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Sunday, June 06, 2004

In Memoriam: Ronald Reagan 1911 - 2004
 


In fond memory of President Reagan


Notwithstanding all that will be said, and written by many people, I would like to let Ronald Reagan speak for himself: The Reagan Information Page; The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation: quotes and speeches; A Life in Letters; In His Own Hand; Speaking my Mind; In His Own Voice; and some soundbytes: 1, 2, 3.

How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.


Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.


But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.


I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. congress.


A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no responsibility at the other.


In America, our origins matter less than our destination, and that is what democracy is all about.


While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.


Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.


It is astonishing what you can accomplish if you do not mind who gets the credit.


I've always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.


Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.


It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.


The most terrifying words in the English langauge are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.


Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.


The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.


We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefiting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of the entire postwar period contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development.


Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.


We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for 8 years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.

[Farewell Address to the Nation, 20th January, 1989]


However, our task is far from over. Our friends in the other party will never forgive us for our success, and are doing everything in their power to rewrite history. Listening to the liberals, you'd think that the 1980's were the worst period since the Great Depression, filled with suffering and despair. I don't know about you, but I'm getting awfully tired of the whining voices from the White House these days. They're claiming there was a decade of greed and neglect, but you and I know better than that. We were there.
[RNC Annual Gala, 3rd February, 1994]


Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.

-- Ronald Reagan --

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