06/24/2019; Tuesday Afternoon Think Piece: "How Ronald Reagan Won The Cold War and Toppled The Soviet Union Without Using Sanctions":
Ronald Reagan learned the nature of the real world while serving in the US Army during WW2. As an artillery Captain serving at "Camp Hollywood" (The Hal Roach Studios) throughout the war due to a medical issue that prevented him from serving overseas in Europe where he wanted to be, Reagan was in a key position to evaluate the effect American entertainment films had on the American public, the American GI, civilian populations around the world, US and foreign leaders, and on the enemy nations.
Reagan learned that humans will pattern their lives after characters in films who make the greatest impression on their personal circumstances... the moral will seek to model their lives after decent, respectful and honest characters on the screen. Those who are surrounded by the lure of crime will seek to become the most successful criminal while tirelessly desiring to escape justice whenever law enforcement gets too close. And those who find safety in the characters of simple folk will endeavor to cut the lowest profile. But all people will be awed by the spectacle of watching a story of a single life or many lives, however true-to-life or fantastic, in the dark space of two hours, reinforced with Coke and popcorn.
Reagan saw how a dynamically patriotic film could turn people who were adverse to war into the most fervent war supporters or fighters. And he saw the effect on enemy audiences when they watched American war films portraying determined G.I.'s pursuing victory regardless the cost.
So when becoming President, Reagan at once turned to his old profession to help him fix a problem that had escaped the efforts of every President since Harry Truman. Reagan asked Hollywood to help him defeat the nagging Soviet threat that existed for one purpose... to smash the United States through persistent, unrelenting harassment.
Reagan called upon writers, directors and performers such as Tom Clancy, Clint Eastwood, Robert Ludlum, John Milius, John Schlesinger, Sam Peckinpah and others to create big-budget films showcasing boundlessly energetic American industrial and military might. Over the course of six to eight years American and global audiences were bombarded with highly engrossing feature films such as "Firefox", "Red Dawn", "The Hunt for Red October", "Smiley's People", "The Osterman Weekend", "The Russia House", "The Fourth Protocol", "The Falcon and the Snowman", all intended to show Americans and the Russians that Americans are never out-gunned and never-outsmarted.
Adolph Hitler was convinced that the Soviet Union was a "straw house" that could be smashed down if only someone would "kick in the door". Hitler was right about that... but went wrong by trying to use brute force to kick his way into the Russian house. Reagan used American ingenuity. Reagan simply showed the Russians through films that were far less expensive than armaments and armies that a strong, blowhard wind from the West was far more effective than a muscular "kick in the door".
Reagan was right, and won. The Soviet Union ceased to exist and is today only an annoying nuisance led by con man who has succeeded only in recruiting Americans who hate Trump to become his unwitting, but also witting, Allies.
President Trump's historical education is far different than Ronald Reagan's, or any war-era military veteran. As someone who's personal successes or failures were entirely based on cash flow, market fluctuations, contracts and signatures on the dotted line that were only as good as a Judge seated on an arbitration bench decided it's worthiness, Trump is convinced that mere ability to move inventories, collect debts and handle payrolls will determine the survival or failure of a national government. And in that belief Trump has failed where Reagan succeeded because Reagan used the potential of warfare to factor in the economic elements, whereas Trump relies only on the economic elements because the warfare factor frightens him still, as it did during the Vietnam War when he finagled five deferments from military service to avoid being sent to war.
Reagan relied on his own military experience and that of proven generals and admirals, as well as junior enlisted advisors, to correctly mix the perfect Russian cocktail that proved too intoxicating even for the most Vodka-addicted Red in the Soviet leadership. Trump, on the other hand, has decided that he alone possesses all the military mentality needed to make a good Russian, Chinese, Syrian, Venezuelan or Iran cocktail... except that none of those country's leaders are drinking because all of those nations are quite used to operating inexhaustibly and indeterminately on very little. Trump hasn't learned that a poor nation can play forever, whereas a rich nation cannot play a poor one.
In short, President Trump needs to gain some much needed wisdom and accept that the 'art of the deal' works on the vulnerable tied to Wall Street and does not work on enemy nations. And the best that Trump can gain is a great acting job on the part of an enemy government to make a pretense of capitulating, only to obtain any revitalization to be later used as an even more potent weapon to attack the U.S. in one form or another.
Reagan didn't just get the Soviets to temporarily capitulate. Reagan BROKE the Soviets into tiny pieces with zero prospects of doing any better than Humptey Dumptey at putting itself back together again.
To President Trump I would say, don't rely on sanctions, and more sanctions, and still more sanctions. If the problem is military you must address it on military terms... which does not necessarily require war. Military presence in itself is a demonstration of determination and resolve.
But as long as President Trump retains weak VA secretaries such as Wilkie who work to con vets and not service them, fewer Americans of quality -- both physically and mentally -- will choose to enlist... leaving the military with more murderers, homosexuals, sex abusers and drug traffickers than 'Audie Murphys'.
And as long as President Trump refuses to call for a considerable increase in military personnel numbers he will never have enough troops to win a war should one develop. Republicans consistently try to succeed on the cheap, even with our military. Billions upon billions are increasingly being poured into military technology while so little is being spent on the human troops... during and after their military service.
Perhaps President Trump should follow President Reagan's lead by funneling some assets into getting Hollywood to do part of his work for him. Working with Hollywood to create worthy films targeting China, Iran, drug cartels and human traffickers that are similar to "Firefox" and "Hunt For Red October" -- films that were devoid of sex, romance and particularly homosexuality (the current additives in virtually every Hollywood production today), would go a long way in changing domestic and global perceptions that would effect a desire goal.
What Reagan and Trump have in common is the fact that they were both elected to make a difference and effect a change. Reagan did that domestically and globally. Trump... well... he's still trying to figure things out on his own, while surrounding himself with some of the most incapable yes-men.
(D/W Redacted), (D/W Redacted)
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