Great Ronald Reagan Quotes

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America is too great for small dreams.
Ronald Reagan
No matter how old you are now. You are never too young or too old for success or going after what you want. Here’s a short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages 1) Helen Keller, at the age of 19 months, became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. 2) Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5. 3) Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.” 4) Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank. 5) Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster at the age of 13. 6) Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14. 7) Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in November 1950, at the age of 15. 8) Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil. 9) Elvis was a superstar by age 19. 10) John Lennon was 20 years and Paul Mcartney was 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in 1961. 11) Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936. 12) Beethoven was a piano virtuoso by age 23 13) Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica at age 24 14) Roger Bannister was 25 when he broke the 4 minute mile record 15) Albert Einstein was 26 when he wrote the theory of relativity 16) Lance E. Armstrong was 27 when he won the tour de France 17) Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta” by age 28 18) Alexander the Great, by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world 19) J.K. Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter 20) Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean 21) Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind 22) Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest 23) Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 when he wrote the speech “I Have a Dream." 24) Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics 25) The Wright brothers, Orville (32) and Wilbur (36) invented and built the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight 26) Vincent Van Gogh was 37 when he died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions. 27) Neil Armstrong was 38 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon. 28) Mark Twain was 40 when he wrote "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", and 49 years old when he wrote "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" 29) Christopher Columbus was 41 when he discovered the Americas 30) Rosa Parks was 42 when she refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger 31) John F. Kennedy was 43 years old when he became President of the United States 32) Henry Ford Was 45 when the Ford T came out. 33) Suzanne Collins was 46 when she wrote "The Hunger Games" 34) Charles Darwin was 50 years old when his book On the Origin of Species came out. 35) Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa. 36) Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president. 37) Ray Kroc Was 53 when he bought the McDonalds Franchise and took it to unprecedented levels. 38) Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote "The Cat in the Hat". 40) Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III was 57 years old when he successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived 41) Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise 42) J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out 43) Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became President of the US 44) Jack Lalane at age 70 handcuffed, shackled, towed 70 rowboats 45) Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President
Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way
Ronald Reagan
Make your own dream. That's the Beatles' story, isn't it? That's Yoko's story, that's what I'm saying now. Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It's quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don't expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself. That's what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There's nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can't wake you up. You can wake you up. I can't cure you. You can cure you.
John Lennon
All great change in America begins at the dinner table.
Ronald Reagan
They tell us we must learn to live with less, and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been; that the America of the coming years will be a place where — because of our past excesses — it will be impossible to dream and make those dreams come true. I don't believe that. And, I don't believe you do either. That is why I am seeking the presidency. I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity. I don't agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.
Ronald Reagan
What would this country be without this great land of ours.
Ronald Reagan
I was not a great communicator, but I communicated great things.
Ronald Reagan
Great things can be accomplished, when it doesnt matter who gets the credit.
Ronald Reagan (Quotations From President Ron)
Inrealized how valuable the art and practice of writing letters are, and how important it is to remind people of what a treasure letters--handwritten letters--can be. In our throwaway era of quick phone calls, faxes, and email, it's all to easy never to find the time to write letters. That's a great pity--for historians and the rest of us.
Nancy Reagan (I Love You, Ronnie: The Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan)
There can be no freedom without order, and there is no order without virtue. Now, that’s a simple enough formulation, but it’s an insight found not only in the writings of Founding Fathers like Washington or great political thinkers like Edmund Burke; it is also found in a great part of our Judeo-Christian tradition.
Ronald Reagan
No matter what your background, no matter how low your station in life, there must be no limit on your ability to reach for the stars, to go as far as your God-given talents will take you. Trust the people; believe every human being is capable of greatness, capable of self-government . . . only when people are free to worship, create, and build, only when they are given a personal stake in deciding their destiny and benefiting from their own risks, only then do societies become dynamic, prosperous, progressive, and free.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
Ronald Wilson Reagan: America represents something universal in the human spirit. I received a letter not long ago from a man who said, “You can go to Japan to live, but you cannot become Japanese. You can go to France to live and not become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Turkey, and you won’t become a German or a Turk.” But then he added, “Anybody from any corner of the world can come to America to live and become an American.
John McCain (The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss. Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight. We've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together. For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge, and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us. We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and, perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers. And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's take-off. I know it's hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them. I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program. And what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA, or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it." There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete. The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God." Thank you.
Ronald Reagan
God had a divine purpose in placing this land between two great oceans to be found by those who had a special love of freedom and courage. —RONALD REAGAN
Bill O'Reilly (Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency)
The press is dying to paint me as now trying to undo the New Deal. I remind them I voted for F.D.R. 4 times. I’m trying to undo the “Great Society.” It was L.B.J.’s war on poverty that led to our present mess.
Ronald Reagan (The Reagan Diaries)
Doing for people what they can, and ought to do for themselves, is a dangerous experiment,” the great labor leader Samuel Gompers said. “In the last analysis, the welfare of the workers depends on their own initiative.” The classic “liberal” believed individuals should be masters of their own destiny and the least government is the best government; these are precepts of freedom and self-reliance that are at the root of the American way and the American spirit.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed. When the British forgot that they got a revolution. And, as a result, we Americans got a Constitution; a Constitution that, as those who wrote it were determined, would keep men free. If we give up part of that Constitution we give up part of our freedom and increase the chance that we will lose it all. … I am not ready to take that risk. I believe that the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive.
Ronald Reagan
They looted your public and corporate treasuries, and turned your industries over to nincompoops,” he said. “Then they had your Government borrow so heavily from us that we had no choice but to send over an Army of Occupation in business suits. Never before has the Ruling Class of a country found a way to stick other countries with all the responsibilities their wealth might imply, and still remain rich beyond the dreams of avarice! No wonder they thought the comatose Ronald Reagan was a great President!
