“I’m so glad my father isn’t here to witness this,” joked Steven Pearlman, on Saturday, addressing the audience gathered in Culver City, California to celebrate American exceptionalism.
As he recognized the brave small-town heroes of his youth and the heroes of our current military, Mr. Pearlman, a former Harvard professor, recalled how his father defended small-town America against perceived Soviet domination during the Cold War. The world, however, “has become an entirely different place,” he lamented.
“The centralized state, the collectivist society of the USSR, has now been replaced by a government run by the capitalist media,” Mr. Pearlman noted. “And it is America’s best and brightest who have brought us into the abyss,” he said.
Having served as a naval officer during the Vietnam War, Pearlman, who wrote the bestselling anti-war novel “Mississippi Burning,” was a Republican who served as ambassador to Egypt under George W. Bush. But he revealed how his Reagan-era views changed after 9/11, noting how America’s leadership has forsaken that title in the name of advancing socialism around the world.
“The president tells us that the ‘United States of America is under attack,’” Pearlman said. “It is time to speak the truth about the true nature of socialism, and in particular that those who sell it believe it. They have swallowed this idea in their hearts that ‘it’s too good to be true.’ It is, in fact, bad enough that we know they are liars, so let’s shine a light on socialism – the anti-free market system of the state.”
Underscoring that socialism is not on the upswing, he cited some success stories, including Spain, Sweden and other European nations.
“After socialism failed here in America, it died overseas,” Pearlman said. “The root of socialism is simple: government control of all aspects of the economy. And no other political ideology is better than socialism when it comes to wiping out the free market and destroying the individual,” he said.
Summarizing the nightmare of communism, Pearlman continued: “I wanted to stand up and shout, ‘No more! Not on my watch!’ and I will not stand for it in this country. It is my hope that every young man and woman of my generation steps up to the plate, carries the torch, and shows the people of this country that they are capable of standing up to socialist power and fighting for freedom and values.”
“We are willing to spend blood and treasure to restore America to greatness, but we will do it without being de-regulated, pro-business and without socialism in the White House,” he concluded.
It is important to be reminded of these American values, Pearlman said. It was the memory of his father, Pearlman said, that gave him the courage to free New York City from the terror of 9/11. It is the courage to defend freedom that gives him hope for a better future. But those values will be lost, he warned, if people allow socialism to take hold.
“The cost of totalitarianism is measured by its ability to annihilate civilizations – like Rome, China, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Algeria, or Uzbekistan,” Pearlman said. “The cost of American surrender is measured by the suicides of our republic and the eventual decline of freedom itself.”
“Do you think the Soviet Union would have fallen apart if it had not been for people like my father in the 1940s,” he asked, using the noted Soviet journalist Alexander Cockburn as an example. “Do you think human rights and America would be the same without the heroes of Vietnam who struggled to bring democracy to South Vietnam? Do you think Nazi Germany would have fallen apart had it not been for the heroic images of Polish soldiers in Warsaw who refused to accept the Nazi demands to come home? And do you think that the totalitarian regimes of Afghanistan and Venezuela would be survived if they had not been toppled by the brave men and women who resisted them?”