by Dr. Richard L. Benkin
During the administrations of Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmie Carter, the United States defined its struggle with the Soviet Union in rather ambiguous terms; ambiguous actions followed, and much of the world saw our march toward socialism inexorable. Then came US President Ronald Reagan who changed the nature of how the United States would henceforth view its fight with international communism when he publicly defined the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” When he did that, political opponents on the left, academics, and even some in his own party rained torrents of criticism upon him; but not the American people. Most average Americans found Reagan’s candor refreshing. We had grown up in the shadow of a possible nuclear holocaust because of that evil empire, and we didn’t like it. We liked the perceived drop in tensions from previous decades but deep down knew that it was temporary and who our enemy was. Ronald Reagan made it okay to name it again.