Newt Gingrich – American Enterprise Institute Event: “The Victory of the Cross” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbjy48j_xVo&feature=player_detailpage
Nov 9, 2009
Twenty years ago, on November 9, 1989, the most visible symbol of totalitarian evil—the Berlin Wall—tumbled down. Two years later, the Soviet Union officially dissolved itself on Christmas Day 1991. What were the trumpet blasts that finally destroyed the Berlin Wall and brought freedom to millions? Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, now an AEI scholar, will discuss how, in addition to the political, economic, and military factors that contributed to the defeat of Soviet communism, spiritual factors were also decisive in achieving victory.
This fact was most evident in the peaceful elections that took place in Poland on June 4, 1989, when Solidarity, the first officially recognized independent trade union movement in the Soviet bloc, won decisive parliamentary victories and formed the first noncommunist-led government in Eastern Europe since World War II. These Polish elections took place exactly ten years after the first pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to his homeland-nine days that transformed the spiritual and political landscape of Poland and set the stage for the birth of Solidarity. These elections also followed eight years of President Ronald Reagans constant moral and material support for the cause of freedom in Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe.
At this event, AEI senior fellow Newt Gingrich, former congressman and U.S. envoy to Poland and the Soviet Union Bob McEwen, and vice president for policy at American Solutions Vince Haley reflected on the contributions of Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan to the spiritual renewal of the West, a change that set the stage for the most significant advance of freedom in our lifetime. They also examined the lessons we can learn from both as we confront contemporary challenges to freedom and human dignity.