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Ronald Reagan's Challenges to the Superpowers

Ronald Reagan challenges the bureaucratic state, Berlin, 1987.

Ronald Reagan's Challenge to the U.S.S.R. -- Fulfilled

"The West will not contain Communism, it will transcend Communism. We will not bother to denounce it, we'll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written." -- Notre Dame University, May 17, 1981

"It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history.... [It is] the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism- Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people." -- Speech to Britain's Parliament, June, 1982

"Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor." -- Berlin, 1987.

"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!" -- Berlin, 1987.

"Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuous revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions." -- Address to students at Moscow State University, May 31, 1988

Ronald Reagan's Challenges to the U.S. --
Not Yet Fulfilled

"It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, 'We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.'"

"We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of the entire postwar period contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development." -- September 29, 1981

Ronald Reagan's unrealized vision of a good government
"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I 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 maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, 'The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.'"

"If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation."

"Virtually every other revolution in history has just exchanged one set of rulers for another
set of rulers. Our revolution is the first to say the people are the masters, and government is their servant." -- State of the Union Address, 1987

"Many Americans today, just as they did 200 years ago, feel burdened, stifled, and sometimes even oppressed by government that has grown too large, too bureaucratic, too wasteful, too unresponsive, too uncaring about people and their problems. I believe we can embark on a new age of reform in this country and an era of national renewal, an era that will reorder the relationship between citizen and government."

"Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last."

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

                Achieving Reagan's Revolution is Now Up To Us.

"I spoke in the State of the Union of a second American revolution, and now is the time to launch that revolution and see that it takes hold . If we move decisively, these years will not be just a passing era of good feeling, not just a few good years, but a true golden age of freedom." -- Creators of the Future Speech, March 8, 1985.

"From 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?" -- First Inaugural Address, January 20th 1981

"Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." -- First Inaugural Address

"I've learned in Washington, that that's the only place where sound travels faster than light." - December 12, 1983

"We believed then and now: There are no limits to growth and human progress, when men and women are free to follow their dreams." -- Second inaugural address, Jan. 21, 1985

"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." -- First Inaugural Address

"History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap."

"The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a healthy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other."

"Excellence does not begin in Washington."

"Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process."

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

"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."

"Putting people first has always been Americas secret weapon. Its the way weve kept the spirit of our revolutions alive a spirit that drives us to dream and dare, and take great risks for a greater good."

"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."

Other Reagan Quotes

"You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by the way he eats his jelly beans."
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