The diverse speeches and essays in this collection describe, assess, and articulate the foundations of "the Reagan phenomenon."
The diversity of subjects addressed in these speech/essays is indeed great: she describes, assesses, and articulates the foundations of what she terms "the Reagan phenomenon" (as it relates to the liberal tradition, to Western values, to America's goals, and to U.S. foreign policy in particular); she reveals her passionate concern for human rights, and evaluates their present status in El Salvador, in Nicaragua, in Afghanistan; she analyzes this nation's role in the United Nations, and the UN's own growing schizophrenia as the agent of conflict resolution or (all too often) conflict exacerbation; she devotes extensive and penetrating attention to Israel as "scapegoat" at the UN, to the broader Arab-Israeli conflict, to the problems of southern Africa in the search for Namibian independence, and to the Central American cockpit of conflict, social evolution, and Soviet-sponsored subversion. She combines to an extraordinary degree the roles of observer and participant, commentator, and activist.
The liberal democratic tradition is inextricably bound up with the long struggle against arbitrary power and with notions of liberty, individual rights, consent, and representation. Its key beliefs and practices emerged and took shape in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. At the same time, new doctrines of legitimacy arose in Italy as well as in Great Britain, France, and the United States. These new doctrines of legitimacy argued that just government depends on the consent of the governed and, furthermore, that just power flows only from the people.
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick
Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick (November 19, 1926 – December 7, 2006) was an American ambassador and an ardent anticommunist. After serving as Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy adviser in his 1980 campaign and later in his Cabinet, the longtime Democrat-turned-Republican was nominated as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and became the first woman to hold this position.
She is famous for her "Kirkpatrick Doctrine", which advocated U.S. support of anticommunist governments around the world, including authoritarian dictatorships, if they went along with Washington's aims—believing they could be led into democracy by example. She wrote, "Traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies."
Kirkpatrick served on Reagan's Cabinet on the National Security Council, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Defense Policy Review Board, and chaired the Secretary of Defense Commission on Fail Safe and Risk reduction of the Nuclear Command and Control System.