Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Favorite Quotes from Ronald Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to the presidency, he was a Hollywood actor and union leader before serving as the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975. As President of the United States he inspired a generation and his term saw a restoration of prosperity at home, with the goal of achieving “peace through strength” abroad. Notably, through his convictions and moral force as a leader, he led an end to the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and he is credited with helping bring down the Berlin Wall, with his famous words spoken on June 12, 1987, at the Brandenburg Gate: “General Secretary 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!” In 2011, anti-communist leader Lech Walesa unveiled a statue of Ronald Reagan in Warsaw, honoring the late U.S. president for inspiring Poland's own overthrow of communism. Here are a few of my favorite Reagan quotes: 

“The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become.” 

“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” 

“Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” 

“The ultimate determinate in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas - a trial of spiritual resolve; the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideas to which we are dedicated.” 

“I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” 

“I believe we can embark on a new age of reform in this country and an era of national renewal. An era that will reorder the relationship between citizen and government, that will make government again responsive to people, that will revitalize the values of family, work, and neighborhood and that will restore our private and independent social institutions. These institutions always have served as both buffer and bridge between the individual and the state—and these institutions, not government, are the real sources of our economic and social progress as a people.”

“If we lose freedom here [in America], there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth”

“We celebrated our 200th anniversary as a nation a short time ago. Fireworks exploded over Boston harbor, Arthur Fiedler conducted, thousands cheered and waved Old Glory. These were not just images of a bicentennial; they were reminders of our birthright of freedom—and of generous, fervent patriotism that burns in America. A patriotism that shows itself sometimes in very unexpected places. Remember "baseball's designated patriot"—Rick Monday—an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs who on April 25, 1976, at Dodger Stadium grabbed our flag from two demonstrators who were trying to burn it in center field—and as he came off the field to the dugout, carrying the flag, thousands stood and cheered and then found themselves singing “God Bless America.”

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

“The men of Normandy [on D-Day June 6, 1944] 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 the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray to 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.” 

“Since her beginning America has held fast to this hope of divine providence, this vision of "man with God." It is true that world peace is jeopardized by those who view man—not as a noble being—but as an accident of nature, without soul, and important only to the extent he can serve an all powerful state. But it is our spiritual commitment—more than all the military might in the world—that will win our struggle for peace. It is ... belief and resolve—it is humility before God that is ultimately the source of America's strength as a nation.” 

“I've spoken of [America as] the shining city [on a hill] all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still.” 

“At this very moment, some young American, coming up along the Virginia or Maryland shores of the Potomac is seeing for the first time the lights that glow on the great halls of our government and the monuments to the memory of our great men. Let us resolve tonight that young Americans will always see those Potomac lights; that they will always find there a city of hope in a country that is free. And let us resolve they will say of our day and our generation that we did keep faith with our God, that we did act "worthy of ourselves;" that we did protect and pass on lovingly that shining city on a hill.”

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