Inspiring Address by Ronald Reagan (1964)
First in a series. One of the finest speeches by “The Gipper,” Ronald Wilson Reagan. From October, 1964.
So many memorable and important lines in this speech. Below are a few.
“I’ve spent most of my life as a democrat. I have recently seen fit to follow another course.”
“We have $15 billion of gold in our treasury. We don’t own an ounce. Foreign dollar claims on our treasury are 23.7 billion dollars.”
“We have just had announced that the dollar of 1939 will now purchase 45 cents in total value.” (Ed. In 1964.)
Video and more important quotes below.
On elites (central planners) running government. “This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan ourselves.”
“And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman defines liberalism as ‘meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government.’ Well, I for one resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me, the free men and women of this country, as “the masses.” This is a term we haven’t applied to ourselves in America.”
“But beyond that, the full power of centralized government – this was the very thing the founding fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don’t control things. A government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew that when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those founding fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.”
“For three decades we’ve sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning and the more their plans fail, the more the planners plan.”
Medicare, compulsory medical “insurance:” “I think we are for telling our senior citizens that no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds. But I think we are against forcing all citizens regardless of need into a compulsory government program, especially when we have such examples as was announced last week when France admitted that their Medicare program is now bankrupt. They’ve come to the end of the road.”
Liberal ideology: “The trouble with our liberal friends is not because they are ignorant, it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
Growth of government: “A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth.”
On the Democrat party: Back in 1936, Mr. Democrat himself, Al Smith, the Great American came before the people and charged that the leadership of his party was taking the party of Jefferson, Jackson and Cleveland down the road under the banners of Marx, Lenin and Stalin. And he walked away from his party and he never returned till the day he died. Because to this day the leadership of that party has been taking that honorable party down the road, in the image of the Labor Socialist party of England.”
“Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural unalienable rights are now considered a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.”
Closing remarks: “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll 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. … You and I have the ability, the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny.”
Source: The Reagan Presidential Library via YouTube