within which the liberal opinion establishment can fully indulge its craving to do some serious revisionism on the history of U.S. foreign policy in the 1980′s.

Rewriting history is in vogue sub regno Billary, and no palimpsest is, one gathers, too absurd to contemplate. Thus, to take but one example, it was suggested on the front page of the May 9, 1993 New York Times that recent Republican administrations had no serious interest in human rights: a bizarre claim that would surely come as news to figures as diverse as Lech Walesa, Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky, Yuri Orlov, Vaclav Havel, Yelena Bonner, Wojciech Jaruzelski, and Augusto Pinochet (not to mention the ghosts of Andrei Gromyko and Ferdinand Marcos).

About the Author

George Weigel is a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and the author most recently of God’s Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church (HarperCollins).