The “E” Word

Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2024
by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
Ronald Reagan was not afraid to use the word evil

The battle was joined.  Ronald Reagan was not afraid to use the word “evil” for Soviet Communism – so there was no further misunderstanding, no more talk of “moral equivalence” or “convergence.” Communism was immoral, oppressive, inhumane, and ultimately untenable, no way to govern people.

Why was Soviet Communism so bad? Why was the use of that word, the “E” word, evil – exactly the right way to describe that form of government? To some, this may seem obvious, but to younger people, the reality may elude them, history may not have been their major, or even of interest.

Here is the reality. Some 300 million human souls were systematically placed in a state of constant fear, their speech enough to get them imprisoned, or worse, killed. If they went to church, and the older Russians did, the services were always surveilled, undercover operatives ever-present.

And why were those two things – speech and worship – such a threat to communist control over every life, total prostration to the state, to the government? Why do communists hate speech and faith?

The answer is well known to those of a certain age but worth restating. Speech is how a human heart and mind find their way to other people, how different ideas and opportunities, fears and hopes, errors and findings of high and low order get openly discussed, debated, and truth found.

The reason free speech is in our Constitution’s First Amendment is that it guarantees a consistent, persistent check on untruth, including most importantly any untruths pushed by a powerful government, one which could be a monarchy, autocracy, theocracy, dictatorship, or communism.

So, the first thing a power-centered, immoral, oppressive, inhuman government must do is create enough fear in people that truth becomes secondary to survival, disposable, self-suppressed, and not discussed, since people who know and fight for it, think speech is a right from God, are dangerous.

Second, power-centered governments have to suppress the free exercise of religion, and diminish or outlaw the power of individual faith in a loving, all-powerful God – since such faith could displace government, reduce fear of government, and even cause people to overthrow the government.

If people find that prayers are answered, impossible things made possible, no “princes among men” worth their faith, and that fidelity to God ranks higher than government, that too is dangerous.

That is why the Communists – then and now – not only despise, repress, punish, and chill free speech, but do exactly the same thing to religion. The Soviets, and today Chinese, North Korean, Cuban, Lao, Vietnam, and other communist governments are strictly – atheist.

They mandate faith in government supersede faith in God, on fear of death, since that is how they control people – and one other reason, is they know what they do is evil, as opposed by those of faith.

So, why else is communism bad? Because it is the embodiment of liberty lost, your speech and ability to practice your faith, but also your physical liberty. Communism has killed hundreds of millions in the past 175 years, since Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, a veritable kill manual.

In short, every liberty you hold dear, from free speech and faith to decision-making in your own life, freedom from government intimidation, mandates, taking property, and personal captivity – is directly opposed, and empirically shredded by communists once in power, anywhere.

So, where does that leave us? The left wing of the modern Democrat Party is sounding a lot like devotees of communist theology. They have decided liberty is no longer the big thing, those amendments can be amended, in favor of government dependence by you, the Proletariat, who can get free stuff from “rich people,” the Bourgeoisie, and watch your resentments indulged as others are taxed, regulated, ridiculed, harassed, and imprisoned by government elites, until you are.

Odd, is it not, how history has a way of bending over time, circling back and reappearing where you least expect it, and then suddenly – whoa! – here it is again, the same mistakes, blindness, sadness. All of a sudden a return of spiritual warfare, good versus evil, in the front yard, needing focus.

Bottom line:  Ronald Reagan was about as clear a thinker, principled and articulate, experienced and truth-seeking a leader as we have ever had – on par with the Founding Generation, Abe Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and those few others who saw the truth, spoke it, and have made no apologies.

Bottom line: Communism is real, was back then, and is now. The threat is foreign but also domestic, as it was mid-Cold War. If we are willing to see things as they are, we must speak boldly against them.

What some want our world to look like is not much different from Soviet or Chinese communism, perhaps made friendly with a government smiley face, but no less oppressive, objectively not based on respect for God-given rights or merit, inhumane, untenable, and no way to govern people.

Beware, yet unafraid to “speak truth to power.” Communism, and things that look like it, are historically, incontrovertibly evil ideas – plain and simple. So, there you go, I have done it, used the “E” word again. Just where we are, the battle is joined.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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