Skip to comments.`Government is not the solution...': quotations of Ronald Reagan
Posted on 06/05/2004 5:50:46 PM PDT by Destro
`Government is not the solution...': quotations of Ronald Reagan
By The Associated Press
June 5, 2004
Some quotations from Ronald Reagan:
"This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan for ourselves." Oct. 27, 1964, televised speech for GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
"I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Breen." When someone tried to turn off his microphone at a Reagan-sponsored debate during 1980 New Hampshire primaries.
"We have to move ahead, but we are not going to leave anyone behind." Republican National Convention, July 1980
"There you go again." Responding to criticism during debate with President Carter, October 1980.
"Government is not the solution, it's the problem." Inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1981
"All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states, the states created the federal government. ... Steps will be taken aimed a restoring the balance between the various levels of government." Inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1981.
"Honey, I forgot to duck." To Nancy Reagan in the emergency room after he was shot by a would-be assassin, March 30, 1981.
"It's just plain common sense that there be a waiting period to allow local law enforcement officials to conduct background checks on those who wish to buy a handgun." Endorsing the Brady handgun control bill, at a March 1991 event commemorating 10th anniversary of assassination attempt.
"Some argue that we should encourage democratic change in right-wing dictatorships, but not in Communist regimes. Well, to accept this preposterous notion as some well-meaning people have is to invite the argument that once countries achieve a nuclear capability, they should be allowed an undisturbed reign of terror over their own citizens. We reject this course." June 1982 speech to British Parliament.
"I was pleased last year to proclaim 1983 the year of the Bible. But, you know, a group called the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) severely criticized me for doing that. Well, I wear their indictment like a badge of honor." January 1984.
"I've always stated that the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth is a government program." April 1986
"A (nuclear weapons) freeze now would be a very dangerous fraud, for that is merely the illusion of peace. The reality is that we must find peace through strength. ...
"I urge you to beware the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil. ...
"I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written." Speech to the National Association of Evangelicals, March 1983. (He wrote six years later that "I could not in good conscience today call the Soviet Union an evil empire.")
"If you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate ... open this gate ... tear down this wall." June 1987 speech at Brandenberg Gate in Berlin. Remarks addressed to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
"By 1980, we knew it was time to renew our faith; to strive with all our strength toward the ultimate of individual freedom, consistent with an orderly society.
"We believed then and now: There are no limits to growth and human progress, when men and women are free to follow their dreams. And we were right to believe that. Tax rates have been reduced, inflation cut dramatically and more people are employed than ever before in our history.
"We are creating a nation once again vibrant, robust, and alive. There are many mountains yet to climb. We will not rest until every American enjoys the fullness of freedom, dignity, and opportunity as our birthright. It is our birthright as citizens of this great republic." Second inaugural address, Jan. 21, 1985
"The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge and pray God we have not lost it that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest." On 40th anniversary of Normandy invasion, June 6, 1984.
"Sending the Marines to Beirut was the source of my greatest regret and greatest sorrow." About the Lebanon bombing that killed 241 servicemen in 1983, from his 1990 book, "An American Life"
"The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and `slipped the surly bonds of earth' to `touch the face of God.'" After shuttle disaster, Jan. 28, 1986.
"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that is true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not." March 4, 1987, speech acknowledging dealings with Iran had deteriorated into an arms for hostages deal
"You know, by the time you reach my age, you've made plenty of mistakes if you've lived your life properly. So you learn. You put things in perspective. You pull your energies together. You change. You go forward. My fellow Americans, I have a great deal that I want to accomplish with you and for you over the next two years. And, the Lord willing, that's exactly what I intend to do." March 4, 1987, speech acknowledging dealings with Iran had deteriorated into an arms for hostages deal
"I did not see it as trading arms for hostages because we were dealing with Iranian intermediaries, not the kidnappers themselves. I know it may be a fine line to most people, but it's what I believed then and what I still believe." About the Iran-Contra affair, from his 1989 book, "Speaking My Mind"
"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." Joke while testing microphone, Aug. 11, 1984
"So, you can see why, to me, the story of these last eight years and this presidency goes far beyond any personal concerns. It is a continuation, really, of a far larger story, a story of a people and a cause. A cause that, from our earliest beginnings, has defined us as a nation and given purpose to our national existence. The hope of human freedom, the quest for it, the achievement of it, is the American saga." Last weekly radio address as president, Jan. 14, 1989.
"If I ache, it's because we are apart and yet that can't be because you are inside and a part of me, so we really aren't apart at all. Yet I ache but wouldn't be without the ache, because that would mean being without you and that I can't be because I love you." 1963 letter to his wife, Nancy, quoted in 2000 book "I Love You, Ronnie."
"In closing let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead." Nov. 5, 1994, announcing he had Alzheimer's disease.