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Hocus Pocus)
Ronald Reagan goes around saying that Nicaragua is communist and that communism is a threat to Central America. Why doesn't he say that he's a big capitalist, and that capitalism has made a great mess of Central America? Why doesn't he talk about what capitalism has done? We don't know what communism is, but we sure know what capitalism has done for us!
Elvia Alvarado (Don't Be Afraid, Gringo)
Just as the towering myth of Abraham Lincoln—honest backwoods lawyer, spinner of yarns, righter of wrongs—tells only part of the truth, so, too, is the myth of America woefully incomplete. The country that Ronald Reagan once called “a shining city upon a hill” has, in fact, been tangled up in darkness since before she was born. Millions of souls have graced the American stage over the centuries, played parts both great and small, and made their final exits. But of all the souls who witnessed America’s birth and growth, who fought in her finest hours, and who had a hand in her hidden history, only one soul remains to tell the whole truth. What follows is the story of Henry Sturges. What follows is the story of an American life.
Seth Grahame-Smith (The Last American Vampire (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, #2))
Presidents lie all the time. Really great presidents lie. Abraham Lincoln managed to end slavery in America partially by deception. (In an 1858 debate, he flatly insisted that he had no intention of abolishing slavery in states where it was already legal — he had to say this in order to slow the tide of secession.) Franklin Roosevelt lied about the U.S. position of neutrality until we entered World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. (Though the public and Congress believed his public pledge of impartiality, he was already working in secret with Winston Churchill and selling arms to France.) Ronald Reagan lied about Iran-Contra so much that it now seems like he was honestly confused. Politically, the practice of lying is essential. By the time the Lewinsky story broke, Clinton had already lied about many, many things. (He’d openly lied about his level of commitment to gay rights during the ’92 campaign.) The presidency is not a job for an honest man. It’s way too complex. If honesty drove the electoral process, Jimmy Carter would have served two terms and the 2008 presidential race would have been a dead heat between Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.
Chuck Klosterman
I had a copy of the Soviet Constitution and I read it with great interest. And I saw all kinds of terms in there that sound just exactly like our own: 'Freedom of assembly' and 'freedom of speech' and so forth. Of course, they don't allow them to have those things, but they're in there in the constitution. But I began to wonder about the other constitutions - everyone has one - and our own, and why so much emphasis on ours. And then I found out, and the answer was very simple - that's why you don't notice it at first. But it is so great that it tells the entire difference. All those other constitutions are documents that say, 'We, the government, allow the people the following rights,' and our Constitution says 'We the People, allow the government the following privileges and rights.' We give our permission to government to do the things that it does. And that's the whole story of the difference - why we're unique in the world and why no matter what our troubles may be, we're going to overcome.
Ronald Reagan
Any system that penalizes success and accomplishment is wrong. Any system that discourages work, discourages productivity, discourages economic progress, is wrong. If, on the other hand, you reduce tax rates and allow people to spend or save more of what they earn, they’ll be more industrious; they’ll have more incentive to work hard, and money they earn will add fuel to the great economic machine that energizes our national progress. The result: more prosperity for all—and more revenue for government. A few economists call this principle supply-side economics. I just call it common sense.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
I learned that hard work is an essential part of life—that by and large, you don’t get something for nothing—and that America was a place that offered unlimited opportunity to those who did work hard. I learned to admire risk takers and entrepreneurs, be they farmers or small merchants, who went to work and took risks to build something for themselves and their children, pushing at the boundaries of their lives to make them better. I have always wondered at this American marvel, the great energy of the human soul that drives people to better themselves and improve the fortunes of their families and communities. Indeed, I know of no greater force on earth.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
Make America Great Again”—ripped off from Ronald Reagan, and traced the decline of the country to the mid-1960s. Though he didn’t mention the Johnson era’s Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, or public subsidies for housing and health care, Trump’s dog whistle was just the right pitch to attract the support of white supremacists and nearly all-white crowds of thousands at his campaign rallies.
Jonathan Allen (Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign)
let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead. Thank
Nancy Reagan (I Love You, Ronnie: The Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan)
According to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, for the fifty years following the Great Depression, the tax rate on the highest income bracket averaged 80 percent, redistributing much of the richest Americans’ wealth. Beginning in the 1980s with the advent of politicians like Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK, and with growth increasingly seen as the be-all and end-all of economics, far less was asked of the wealthy. The comparable tax figure for 2020 was 37 percent.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves)
After all, Malthus was wrong. Marx was wrong. Democracy did not die during the Great Depression as the Communists predicted. And Khrushchev did not 'bury' us. We buried him. Neville Chute's On the Beach proved as fanciful as Dr. Strangelove and Seven Days in May. Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb never exploded. It fizzled. The Clash of 79 produced Ronald Reagan and an era of good feelings. The Club of Rome notwithstanding, we did not run out of oil. The world did not end at the close of the second millennium, as some prophesied and others hoped. Who predicted the disappearance of the Soviet Empire? Is it not possible that today's most populous nations -China, India, and Indonesia- could break into pieces as well? Why do predictions of the Death of the West not belong on the same shelf as the predictions of 'nuclear winter' and 'global warming'? Answer: the Death of the West is not a prediction of what is going to happen, it is a depiction of what is happening now. First World nations are dying.
Pat Buchanan
As one longtime New York realtor once said of conspicuous wealth, "It was considered un-American." The rich were also, as they likely would be in a lower-consuming economy, simply less rich. According to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, for the fifty years following the Great Depression, the tax rate on the highest income bracket averaged 80 percent, redistributing much of the richest Americans' wealth. Beginning in the 1980s with the advent of politicians like Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK, and with growth increasingly seen as the be-all and end-all of economics, far less was asked of the wealthy. The comparable tax figure for 2020 was 37 percent.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves)
For ‘terrorists’, read ‘guerrillas’ or – as President Ronald Reagan would call them in the years to come – ‘freedom fighters’. Terrorists, terrorists, terrorists. In the Middle East, in the entire Muslim world, this word would become a plague, a meaningless punctuation mark in all our lives, a full stop erected to finish all discussion of injustice, constructed as a wall by Russians, Americans, Israelis, British, Pakistanis, Saudis, Turks, to shut us up. Who would ever say a word in favour of terrorists? What cause could justify terror? So our enemies are always ‘terrorists’. In the seventeenth century, governments used ‘heretic’ in much the same way, to end all dialogue, to prescribe obedience.
