Today is the birthday of Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004. Two of my recent tributes to the 40th president are posted below. Reagan was a great statesman, not just a great communicator. To honor our hero's memory, I offer a few gems from the countless sparkling words he left us. May we prove worthy of his legacy - JA------------------------------------------------------------------------- REAGAN IN HIS OWN WORDS
** "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." (National TV appeal for Goldwater, 1964)
** "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."
** "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 ideas to which we are dedicated."
** "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes." (Joking on a radio microphone test, 1984)
** "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."
** "I have seen the rise and fall of Nazi tyranny, the subsequent cold war and the nuclear nightmare that for fifty years haunted the dreams of children everywhere. During that time my generation defeated totalitarianism. As a result, your world is poised for better tomorrows. What will you do on your journey?"
** "The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take a civil-service exam."
** "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 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."
** "I've spoken of the shining city all my political life... a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, 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.... 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 she's 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, toward home." (Farewell address, 1989)
** "They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that 'the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits -- not animals.' And he said, 'There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.'"
** "A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his." (Campaigning in 1980)
** "I hope you're all Republicans." (To surgeons after his assassination attempt,1981)
** "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."
[Thanks to John Hawkins of rightwingnews.com, where these and many other Reaganisms are posted.]