We adopted Carter at our house. The consensus around the kitchen table was that Carter was a decent man. But we confused decency with strength.
The Soviets weren't confused. Carter was a hand-wringer.
Hand-wringers make fantastic equivocators and can rationalize bad behavior, explain subtle nuances, encourage other hand-wringers to increase the size of their bureaucracies. And hand-wringers can discuss all those shades of gray that the East Coast establishment keeps reminding us about in certain editorials.
But there's one problem. Hand-wringers know many things but don't believe in much. They're moral relativists. There is no right and wrong in them. Only those shades of gray.
And shades of gray can't lead human beings.
The Soviets figured Carter for a weakling and us for weaklings for electing him, and in a sense we were weaklings then. They moved in Central and South America, Asia and Africa and kept hold of Europe. And we didn't have the leadership to confront them or stop them.
But then came Reagan. He didn't care about satisfying the establishment by waxing on about shades of gray. He understood that there was good and evil in the world and that we weren't evil.
What he said.
This outraged the hand-wringers and the shades-of-gray crowd. It enrages them still, which is why they're so eager to diminish him, to peel him, even in death.
And what happened in the world?
They call it freedom. They call it the American Century. They don't call it the Soviet Century.
Thank you, President Reagan.
Here I stand, I can do no other.