Robert Fisk (The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East)
The term “liberal” is sometimes used in a much narrower partisan sense, as the opposite of “conservative.” Yet many so-called conservatives also embrace liberalism. Test yourself. Do you think people should choose their government rather than blindly obeying a king? Do you think people should choose their profession rather than being born into a caste? Do you think people should choose their spouse rather than marrying whomever their parents select? If you answered “Yes” to all three questions, congratulations, you are a liberal. In particular, it is vital to remember that conservative heroes such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were great champions not only of economic freedoms but also of individual liberties.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Now, I have to tell you, this reminds me of a story. Actually, it’s an old baseball story. You see, one day, old Lucifer down there from his headquarters called St. Peter in Heaven, said they wanted to challenge him to a baseball game. And St. Peter said, “Sure, let’s play. But to be fair, I have to tell you all the great ones are up here. We’ve got Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Satchel Paige, Roberto Clemente. We’ve got all the best players, and our manager is the legendary Connie Mack. You won’t have a chance.” Well, old Lucifer says, “That doesn’t matter, we’ll win anyway.” And St. Peter says, “How do you expect to do that?” “Well,” he says, “simple, we’ve got all the umpires.” Luncheon for Representative Connie Mack Miami, Florida June 29, 1988
Malcolm Kushner (The Humor of Ronald Reagan: Quips, Jokes and Anecdotes From the Great Communicator)
Great nations which fail to meet their responsibilities are consigned to the dust bin of history. We grew from that small, weak republic which had as its assets spirit, optimism, faith in God and an unshakeable belief that free men and women could govern themselves wisely. We became the leader of the free world, an example for all those who cherish freedom. … If we are to continue to be that example -- if we are to preserve our own freedom -- we must understand those who would dominate us and deal with them with determination ... We must shoulder our burden with our eyes fixed on the future, but recognizing the realities of today, not counting on mere hope or wishes. We must be willing to carry out our responsibility as the custodian of individual freedom. Then we will achieve our destiny to be as a shining city on a hill for all mankind to see.
Ronald Reagan
...Now let's set the record straight. There's no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there's only one guaranteed way you can have peace—and you can have it in the next second—surrender. Admittedly, there's a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face—that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand—the ultimatum. And what then—when Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we're retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary, because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he's heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he'd rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin—just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it's a simple answer after all. You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." "There is a point beyond which they must not advance." And this—this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said, "The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we're spirits—not animals." And he said, "There's something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty." 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'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness...
Ronald Reagan (Speaking My Mind: Selected Speeches)
This view, while understandable, given the sensational media coverage of crack in the 1980s and 1990s, is simply wrong. While it is true that the publicity surrounding crack cocaine led to a dramatic increase in funding for the drug war (as well as to sentencing policies that greatly exacerbated racial disparities in incarceration rates), there is no truth to the notion that the War on Drugs was launched in response to crack cocaine. President Ronald Reagan officially announced the current drug war in 1982, before crack became an issue in the media or a crisis in poor black neighborhoods. A few years after the drug war was declared, crack began to spread rapidly in the poor black neighborhoods of Los Angeles and later emerged in cities across the country.2 The Reagan administration hired staff to publicize the emergence of crack cocaine in 1985 as part of a strategic effort to build public and legislative support for the war.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
I begin this chapter with President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Speech on January 11, 1989. President Reagan encouraged the rising generation to “let ’em know and nail ’em on it”—that is, to push back against teachers, professors, journalists, politicians, and others in the governing generation who manipulate and deceive them: An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties. But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs [protection]. So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important—why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.” Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen, I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.1
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the Saudi regime saw an opportunity to rid itself, however temporarily, of the holy warriors it had nurtured for nearly a century. With economic and military support from the United States and tactical training provided by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the Saudis began funneling a steady stream of radical Islamic militants (known as the Mujahadin, or “those who make jihad”) from Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East into Afghanistan, where they could be put to use battling the godless communists. The intention, as President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, famously put it, was to “give the USSR its own Vietnam” by keeping the Soviet army bogged down in an unwinnable war in hostile territory. The United States considered the Mujahadin to be an important ally in the Great Game being played out against the Soviet Union and, in fact, referred to these militants as “freedom fighters.” President Ronald Reagan even compared them to America’s founding fathers.
