Monday, 8 June 2009

Quote of the day- Ronald Reagan

Is the fundamental issue of our time the conflict between left and right, as many commenters here at NOT PC maintain?

Speaking as if yesterday, instead of forty-five years ago, former Democrat Ronald Reagan gives the answer during Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign:

You and I are told we must choose between a left or right.  I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order - or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. . . ”

Discuss, perhaps after watching the speech that deservedly brought Reagan to national political prominence – one of the best political speeches of the last half-century, and all without a teleprompter! [Hat tip Angelia]


  1. Richard McGrath8 Jun 2009, 11:21:00

    No teleprompter and no speechwriter, either. Unlike JFK, who used Theodore Sorensen and others to write his speeches, Reagan wrote his own.

  2. " .. Reagan wrote his own."

    Peggy Noonan wrote for him, too.

  3. Here is Reagan (part 1) speech on the anniversary of the D-Day landing in France, which was brilliant:

    Ronald Reagan's 40th Anniversary of D-Day speech 1 of 2

    Fox highlighted the Reagan speech yesterday as they expected Obama to make a speech at Normandy this week to appologise to Europeans for past American foreign policies rather than highlighting the sacrifice that the US has done to the world (exactly as Reagan did) in fighting tyranny and liberating people from living under it.

    I have been pro-American (including it past presidents - regardless of parties) all my life, but I am sad to see a naive president who is undoing the good work (& reputations) that the US has done for the world in the past. I am still pro-US for its the values and its promotions of individual rights, but I don't support the US president. This guy is a disgrace to the founding fathers of the US as well as the men & women who put their life to sacrifice to liberate Europe & the world from tyranny.

    PS : Regan D-Day part 2 speech is found on the same site.

  4. What a stunning speech. My favourite lines:

    "[the Founding Fathers] knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know 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.”

  5. It's worth noting that Reagan was a realistic, pragmatic politician. He understood the difference between political philosophy and political dogma.

    Today's conservatives are nothing like Reagan. The respect for ideas and debate that excited so many of us has been replaced by the need to conform -- and religious wingnuttery.

  6. I agree to a certain extent, but the debate is obviously more complicated than that. There are those who want liberty, and those who think others should be forced into their way of thinking. But not everyone agrees on how to obtain liberty, or even how to subvert it.

    I can't remember who said it, but someone once said that the conflict of left vs right is a conflict of self interest, dressed up in ideology. I think this can be extended somewhat to describe any conflict, with human decisions as but a link in a long chain of causality, and with natural selection deciding the outcome.


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