Ronald Reagan at Moscow State University

On this day in 1988, Ronald Reagan ended his first trip to Moscow. The trip marked his fourth summit meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. While there, Regan spoke to an audience of students and faculty at Moscow State University, and mad this statement:

Freedom, it has been said, makes people selfish and materialistic, but Americans are one of the most religious peoples on Earth. Because they know that liberty, just as life itself, is not earned but a gift from God, they seek to share that gift with the world. “Reason and experience,” said George Washington in his Farewell Address, “both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. And it is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.” Democracy is less a system of government than it is a system to keep government limited, unintrusive; a system of constraints on power to keep politics and government secondary to the important things in life, the true sources of value found only in family and faith.

Lenin lens

He concluded his remarks with this: “da blagoslovit vas gospod — God bless you.” All of the above is made much more powerful and profound, given the setting in which Reagan spoke, as seen below.

Ronald Reagan at Moscow State University

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