Reza Aslan (No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
This idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. 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 capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between 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. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course. In this vote-harvesting time they use terms like the “Great Society,” or as we were told a few days ago by the president, we must accept a “greater government activity in the affairs of the people.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
In North America, there is no nostalgia for the postwar period, quite simply because the Trente Glorieuses never existed there: per capita output grew at roughly the same rate of 1.5–2 percent per year throughout the period 1820–2012. To be sure, growth slowed a bit between 1930 and 1950 to just over 1.5 percent, then increased again to just over 2 percent between 1950 and 1970, and then slowed to less than 1.5 percent between 1990 and 2012. In Western Europe, which suffered much more from the two world wars, the variations are considerably greater: per capita output stagnated between 1913 and 1950 (with a growth rate of just over 0.5 percent) and then leapt ahead to more than 4 percent from 1950 to 1970, before falling sharply to just slightly above US levels (a little more than 2 percent) in the period 1970–1990 and to barely 1.5 percent between 1990 and 2012. Western Europe experienced a golden age of growth between 1950 and 1970, only to see its growth rate diminish to one-half or even one-third of its peak level during the decades that followed. [...] If we looked only at continental Europe, we would find an average per capita output growth rate of 5 percent between 1950 and 1970—a level well beyond that achieved in other advanced countries over the past two centuries. These very different collective experiences of growth in the twentieth century largely explain why public opinion in different countries varies so widely in regard to commercial and financial globalization and indeed to capitalism in general. In continental Europe and especially France, people quite naturally continue to look on the first three postwar decades—a period of strong state intervention in the economy—as a period blessed with rapid growth, and many regard the liberalization of the economy that began around 1980 as the cause of a slowdown. In Great Britain and the United States, postwar history is interpreted quite differently. Between 1950 and 1980, the gap between the English-speaking countries and the countries that had lost the war closed rapidly. By the late 1970s, US magazine covers often denounced the decline of the United States and the success of German and Japanese industry. In Britain, GDP per capita fell below the level of Germany, France, Japan, and even Italy. It may even be the case that this sense of being rivaled (or even overtaken in the case of Britain) played an important part in the “conservative revolution.” Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the United States promised to “roll back the welfare state” that had allegedly sapped the animal spirits of Anglo-Saxon entrepreneurs and thus to return to pure nineteenth-century capitalism, which would allow the United States and Britain to regain the upper hand. Even today, many people in both countries believe that the conservative revolution was remarkably successful, because their growth rates once again matched continental European and Japanese levels. In fact, neither the economic liberalization that began around 1980 nor the state interventionism that began in 1945 deserves such praise or blame. France, Germany, and Japan would very likely have caught up with Britain and the United States following their collapse of 1914–1945 regardless of what policies they had adopted (I say this with only slight exaggeration). The most one can say is that state intervention did no harm. Similarly, once these countries had attained the global technological frontier, it is hardly surprising that they ceased to grow more rapidly than Britain and the United States or that growth rates in all of these wealthy countries more or less equalized [...] Broadly speaking, the US and British policies of economic liberalization appear to have had little effect on this simple reality, since they neither increased growth nor decreased it.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
In 1964 the fear & loathing of Barry Goldwater was startling. Martin Luther King, Jr., detected “dangerous signs of Hitlerism in the Goldwater campaign.” Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, warned that “a Jewish vote for Goldwater is a vote for Jewish suicide.” And George Meany, head of the AFL-CIO, saw power falling into “the hands of union-hating extremists, racial bigots, woolly-minded seekers after visions of times long past.” On Election Day Goldwater suffered a devastating defeat, winning only 41 electoral votes. It was the judgment of the establishment that Goldwater’s critique of American liberalism had been given its final exposure on the national political scene. Conservatives could now go back to their little lairs and sing to themselves their songs of nostalgia and fancy, and maybe gather together every few years to hold testimonial dinners in honor of Barry Goldwater, repatriated by Lyndon Johnson to the parched earth of Phoenix, where dwell only millionaires seeking dry air to breathe and the Indians Barry Goldwater could now resume photographing. But then of course 16 years later the world was made to stand on its head when Ronald Reagan was swept into office on a platform indistinguishable from what Barry had been preaching. During
William F. Buckley Jr. (A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century)
When the time comes, & I hope it comes soon, to bury this era of moral rot & the defiling of our communal, social, & democratic norms, the perfect epitaph for the gravestone of this age of unreason should be Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley's already infamous quote: "I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing... as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” Grassley's vision of America, quite frankly, is one I do not recognize. I thought the heart of this great nation was not limited to the ranks of the plutocrats who are whisked through life in chauffeured cars & private jets, whose often inherited riches are passed along to children, many of whom no sacrifice or service is asked. I do not begrudge wealth, but it must come with a humility that money never is completely free of luck. And more importantly, wealth can never be a measure of worth. I have seen the waitress working the overnight shift at a diner to give her children a better life, & yes maybe even take them to a movie once in awhile - and in her, I see America. I have seen the public school teachers spending extra time with students who need help & who get no extra pay for their efforts, & in them I see America. I have seen parents sitting around kitchen tables with stacks of pressing bills & wondering if they can afford a Christmas gift for their children, & in them I see America. I have seen the young diplomat in a distant foreign capital & the young soldier in a battlefield foxhole, & in them I see America. I have seen the brilliant graduates of the best law schools who forgo the riches of a corporate firm for the often thankless slog of a district attorney or public defender's office, & in them I see America. I have seen the librarian reshelving books, the firefighter, police officer, & paramedic in service in trying times, the social worker helping the elderly & infirm, the youth sports coaches, the PTA presidents, & in them I see America. I have seen the immigrants working a cash register at a gas station or trimming hedges in the frost of an early fall morning, or driving a cab through rush hour traffic to make better lives for their families, & in them I see America. I have seen the science students unlocking the mysteries of life late at night in university laboratories for little or no pay, & in them I see America. I have seen the families struggling with a cancer diagnosis, or dementia in a parent or spouse. Amid the struggles of mortality & dignity, in them I see America. These, & so many other Americans, have every bit as much claim to a government working for them as the lobbyists & moneyed classes. And yet, the power brokers in Washington today seem deaf to these voices. It is a national disgrace of historic proportions. And finally, what is so wrong about those who must worry about the cost of a drink with friends, or a date, or a little entertainment, to rephrase Senator Grassley's demeaning phrasings? Those who can't afford not to worry about food, shelter, healthcare, education for their children, & all the other costs of modern life, surely they too deserve to be able to spend some of their “darn pennies” on the simple joys of life. Never mind that almost every reputable economist has called this tax bill a sham of handouts for the rich at the expense of the vast majority of Americans & the future economic health of this nation. Never mind that it is filled with loopholes written by lobbyists. Never mind that the wealthiest already speak with the loudest voices in Washington, & always have. Grassley’s comments open a window to the soul of the current national Republican Party & it it is not pretty. This is not a view of America that I think President Ronald Reagan let alone President Dwight Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt would have recognized. This is unadulterated cynicism & a version of top-down class warfare run amok. ~Facebook 12/4/17
Dan Rather
and prominent intellectual and political elites leaves the playing field open for others to step in and present themselves as advocates for the entire working or middle class or other distinct underrepresented groups. Indeed, politics since 2000 has been marked by the rise of populists—politicians who spurn “out-of-touch experts” and who claim to speak on behalf of millions of people with whom they in fact have no authentic connection, and in whom they have no genuine interest beyond securing votes to support their own often very personal agendas. In America, the first sign of things to come was during the Great Recession, with the emergence of the Tea Party movement in the Republican Party, inside and outside Congress. The movement formed in reaction to the efforts by the administration of Barack Obama to bail out the U.S. financial sector in the midst of the economic crisis. Its members initially presented themselves as fiscal conservatives, calling for the kind of lower taxes and limited government spending espoused by Ronald Reagan. They quickly moved on to oppose the administration’s promotion of universal health care and other social policies, and soon morphed into an activist protest movement supporting new candidates for office with a mixture of conservative, libertarian, and right-wing populist credentials. Many of these Tea Party candidates would later support Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
Fiona Hill (There Is Nothing For You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century)
When President Ronald Reagan demonstrated to Mikhail Gorbachev that the United States was capable of deploying an effective antimissile missile defense and sought Soviet cooperation in turning it against the extraterrestrials, all pretext of the Cold War ended and the great Soviet monolith in Eastern Europe began to crumble.
