Donald Trump’s surprise visit to Mexico, where he met the Mexican president and discussed the many contentious issues between our two countries, reminds me of President Reagan’s important trip to Geneva in 1985. Reagan was more than willing to sit down with the Communist leader of the USSR in an effort to build a personal connection between the two men without sacrificing America’s vital interests in the Cold War.
The 1985 Geneva summit was highly advertised as a potential showdown between Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the supposedly reasonable new Soviet leader. When it was over, Americans realized that behind Reagan’s genial affability was a steely determination to protect our country against the threat from Soviet nuclear missiles.
Just as today’s mainstream media are bent on undermining Trump’s call to put Americans first in our dealings with Mexico, the media of the 1980s (led by ABC’s Sam Donaldson and CBS’ Dan Rather) were overwhelmingly pro-Gorbachev and anti-Reagan in their daily coverage.
Left-wing celebrities from around the world converged on Geneva to support the media narrative that a stubborn President Reagan was refusing to consider Gorbachev’s reasonable proposals for world peace. Rep. Bella Abzug, actress Jane Alexander and the inevitable Jesse Jackson were giving daily interviews.