Regent University’s Robertson School of Government (RSG) is gearing up for one of its largest annual events. The Ronald Reagan Symposium, now in its 10th year, will bring hundreds to Regent’s campus to tackle the topic of global freedom. Pulling from Reagan’s famous Westminster speech, seven guests will provide their perspectives.
These guests include a former Reagan speech-writer, senior director for strategic planning on the National Security Council, Fox News’ national security analyst, former Reagan National Security Council president, former contract agent for the CIA and others. They will talk about challenges of fostering global freedom in the Regent Communication & Performing Arts Center Main Theatre on Friday, March 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fostering global freedom got a boost when President Reagan addressed British Parliament in the spring of 1982. The Free World was threatened by totalitarianism from then Soviet superpower, USSR. In the face of global war, President Reagan encouraged England by saying democracy is not a “fragile flower,” it just needs nourishing. He said there was a democratic revolution that was gathering strength.
“The objective I propose is quite simple to state,” said Reagan. “To foster the infrastructure of democracy, the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities, which allows a people to choose their own way to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means.”
In addition to the totalitarian Soviet Union regime, terrorism in the Middle East threatened global freedom in 1982.
“We must all work to stamp out the scourge of terrorism that in the Middle East makes war an ever-present threat,” said Reagan.
The threat against global freedom is just as great now as when Reagan was president. Examining how Reagan promoted democracy leads conservative policy makers and influencers to surmise how he might have handled the challenges today.
“In 1982, President Reagan asserted, in his Westminster Speech, ‘If the rest of this century is to witness the gradual growth of freedom, we must take actions to assist the campaign for democracy.’ In 2015, is it still in the U.S. national interest and/or commensurate with American values to promote democracy abroad? This symposium and distinguished panelists will address the most important and vital subject,” said Dr. Jeffry Morrison, RSG professor.