Ingratitude is part of human nature. So, too, is the convenient memory lapse. In Germany itself we see reports recently of East Germans who mourn the loss of the old DDR, though they quickly add that they surely wouldn't want the old system to return. West Germans, in turn, are quick to count the cost of rehabilitating the East after reunification, but they fail to mention the priceless gift of increased national unity and security.
Our friends at CEI have made a perfect short video to help us all remember and keep this anniversary of the Wall's fall in historic context.
Meanwhile, this afternoon at Discovery Institute we are hosting Steven Hayward, whose truth-telling chronological history of the Reagan Administration--The Age of Reagan--is a riveting reconstruction of a period too often represented now in a kind of gauzy glow. In fact, as Hayward shows, the Reagan years were tumultuous and sometimes even frightening for those who fought its battles. The judgement that they had been hugely successful was not clear until well after President Reagan left office. Unfortunately, human nature also can create a false nostalgia.
Hayward's book is like a splash of cold water in the face in the morning. It wakes you up. It is not agreeable at once, but then it refreshes and encourages. It helps you face the pessimism of now.