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Was Reagan a Traitor Too?

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If anyone thinks that Donald Trump is the only U.S. president ever targeted for befriending Russia, think again.

As I indicated in a recent article, the deep state went after President Kennedy for doing the same thing. And yes, like Trump, they called Kennedy a traitor, an appeaser, and a coward for refusing to stand up to Russia, which was then part of the Soviet Union.

Yesterday the Texas Tribune published an article entitled “It’s Time to Impeach the President” by Republican state representative Jason Villalba. Comparing Trump to conservative/Republican icon Ronald Reagan, Villalba wrote:

I am a Republican today because of Ronald Reagan. He instilled in me the principles that have guided my life … Today, our own president of the United States mocks these basic tenets.

Well, except for this, which Villalba failed to mention: Reagan was another president the deep state and the conservative movement targeted for befriending Russia.

The sordid tale is detailed in an article that appeared in the December 5, 1987, issue of the Los Angeles Times. Reagan was about to enter into a nuclear missile treaty with the Soviet Union (of which Russia was the leading member), and the deep state and the right wing were as livid with him as they are today with Trump.

The head of the Conservative Caucus, Howard Phillips, denounced Reagan as a “useful idiot for Soviet propaganda” and a “weak man with a strong wife.” Conservative fundraiser Richard Viguerie chimed in: “He has quit the fight and left the field of battle. He is an apologist for Gorbachev. It is an outrage.”

Viguerie and Philips even organized the “Anti-Appeasement Alliance” to oppose the treaty. Reed Irvine, of the conservative group Accuracy in Media, hoped that their complaints would “help the President understand that Secretary Gorbachev is a Communist and that he intends to carry out the goal of world domination by communism.”

Sound familiar?

That, of course, is what the Cold War was all about: making and keeping Russia an official enemy of the United States, no different from what is going on today.

At the end of his term in office, President Eisenhower had come to see what the post-World War II conversion of the federal government to a national-security state had done to America. In his Farewell Address, he warned the American people of the danger that the “military-industrial complex,” which was his term for the “deep state,” posed to the liberties and democratic processes of the American people.

His successor, President Kennedy, ultimately recognized the Cold War for the racket it was. He went to war against the deep state by announcing an end to the Cold War and his intent to befriend Russia, notwithstanding its brutal communist regime. Kennedy’s war came to an end on November 22, 1963, and, consequently, Russia continued to be an official enemy of the United States for the next 26 years.

In 1989, the Soviet Union suddenly and unexpectedly declared an end to the Cold War. Needless to say, that event sent the deep state and the conservative movement into a deep panic. In fact, many conservatives simply refused accept it. In the 1990s, at least one noted conservative writer was saying that ending the Cold War was really an elaborate scheme by the Russians to dupe the American people into disarming. He was convinced that the unification of Germany and the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Eastern Europe were part of the scheme. He just couldn’t accept that conservatives had lost the official enemy that had driven them since 1945.

The same for the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA. Panic. Sheer panic came to the deep state when the Cold War ended. After all, don’t forget: The reason that the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state in the first place was the so-called threat from the Soviet Union and “godless communism.” With no more official enemy and no more Cold War, the deep state was facing the danger of dismantlement, given that Americans might well have begun demanding the restoration of their republic. At the very least, people were talking about a “peace dividend,” which would have meant a drastic reduction in the power and budgets of the deep state.

But the deep state wasn’t ready to let go of Russia as an official enemy. After double-crossing the Russians by refusing to dismantle NATO, as U.S. officials had promised to do, NATO proceeded to absorb the former members of the Warsaw Pact, thereby enabling U.S. bases and missiles to be moved closer and closer to Russia. Finally, with NATO threatening to absorb Ukraine and the longtime Russian military base at Sevastopol, Russia did the predictable. To avoid losing its base to the United States, it simply absorbed Crimea.

That was all the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA needed to re-convert Russia into an official enemy of the United States. Success! Everyone is now expected to get back on board. Heaven help any president who says no.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.