Ronald Reagan began his life as an every-man. Because of his humble origins he could talk to the American people in the language they spoke and understood. He did not end his life as an every-man (not every-man becomes president of the USA, or governor of California, or a labor union leader or a Hollywood actor, or a college sports hero).
Ronald Reagan began his political life like most Americans of his generation did. Reagan was a New Deal Democrat and remained so for a long time. But Reagan's greatness what separated him from other Americans is that he had a clarity of vision.
Reagan was a leftist when being a leftist was not unpatriotic. It was just another political system that was presented before the voters for approval. Reagan as a New Deal every-man had the belief that the government should help the people when they needed help and then get out of the way once that help was no longer needed. After WW2 there was a sea-change in the leftist movement in America.
What Reagan and others like him wanted was a state in which the government helped the people stand on their own two feet. The government was there to act the role of a loving parent which feeds and houses and clothes and educates their children till the children can make their own place in the world. Reagan was the first "Reagan Democrat". The New Deal seemed to be this type of helpful system to Reagan's generation and they embraced it. When the times were good government needed to step aside and let the people do for themselves, as personified during the Eisenhower administration.
Reagan's greatness was that his clarity of vision saw this change in the New Deal system arriving. Fist in Hollywood the leftists who were his compatriots went from support for the USSR as an ally against Hitler to Stalinists acting in concert to undermine the American system for the sake of the expansion of Communism. This awoke Reagan's Illinois bred horse sense. These leftists were not the leftists that Reagan knew a decade ago during the 40s.
Reagan saw the New Deal evolving into the Great Society. He saw the government turn from helping people to turning the people into the help and Reagan switched parties and became a Republican. He was a new type of Republican - a new type of conservative for a new era. This new conservative wanted to help people by letting them help themselves by getting the government out of the nanny state business and into the role of benevolent parents.
Reagan's greatest failing was that he failed to shrink the government that had its birth in the Great Society programs of Johnson. The reason for this failure (which few realised) was because the USA was at war and has been in continuos war since the end of WW2. War is the health of the state. Wars expand the reach and power of governments and in war the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.
What I mean by this is that during war society takes on the shape of a pyramid (or a spear point if you will) and the top of the point is the element of society that fights the war while the expanding base serves to support those at the top that do the fighting. The Cold War, post Cold Wars and the al-Qaeda war helped grow the government because that is what wars tend to do.
But Reagan allowed enough economic wiggle room through reduction in taxation to explode the American and world economies to the marvels that exist today. The free-market venture capitalism that Reagan unleashed made the PC possible and all that followed. Reagan could not have know this would be the result nor could anyone but that is why Reagan and his like put their faith in the free-market's "invisible hand" and not the economic planning of communism.
Which brings us to Reagan's greatest legacy, the reduction of socialism/communism as a revolutionary force. By this I do not mean a victory pver any nation. The fact that the USSR fell is a minor thing (nations come and go) compared to what Reagan really accomplished - the victory once and for all of the concept of the free-marklet and the conditions needed for it (such as freedom) over the planned economy of socialism - now proven to be a failure. We forget that socialism was a competing ideology with the free-market system for over a hundred years since the mid 19th century. Thanks to Reagan's revolution the free-market won out over socialism for ever. Even those nations that call themselves socialists today embrace a soft socialism more in line with the Roosevelt's New Deal than with Karl Marx and they can barely compete doing that.
That was Reagan's greatess legacy.
Curse my typos!!!
"You ain't seen nothing yet!"
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. Ronald Reagan
We can parse out the typos - ya done good!
Especially with the analogy of the spearpoint!
My favorite quote.... http://www.thebutterscotchthreshold.com/freesoundz-175.mp3
Honored - thank you.
I can still remember sitting in class an over the PA came the news President Reagan has been shot. It was a horrible feeling even for a 15 year old kid.
When he was campaigning in '80, I went to one of his campaign events in San Diego. As it was winding up, my friend and I starting walking out to beat the crowd and RR +entourage walked right past us (10 feet or so) on the way to his vehicle. We called to him (Hey Ronnie!) and he waved and winked on his way by.
A truly wonderful post,Destro..Thank you.
For what it's worth, I also saw JFK (as a VERY small boy) from his motorcade on his way to a commencement speech at SDSU. He stood up just as the car went by. I think it was '62 but I still remember it well.
Thanking me? You just damned me in another post - make up your mind :)
I loved this one and it thought it deserved praise. Well done,indeed!
Excellent post....thank you
"Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients."
-October 27, 1964
"The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing."
-October 27, 1964
"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, 'The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.' "
-October 27, 1964
"Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. "
"Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
"All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk."
"History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap."
"I favor the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it must be enforced at gunpoint if necessary."
"Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong."
"We can not play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent."
"Listening to the liberals, you'd think that the 1980's were the worst period since the Great Depression, filled with suffering and despair."
-RNC Annual Gala, Feb. 3, 1994
(Of course, according to Kerry, 2001-2003 was the worst period since the Great Depression. The hypsurdity never ends.)
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