Philip J. Corso (The Day After Roswell)
Don’t remember this from the 2016 campaign? That’s because those words were uttered by Ronald Reagan on September 1, 1980, during a speech delivered before the Statue of Liberty. Reagan coined the phrase “Make America great again.” He used it as a gift, not a weapon.
Arthur C. Brooks (Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt)
As one longtime New York realtor once said of conspicuous wealth, "It was considered un-American." The rich were also, as they likely would be in a lower-consuming economy, simply less rich. According to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, for the fifty years following the Great Depression, the tax rate on the highest income bracket averaged 80 percent, redistributing much of the richest Americans' wealth. Beginning in the 1980s with the advent of politicians like Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK, and with growth increasingly seen as the be-all and end-all of economics, far less was asked of the wealthy. The comparable tax figure for 2020 was 37 percent.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How to have a better life and greener world)
but not in the way it is intended to be.3 For an example of a chain of unintended uses, let us start with Phase One, the computer. The mathematical discipline of combinatorics, here basic science, derived from propositional knowledge, led to the building of computers, or so the story goes. (And, of course, to remind the reader of cherry-picking, we need to take into account the body of theoretical knowledge that went nowhere.) But at first, nobody had an idea what to do with these enormous boxes full of circuits as they were cumbersome, expensive, and their applications were not too widespread, outside of database management, only good to process quantities of data. It is as if one needed to invent an application for the thrill of technology. Baby boomers will remember those mysterious punch cards. Then someone introduced the console to input with the aid of a screen monitor, using a keyboard. This led, of course, to word processing, and the computer took off because of its fitness to word processing, particularly with the microcomputer in the early 1980s. It was convenient, but not much more than that until some other unintended consequence came to be mixed into it. Now Phase Two, the Internet. It had been set up as a resilient military communication network device, developed by a research unit of the Department of Defense called DARPA and got a boost in the days when Ronald Reagan was obsessed with the Soviets. It was meant to allow the United States to survive a generalized military attack. Great idea, but add the personal computer plus Internet and we get social networks, broken marriages, a rise in nerdiness, the ability for a post-Soviet person with social difficulties to find a matching spouse. All that thanks to initial U.S. tax dollars (or rather budget deficit) during Reagan’s anti-Soviet crusade.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder)
As great as the all-volunteer force had been under Ronald Reagan, that force had always been a mighty war ax, something designed to smite the country’s opponents with overwhelming combat power, rapidly destroying all resistance before being returned to the shed to be sharpened and hung back on the wall to await its next use. For years now, this awesome force had been used like a hatchet, thousands of small strokes steadily dulling its blade, no downtime allotted for resharpening. A new political philosophy for the use of America’s military had emerged in Washington, a violation of the Powell Doctrine that Jack called the “Strategy of Underwhelming Combat Power,” a term that yielded the unfortunate abbreviation “SUC
Richard Phillips (Immune (The Rho Agenda, #2))
One of the leaders I still admire most was the great communicator, Ronald Reagan. I loved the way he built and framed his message. He used eloquence, humor, and common sense to great effect. (Traits I should add to every list of dos in this book.) I find the themes of his presidency relevant even today. During his State of the Union address in 1985 he reminded us that “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” He was a leader who questioned and changed the established way of doing things
Kimberly Guilfoyle (Making the Case: How to Negotiate Like a Prosecutor in Work and Life)
In some cases, the trust and resulting sense of certainty earned by decisiveness can override an observer’s disagreement with the underlying action. It is a truism that many people voted for and supported Ronald Reagan even though they disagreed with his stance on one or more issues of importance to them. Some people seemed to respect him all the more for his strongly held views in the face of disagreement and criticism.
James Strock (Reagan on Leadership: Executive Lessons from the Great Communicator)
Washingtonians love the "So-and-so is spinning in his grave" cliché. Someone is always speculating about how some great dead American would be scandalized over some crime against How It Used to Be. The Founding Fathers are always spinning in their graves over something, as is Ronald Reagan, or FDR. Edward R. Murrow is a perennial grave spinner in the news business (though in fact, Murrow was cremated).
