Remembering Who Americans Are

Representative Mike Kelly
Washington Times

At last week’s Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands, President Obama assessed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and determined that “it would be dishonest to suggest there is a simple solution” to Russia’s lawless capture of Crimea.

Fifty years ago, president-to-be Ronald Reagan addressed the challenge of that era’s much more daunting Russian domination and famously suggested, “Perhaps there is a simple answer — not an easy answer — but simple.”

Reagan called upon America to learn from our past, defend our values, stand by our friends and pledge before our foes: “There is a price we will not pay. There is a point beyond which they must not advance.”

In other words, before even delving into the intricacies of specific policies and strategies, we had to come to terms with the stakes of the struggle at hand and our role in that struggle — and beyond. “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny,” Reagan proclaimed.

A half-century later, we live in very different world — without the Soviet Empire — thanks in major part to Reagan taking his advice with him to the White House. Times have changed, but the “not easy, but simple” principle of “peace through strength” is as relevant as ever.

Unfortunately, Mr. Obama seems beholden to a much different outlook when it comes to foreign affairs, stemming from a radically different understanding of our purpose in the world.

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