It’s been 30 years since the Berlin Wall came down? Honestly, it seems like yesterday. My wife and I had been married for about a year and a half. We watched on television and were stunned as people smashed and hacked away at the concrete wall with the communist guards just standing by and not shooting. As I watched the ordinary people of Berlin jump on top of the ruins of the wall and celebrate I said, “is this really happening?” It was. What we thought would never happen, was happening. The Soviet bloc of conquered peoples under communist oppression was unraveling before our very eyes. Two years later the bloody hammer and sickle of the USSR was hauled down…on Christmas Day, 1991.
I thought that was a very happy ending to a nightmare in history. The march of communism, with its kangaroo courts, secret police, gulags and mass executions (120 million people worldwide murdered in about 70 years) would be swept in the garbage can of history, as Ronald Reagan had said. He believed that the system would collapse from the inside…a victim of its own immorality. (Of course, it needed a little push from the outside.)
I thought we would see the end of communism in China soon, and then the last vestiges of the beast (governments of Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea) would wither on the vine. I thought that no one in America would ever again tout the merits of collectivism.
I was wrong. I underestimated the desire of people to believe in a totalitarian fantasy “if only the right people were in charge.” I underestimated the desire of the Left to infiltrate and eventually overtake the US education system, the media, the intelligence community, and large swaths of the political parties.
November 9, 1989 was a great day. But it was not the end.