Mark Leibovich (This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral — plus plenty of valet parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital)
The Wright brothers, Apple and Dr. King are just three examples. Harley-Davidson, Disney and Southwest Airlines are three more. John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were also able to inspire.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
About the same time, Ronald Reagan stepped into the Oval Office and began to pursue policies that reminded many Americans of TR's Big Stick diplomacy. Roosevelt, who had doubled the size of the navy and sent his Great White Fleet on a voyage around the world, surely would have approved of Reagan's plans for a six-hundred ship navy, dramatically increased military spending, and eagerness to challenge the Soviet Union. These policies fit perfectly with TR's philosophy of deterrence (which Reagan expressed succinctly as "peace through strength"), and they were promoted in the same unequivocal moral terms--the American "shining city on a hill" versus the Soviet "evil empire"--that Roosevelt habitually used when describing enemies, foreign and domestic.
Daniel Ruddy (Theodore the Great)
...but the problem was more fundamental. Powell and the State Department hoped an agreement with North Korea would be a positive step reducing the threat of nuclear war. Bush, Cheney, and the Vulcans, wedded to a view of the world as a Manichean contest between good and evil, rejected the idea of negotiating with a state they deemed immoral. If the United States had brought the evil empire of the Soviet Union to its knees, why deal with a state vastly smaller, weaker, and more repressive? Bush's response to Kim Dae-Jung's visit set the tone for the administration. The United States would not enter into an agreement that kept a brutal regime in power. For Bush, foreign policy was an exercise in morality. That appealed to his religious fervor, and greatly simplified dealing with the world beyond America's borders. 'I've got a visceral reaction to this guy...Maybe it's my religion, but I feel passionate about this.' Bush's personalization of foreign policy and his refusal to deal with North Korea was the first of a multitude of errors that came to haunt his presidency. Instead of bringing a denuclearized North Korea peacefully into the family of nations, as seemed within reach in 2001, the Bush administration isolated the government in Pyongyang hoping for its collapse. In the years following, North Korea continued to be an intractable problem for the administration. By the end of Bush's presidency, North Korea had tested a nuclear device and was believed to have tripled its stock of plutonium, accumulating enough for at least six nuclear weapons. Aside from their attachment to the idea of American hegemony, the worldview of Bush, Cheney, and the Vulcans was predicated on a false reading of history. A keystone belief was that Ronald Reagan's harsh rhetoric and policy of firmness had forced the collapse of the Soviet Union and ended the Cold War. In actuality, Ronald Reagan's harsh rhetoric during his first three years in office actually intensified the Cold War and heightened Soviet resistance. Not until Reagan changed course, replaced Alexander Haig with George Schultz, and held out an olive branch to the Soviets did the Cold War begin to thaw. Beginning with the Geneva summit in 1985, Reagan would meet with Gorbachev five times in the next three years, including a precedent-shattering visit to the Kremlin and Red Square. What about the 'evil empire' the president was asked. 'I was talking about another time, another era,' said Reagan. President Reagan deserves full credit for ending the Cold War. But it ended because of his willingness to negotiate with Gorbachev and establish a relationship of mutual trust. For Bush, Cheney, and the Vulcans, this was a lesson they had not learned. (p.188-189)
Jean Edward Smith (Bush)
These “undocumented workers” from south of the border may have come here illegally, but they have long ago integrated themselves into their communities. Once here, they obey the laws. They pay taxes. Many of their sons and daughters serve in the military. They make up the majority of the workforce in several key industries: agricultural workers, child care, kitchen help in restaurants, housecleaning, maid service in hotels, and more. I’ve seen the great contribution they’ve made to their communities in California. Like generations of immigrants before them, they have become American citizens by choice, not by birth. They are, in effect, already citizens in every respect but one. It’s now important to make it official, as Ronald Reagan did, and grant them citizenship—or at least a path to citizenship—in order to save families from the fear of being torn apart by federal agents. Of
Bill Press (Buyer's Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down)
When the price of oil on the world market began to fall, the American business community and the public lost interest in the great energy crusade. Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, removed the solar panels from the White House roof and scrapped the wood-burning stove in the living quarters. America went back to business as usual, buying even larger gasguzzling vehicles, and using ever greater volumes of energy to support a wasteful, consumer-driven lifestyle.
