W. Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, a Lifetime of
His Commencement Speech to the Class of 1957, Eureka College, June 7, 1957:
irreconcilable conflict is between those who believe in the sanctity
of individual freedom and those who believe in the supremacy of
a Televised Speech Supporting Barry Goldwater, October 27, 1964:
and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left
or right, but I would like to suggest that there is no such thing
as a left or right. There is only an up or down up to a mans
age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with
law and order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism,
and regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those
who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward
a Speech to the First Annual Conservative Political Action Conference,
January 25, 1974:
culmination of men's dreams for 6,000 years were formalized with
the Constitution, probably the most unique document ever drawn in
the long history of mans relation to man. I know there have
been other constitutions, new ones are being drawn today by newly
emerging nations. Most of them, even the one of the Soviet Union,
contain many of the same guarantees as our own Constitution, and
still there is a difference. The difference is so subtle that we
often overlook it, but it is so great that it tells the whole story.
Those other constitutions say, Government grants you these
rights, and ours says, You are born with these rights,
they are yours by the grace of God, and no government on earth can
take them from you."
a Speech "To Restore America," During His 1976 Campaign
for the Presidency, March 31, 1976:
I dont believe the people Ive met in almost every State
of this Union are ready to consign this, the last island of freedom,
to the dust bin of history, along with the bones of dead civilizations
of the past. Call it mysticism, if you will, but I believe God had
a divine purpose in placing this land between the two great oceans
to be found by those who had a special love of freedom and the courage
to leave the countries of their birth. From our forefathers to our
modern-day immigrants, weve come from every corner of the
earth, from every race and every ethnic background, and weve
become a new breed in the world. Were Americans and we have
a rendezvous with destiny."
His First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981:
time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become
too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite
group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But
if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among
us has the capacity to govern someone else?
We are a nation
that has a government not the other way around.
Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It
is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows
signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed."
His Second State of the Union Address, January 26, 1982:
to keep the peace we will also keep our freedom."
a Speech to the British House of Commons, June 8, 1982:
hard evidence of totalitarian rule has caused in mankind an uprising
of the intellect and will. Whether it is the growth of the new schools
of economics in America or England or the appearance of the so-called
new philosophers in France, there is one unifying thread running
through the intellectual work of these groups rejection of
the arbitrary power of the state, the refusal to subordinate the
rights of the individual to the superstate, the realization that
collectivism stifles all the best human impulses."
His Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 1985:
must remain freedom's staunchest friend, for freedom is our best
a Televised Address to the Nation, November 14, 1985:
freedom not only because its practical and beneficial, but
because it is morally right and just."
His Speech at the Brandenburg Gate, City of West Berlin, June 12, 1987:
these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one
great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom
replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace.
Freedom is the victor. And now the Soviets themselves may, in a
limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom.
We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness.
We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom
and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can
only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the
Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance
dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. 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!"
His Address to the Future Farmers of America, July 28, 1988:
seems to be an increasing awareness of something we Americans have
known for some time that the 10 most dangerous words in the
English language are Hi, Im from the government and
Im here to help."
His Farewell Address From the Oval Office, January 11, 1989:
spoken of the shining city [upon a hill] all my political life,
but I dont 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. Thats how
I saw it and see it still. And how stands the city on this winter
night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight
years ago. But more than that; after 200 years, two centuries, she
still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow
has held steady no matter what storm. And shes still a beacon,
still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims
from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness,
His Address to the 1992 Republican National Convention, August 17, 1992:
let us all renew our commitment. Renew our pledge to day by day,
person by person, make our country and the world a better place
to live. Then when the nations of the world turn to us and say,
America, you are the model of freedom and prosperity.
We can turn to them and say, you ain't seen nothing, yet!"
a Letter to the American Public Announcing His Affliction With Alzheimers
Disease, November 5, 1994:
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."
June 9, 2004]
images courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation,
all rights reserved.