Ronald Reagan Quotes

In honor of the 25th anniversary of Reaganomics, I hereby provide the following quotes by then-President Ronald “One for the Gipper” Reagan. These are more food-for-thought than anything else, but if you have anythoughts you’d like to share (pro or con), feel free to do it here.

“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.”

“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”

“Coersion, after all, merely captures man. Freedom captivates him.”

“Don’t be afraid to see what you see.”

“Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.”

“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.”

“Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.’ And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.”

Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.”

“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.”

“I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.”

“I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves.”

“I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I’m in a cabinet meeting.”

“I know in my heart that man is good.
That what is right will always eventually triumph.
And there’s purpose and worth to each and every life.”

“If you’re afraid of the future, then get out of the way, stand aside. The people of this country are ready to move again.”

“People don’t start wars, governments do.”

“Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.”

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

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

“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

“The ultimate determinant 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 ideals to which we are dedicated.”

“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.”

“To sit back hoping that someday, someway, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last–but eat you he will.”

“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.”

“Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.”

“History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.”

“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.”

“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 benefitting 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.”

“The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.”

“We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

“We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.”

“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 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.”

“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.”

“It was leadership here at home that gave us strong American influence abroad, and the collapse of imperial Communism. Great nations have responsibilities to lead, and we should always be cautious of those who would lower our profile, because they might just wind up lowering our flag.”

“My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.”

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere.”

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