Jeremy Rifkin (The The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World)
The collapse of startups should be no surprise. Ever since antitrust enforcement was changed under Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s, small was bad and big was considered beautiful. Murray Weidenbaum, the first chair of Reagan's Council of Economic Advisors, argued that economic growth, not competition, should be policymakers' primary goal. In his words, “It is not the small businesses that created the jobs,' he concluded, ‘but the economic growth.” And small businesses were sacrificed for the sake of bigger businesses.34 Ryan Decker, an economist at the Federal Reserve, found that the decline is even infecting the high technology sector. Americans look at startups over the years like PayPal and Uber and conclude the tech scene is thriving, but Decker points out that in the post-2000 period, we have seen a decline even in areas of great innovation like technology. Over the past 15 years, there are not only fewer technology startups, but these young firms are slower growing than they were before. Given the importance of technology to growth and productivity, his findings should be extremely troubling. The decline in firm entries is a mystery to many economists, but the cause is clear: greater industrial concentration has been choking the economy, leading to fewer startups. Firms are getting bigger and older. In a comprehensive study, Professor Gustavo Grullon showed that the disappearance of small firms is directly related to increasing industrial concentration. In real terms, the average firm in the economy has become three times larger over the past 20 years. The proportion of people employed by firms with 10,000 employees or more has been growing steadily. The share started to increase in the 1990s, and has recently exceeded previous historical peaks. Grullon concluded that when you look at all the evidence, it points “to a structural change in the US labor market, where most jobs are being created by large and established firms, rather than by entrepreneurial activity.”35 The employment data of small firms supports Grullon's conclusions; from 1978 to 2011, the number of jobs created by new firms fell from 3.4% of total business employment to 2% (Figure 3.2).36
Jonathan Tepper (The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition)
Ronald Reagan breezily shared anecdotes about how Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society handed over hard-earned taxpayer dollars to a “slum dweller” to live in posh government-subsidized housing and provided food stamps for one “strapping young buck” to buy steak, while another used the change he received from purchasing an orange to pay for a bottle of vodka. He ridiculed Medicaid recipients as “a faceless mass, waiting for handouts.” The
Carol Anderson (White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide)
Larry Kudlow hosted a business talk show on CNBC and is a widely published pundit, but he got his start as an economist in the Reagan administration and later worked with Art Laffer, the economist whose theories were the cornerstone of Ronald Reagan’s economic policies. Kudlow’s one Big Idea is supply-side economics. When President George W. Bush followed the supply-side prescription by enacting substantial tax cuts, Kudlow was certain an economic boom of equal magnitude would follow. He dubbed it “the Bush boom.” Reality fell short: growth and job creation were positive but somewhat disappointing relative to the long-term average and particularly in comparison to that of the Clinton era, which began with a substantial tax hike. But Kudlow stuck to his guns and insisted, year after year, that the “Bush boom” was happening as forecast, even if commentators hadn’t noticed. He called it “the biggest story never told.” In December 2007, months after the first rumblings of the financial crisis had been felt, the economy looked shaky, and many observers worried a recession was coming, or had even arrived, Kudlow was optimistic. “There is no recession,” he wrote. “In fact, we are about to enter the seventh consecutive year of the Bush boom.”19 The National Bureau of Economic Research later designated December 2007 as the official start of the Great Recession of 2007–9. As the months passed, the economy weakened and worries grew, but Kudlow did not budge. There is no recession and there will be no recession, he insisted. When the White House said the same in April 2008, Kudlow wrote, “President George W. Bush may turn out to be the top economic forecaster in the country.”20 Through the spring and into summer, the economy worsened but Kudlow denied it. “We are in a mental recession, not an actual recession,”21 he wrote, a theme he kept repeating until September 15, when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Wall Street was thrown into chaos, the global financial system froze, and people the world over felt like passengers in a plunging jet, eyes wide, fingers digging into armrests. How could Kudlow be so consistently wrong? Like all of us, hedgehog forecasters first see things from the tip-of-your-nose perspective. That’s natural enough. But the hedgehog also “knows one big thing,” the Big Idea he uses over and over when trying to figure out what will happen next. Think of that Big Idea like a pair of glasses that the hedgehog never takes off. The hedgehog sees everything through those glasses. And they aren’t ordinary glasses. They’re green-tinted glasses—like the glasses that visitors to the Emerald City were required to wear in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Now, wearing green-tinted glasses may sometimes be helpful, in that they accentuate something real that might otherwise be overlooked. Maybe there is just a trace of green in a tablecloth that a naked eye might miss, or a subtle shade of green in running water. But far more often, green-tinted glasses distort reality. Everywhere you look, you see green, whether it’s there or not. And very often, it’s not. The Emerald City wasn’t even emerald in the fable. People only thought it was because they were forced to wear green-tinted glasses! So the hedgehog’s one Big Idea doesn’t improve his foresight. It distorts it. And more information doesn’t help because it’s all seen through the same tinted glasses. It may increase the hedgehog’s confidence, but not his accuracy. That’s a bad combination.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
FOR GOD AND COUNTRY: TIME FOR MORE TEA PARTIES! Strike them with terror, Lord; let the nations know they are only mortal. Psalm 9:20 Ronald Reagan promised to restore America as a shining city on a hill. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform” our nation. He wanted to fundamentally change America—and alarm bells went off all across our nation, and patriotic folks rose up and found their voices. The great grassroots movement known as the Tea Party was born. The Tea Partiers have taken a lot of media flack. I guess you could say I know something about that too. But for all the media hubbub, all the Tea Partiers want is for America’s government to follow American law; they want a return to constitutional principles, inspired by biblical wisdom. Who can forget Benjamin Franklin’s eloquent request for prayer before each session of the Constitutional Convention? In part, it read: “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth, that God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without His Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without His Aid?” At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, a lady approached Benjamin Franklin with a question. Had a monarchy been born, or a republic? “A republic,” he told her, “if you can keep it.” This profound statement reflects the heart of the Tea Party. SWEET FREEDOM IN Action Our Founding Fathers knew that battles are won with reliance on God. Meditate on Scripture daily. Pray for our nation and her leaders. Defend constitutionalists when you see them besmirched. We serve a faithful God who hears and answers prayer!
Sarah Palin (Sweet Freedom: A Devotional)
As pope, with his charismatic appeal and with the theatrical talent that he had retained from his youth, he brought to the Vatican what Ronald Reagan brought to the White House: a media-wise great communicator who understood how to use his charm, his athletic image and his symbolic gestures to make even the most conservative teaching or practice seem palatable.
Hans Küng (Can We Save the Catholic Church?)
In 1928, on the eve of the Great Depression, midwestern farming communities were struggling, and certainly Reagan’s family didn’t have extra funds for his education. But he set his sights on Eureka College, seventy-five miles from home, and secured a football scholarship for half his tuition, which was $400. The remainder he paid for with his lifeguarding savings, and he was given a job to cover his board, first washing dishes in a fraternity house. By his junior year, he was working as a lifeguard and official swim coach.
Bret Baier (Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire)
From start to finish, the 2016 presidential race can best be understood as the political assertion of an unhappy and highly mobilized public. In the end, Trump was chosen precisely because of, not despite, his apparent shortcomings. He is the visible effect, not the cause, of the public’s surly and mutinous mood. Trump has been for this public what the objet trouvé was for the modern artist: a found instrument, a club near to hand with which to smash at the established order. To compare him to Ronald Reagan, as some of his admirers have done, or to the great dictators, as his opponents constantly do, would be to warp reality as in a funhouse mirror.
