Walesa On Reagan

Lech Walesa, the leader of the anti-Communist resistance in Poland and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has a wonderful eulogy for Ronald Reagan in the Wall Street Journal. Walesa expresses the very core of what made Reagan the great leader that he was:

I distinguish between two kinds of politicians. There are those who view politics as a tactical game, a game in which they do not reveal any individuality, in which they lose their own face. There are, however, leaders for whom politics is a means of defending and furthering values. For them, it is a moral pursuit. They do so because the values they cherish are endangered. They’re convinced that there are values worth living for, and even values worth dying for. Otherwise they would consider their life and work pointless. Only such politicians are great politicians and Ronald Reagan was one of them.

He notes that while many called Reagan a "cowboy", the Polish people preferred cowboys to Communists:

Cowboys in Western clothes had become a powerful symbol for Poles. Cowboys fight for justice, fight against evil, and fight for freedom, both physical and spiritual. Solidarity trounced the Communists in that election, paving the way for a democratic government in Poland. It is always so touching when people bring this poster up to me to autograph it. They have cherished it for so many years and it has become the emblem of the battle that we all fought together.

The Polish people have not forgotten who supported them in their struggle for freedom throughout the 1980s. Their friendship and support continues to this day – another legacy of the Reagan administration that changed the face of our world for the better.

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