Open this Gate, Tear Down this Wall

By | June 12, 2018

[June 12, 2018]  There has much been said and written about the scourge of Communism and socialism and how these political systems hold people back, trap them with little opportunity, and destroys the community of people.  U.S President Ronald Reagan was known for his desire to help free people from them and once said in a speech to the USSR SSecretary-General tear down this wall:

“There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.  Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace–if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe–if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

We all can learn valuable lessons from good leadership and in this case, the clarity and direct message to tear down the wall of Communism was heard around the world.  Despite the attractiveness to societal elites about the “benefits” of such political systems, Communism and socialism have been a curse on humans since its beginning more than 100 years ago.

When Reagan gave his Cold War speech, it was his desire to reduce tensions between the Soviet Union and the West.  It was also an attempt to kick-start talks about nuclear arms reduction.  The speech, along with Reagan’s personality to poke the USSR, was instrumental in the beginning of the view that Communism is a failed system wherever it is tried.

It worked.  The wall came down two years later; East and West Germans were deliriously happy when they literally tore down the wall.1  The wall was not to keep the capitalist enemy out – as it was touted by the Soviets – but as a way to keep their people in and from fleeing to freedom.


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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

30 thoughts on “Open this Gate, Tear Down this Wall

  1. José Luis Rodriguez

    If there was only more of this where young boys and girls could learn how it is to be a leader. Your concept of growing new leaders is great. Thank you.

  2. Kenny Foster

    I never heard of “green thumb” leadership. I assume its a quick reference to the idea that growing leaders is fundamental to great leadership. Well done, Brig Gen Satterfield.

  3. Gil Johnson

    Gen. Satterfield, you’ve hit upon a topic that I use frequently in the development of my students and athletes. They must understand – and I show them how – that being a good person means standing up to evil. We also discuss that evil is anything that enslaves us and makes us less human. This is where the college “snowflakes” screw up. They fail to take the logic to its conclusion and believe that anything that hurts them is automatically bad and evil. Not so.

  4. Martin Shiell

    As long as people don’t get tired of dominating others and enslaving them, communism will never go away. It’s the perfect tool for dictators and progressives.

    1. Scotty Bush

      Perfect synopsis of the purpose of Communism and Socialism.
      Progressives (whatever that really means) is no different. They currently just don’t have the power like dictators do.

  5. Billy Kenningston

    Another good article. Thanks, Gen Satterfield.

  6. Albert Ayer

    Although I personally didn’t see the speech (it was in Germany), I did travel to the wall and did my part to tear it down. Most tearing it down was symbolic because the E. German govt stood aside and let us do it. We were so naive that the destructive force of communism would go away. It didn’t because so many are dedicated to the ideology of enslaving others.

    1. Douglas R. Satterfield Post author

      Albert. Who would’ve known that someone here was at the final destruction of one of the last remnants of communism? It is a discredited ideology but others love it for what it can do to control others through governemnt power.

  7. Tracey Brockman

    Good article today, Gen Satterfield and thanks for the reminder that we should always remember such times.

    1. Dennis Mathes

      I’m no fan of Fake-News CNN but this was likely before they went over the deep end.

    2. Greg Heyman

      I agree Dennis. CNN has certainly gone downhill and they have lost credibility. Their leadership is wanting.

    3. Doug Smith

      Thanks Greg for the research and link to one of the greatest speeches of all time.

  8. Georgie M.

    Wonderful speech and by one of the greatest Presidents of all time. He put others to shame in the USSR and some of our politicians looked (and acted) like immature children.

  9. Janna Faulkner

    Good article today to remind us of what is important … freedom.

  10. Eddie Ray Anderson,

    I’d forgotten that the speech was so poetic (to the point and with lines one can remember). US Pres Ronald Reagan was vilified for the speech but today we regard it as one of his best.

  11. Army Captain

    Pres Reagan’s speech is a classic. From the perspective of leadership, it hits all the right pieces. Thanks for reminding us about it.

  12. Max Foster

    I remember the speech well. It was carried on television at the time and I read about it in the newspapers. Not much good commentary was made by the press at the time.

    1. Max Foster

      Joey, good to see you online today. Someone posted a link to the actual speech. Go there and watch. It’s amazing to see how well Pres Reagan delivered the speech.

    2. Andrew Dooley

      I too saw it on the TV. Great speech.

    3. Yusaf from Texas

      Good point Max and I also saw it on tv but didn’t think much of it at the time. Perhaps it was all the negative press it was getting.

    4. Anita

      Yes, so do I. Thanks Max for reminding me of its importance.

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