Martin Gurri (The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium)
What a clever trap your Ruling Class set for us," he went on. "First the atomic bomb. Now this." "Trap?" I echoed wonderingly. They looted your public and corporate treasuries, and turned your industries over to nincompoops,” he said. “Then they had your Government borrow so heavily from us that we had no choice but to send over an Army of Occupation in business suits. Never before has the Ruling Class of a country found a way to stick other countries with all the responsibilities their wealth might imply, and still remain rich beyond the dreams of avarice! No wonder they thought the comatose Ronald Reagan was a great President!
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Hocus Pocus)
And yet we are a resilient people, caretakers of a blessed nation. It has become a commonplace that we always rise to the occasion in this country. That is still true. And we surprise ourselves, never knowing with exact certainty from whence our next leader or hero will come—good reason to respect and defend one another as Americans, as fellow countrymen dedicated to a great proposition. Allow me a few simple illustrations. If you were sitting in a saloon in 1860, and someone told you that while he did not know who would win that year's presidential election, the next elected president after him was right then a little known leather tanner in Galena, Illinois, he would be laughed out of the saloon. But then came Ulysses S. Grant. If you were sitting at Franklin D. Roosevelt's inauguration, in 1933, and someone told you the next president was a little-known judge in Jackson County, Missouri, he would have been made to look the fool. But then came Harry S. Truman. If you were a political consultant in California in 1950 watching the bitter Senate race between Richard Nixon and Helen Gahagan Douglas (where Nixon labeled Douglas "the pink lady"), and you said that actor Ronald Reagan (who was then campaigning for Douglas) would someday be a Republican president and would crush the Soviet Union, your career would have been over.
William J. Bennett (From a World at War to the Triumph of Freedom 1914-1989 (America: The Last Best Hope #2))
The importance of visiting the Boyhood Home of Former President Ronald Reagan to your personal life is clear and unchallenged. Touring the Home will give you a powerful feeling: You will realize that, though none of us are destined for the greatness that awaited 9-year-old Ronald Reagan, we all have a manner of greatness within us, untapped perhaps for many years, but held there in the heart, like a secret.
Amelia Gray (Museum of the Weird)
assessing Ronald Reagan. There are so many basic questions that even his friends cannot quite figure out, such as (to start with the most basic one): Was he smart? From the brilliant-versus-clueless question flows even more complex ones. Was he a visionary who clung to a few verities, or an amiable dunce who floated obliviously above facts and nuances? Was he a stubborn ideological coot or a clever negotiator able to change course when dealing with Congress and the Soviets and movie moguls? Was he a historic figure who stemmed the tide of government expansion and stared down Moscow, or an out-of-touch actor who bloated the deficit and deserves less credit than Gorbachev for ending the cold war? The most solidly reported biography of Reagan so far—indeed, the only solidly reported biography—is by the scrupulously fair newspaperman Lou Cannon, who has covered him since the 1960s. Edmund Morris, who with great literary flair captured the life of Theodore Roosevelt, was given the access to write an authorized biography, but he became flummoxed by the topic; he took an erratic swing by producing Dutch, a semifictionalized ruminative bio-memoir, thus fouling off his precious opportunity. Both Garry Wills in his elegant 1987 sociobiography, Reagan’s America, and Dinesh D’Souza in his 1997 delicate drypoint, Ronald Reagan, do a good job of analyzing why he was able to make such a successful connection with the American people.
Walter Isaacson (American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers & Heroes of a Hurricane)
President Ronald Reagan famously said that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
Eric Bolling (Wake Up America: The Nine Virtues That Made Our Nation Great—and Why We Need Them More Than Ever)
the Republican approach to immigration was, not long ago, 180 degrees different from what it is now. With a stroke of his pen in 1986, Ronald Reagan provided what today would be called amnesty to more than three million immigrants who were in the country illegally. George H. W. Bush worked with Ted Kennedy, the liberal icon from Massachusetts, to expand immigration, culminating in the Immigration Act of 1990. Among other things, that law introduced the lottery system that President Trump would so adamantly denounce a quarter of a century later. Similarly, George W. Bush supported a pathway to citizenship for many undocumented workers as late as 2007.
Marc Hetherington (Prius or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide)
Whether people realize it or not, “classic” American conservatism—with its emphasis on small government, balanced budgets, free trade, and the innovative firepower of the free enterprise system—has become an anachronism since the rise of Donald Trump as a political force. As he emerged as the leader of the “conservative” party, he advocated enormous increases in government spending, producing huge budget deficits; promised trade protectionism; and worked to close borders to immigrants. What conservatism means today has, in a sense, gone back to the future. William Jennings Bryan—a turn-of-the-twentieth-century Democrat—would be happier than either Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan with the sort of agenda now put forward by the Republican Party.
Marc Hetherington (Prius or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide)
Yet another subset of Protestants was skewing even more quickly to the right than Catholics were, and that sect was also growing in numbers. The Supreme Court’s decisions on school prayer and abortion woke evangelical Protestantism from a decades-long political slumber. With Ronald Reagan promising to fight these decisions, evangelicals became the backbone of the new Republican Party.
Marc Hetherington (Prius or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide)
That is not to say there were not negative consequences to the Trump era. In 2018, according to the Ronald Reagan Institute, 70 percent of Americans had “a great deal of trust and confidence” in the military. By the end of Trump’s term the number had fallen to 56 percent. At the same time, Trump’s decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine while providing political cover for Vladimir Putin’s aggression against it, and seeking to weaken NATO, looks very different and much more reckless in light of Russia’s February 2022 attack on its neighbor. But as each chapter of this book illustrates, the principled, constitutionally based resistance Trump encountered from within his administration to his most dangerous ideas limited the negative consequences of his recklessness.
David Rothkopf (American Resistance: The Inside Story of How the Deep State Saved the Nation)