March 9, 2010

Quotables: Ronald Reagan

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

"We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free."

"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."

"Democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man."

"Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure."

"Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."

"A people free to choose will always choose peace."

"Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty."

"Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means."

"People do not make wars; governments do."

"We are never defeated unless we give up on God."

"If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face."

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table."

"If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen."

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

"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.

"My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out."

"Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."

"There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect."

"There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right."

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

"We might come closer to balancing the Budget if all of us lived closer to the Commandments and the Golden Rule."

"I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress."

"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.

"Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders."

"Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith."

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."

"Politics is just like show business. You have a hell of an opening, coast for a while, and then have a hell of a close."

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

"I've never been able to understand why a Republican contributor is a 'fat cat' and a Democratic contributor of the same amount of money is a 'public-spirited philanthropist'."

"Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15."

"Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets."

"Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them."

"Man is not free unless government is limited."

"Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them."

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

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

"Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse."

"One way to make sure crime doesn't pay would be to let the government run it.

"Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves."

"Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing."

"Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."

"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."

"No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!"

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

"The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much."

"The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."

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

"We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added."

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

"Unemployment insurance is a prepaid vacation for freeloaders."

"Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours."

"Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong."

"It's silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home by Christmas."

"If the Soviet Union let another political party come into existence, they would still be a one-party state, because everybody would join the other party."

"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."

"To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will."

"We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker."

"The thought of being President frightens me and I do not think I want the job."

"How can a president not be an actor?

"I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself."

"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."

"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 left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting."

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

"Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

"One picture is worth 1,000 denials."

"Status quo is Latin for 'the mess we're in'."

"Today we did what we had to do. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong."

"When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat."

"A tree's a tree. How many more do you need to look at?"

"Facts are stubborn things."

"Trust, but verify."

"Going to college offered me the chance to play football for four more years."

"It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?

"Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They're just braver five minutes longer."

"We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone."

"You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans."

"Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music."

-Ronald Reagan, 4oth President of the United States (R), 1981-1989

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