Ronald Reagan Sayings Quotes

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I've heard that hard work never killed anyone, but I say why take the chance?
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
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will 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. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.
Ronald Reagan (A Time for Choosing: The Speeches of Ronald Reagan, 1961-1982)
I heard one presidential candidate say that what this country needed was a president for the nineties. I was set to run again. I thought he said a president IN his nineties.
Ronald Reagan (Speaking My Mind: Selected Speeches)
Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal. It was Mussolini's success in Italy, with his government-directed economy, that led the early New Dealers to say "But Mussolini keeps the trains running on time.
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan has a stack of three-by-five cards in his lap. He skids up a new one: "What advice do you, as the youngest American fighting man ever to win both the Navy Cross and the Silver Star, have for any young marines on their way to Guadalcanal?" Shaftoe doesn't have to think very long. The memories are still as fresh as last night's eleventh nighmare: ten plucky Nips in Suicide Charge! "Just kill the one with the sword first." "Ah," Reagan says, raising his waxed and penciled eyebrows, and cocking his pompadour in Shaftoe's direction. "Smarrrt--you target them because they're the officers, right?" "No, fuckhead!" Shaftoe yells. "You kill 'em because they've got fucking swords! You ever had anyone running at you waving a fucking sword?
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. When our Founding Fathers passed the First Amendment, they sought to protect churches from government interference. They never intended to construct a wall of hostility between government and the concept of religious belief itself. … To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions every day, I say: The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.
Ronald Reagan
And now please note that I have raised my right hand. And that means that I'm not kidding, that whatever I say next I believe to be true. So here it goes: The most spiritually splendid American phenomenon of my lifetime wasn't our contribution to the defeat of the Nazis, in which I played such a large part, or Ronald Reagan's overthrow of Godless Communism, in Russia at least. The most spiritually splendid American phenomenon of my lifetime is how African-American citizens have maintained their dignity and self-respect, despite their having been treated by white Americans, both in and out of government, and simply because of their skin color, as though they were contemptible and loathsome, and even diseased." "If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
They had that special grace, that special spirit that says, 'Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy." on Challenger disaster
Ronald Reagan
I couldn t help but say to Mr. Gorbachev just think how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from another planet. We d find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together
Ronald Reagan
I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, 'We must broaden the base of our party'- when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents
Ronald Reagan
You can't help those who simply will not be helped. One problem that we've had, even in the best of times, is people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice.
Ronald Reagan
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
Evangelicals hadn’t betrayed their values. Donald Trump was the culmination of their half-century-long pursuit of a militant Christian masculinity. He was the reincarnation of John Wayne, sitting tall in the saddle, a man who wasn’t afraid to resort to violence to bring order, who protected those deemed worthy of protection, who wouldn’t let political correctness get in the way of saying what had to be said or the norms of democratic society keep him from doing what needed to be done. Unencumbered by traditional Christian virtue, he was a warrior in the tradition (if not the actual physical form) of Mel Gibson’s William Wallace. He was a hero for God-and-country Christians in the line of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Oliver North, one suited for Duck Dynasty Americans and American Christians. He was the latest and greatest high priest of the evangelical cult of masculinity.
Kristin Kobes Du Mez (Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation)
I thanked Nancy for what she had accomplished in her war against illegal drugs, but in my heart, I was really trying to say, “Thank you, Nancy, for everything; thank you for lighting up my life for almost forty years.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
Take the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. I remember as a child how I used to choke up every morning "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Now it didn't say, "I pledge allegiance to racism, to capitalism, and to neo­colonialism, and J. Edgar Hoover, and Richard Nixon, .and Ronald Reagan, and Mace, and billy clubs and dead niggers on the street shot by pigs." I mean it didn't say that shit, you see.
Eldridge Cleaver
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)
Ronald Reagan used to say that the nine scariest words in the English language were ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.
Christopher Buckley (Boomsday)
It (balancing the budget) is like protecting your virtue, you have to learn to say no!
Ronald Reagan
We do more for the under developed nations than anyone in the world but they act as if we’re out to destroy them and they never say boo to the Soviets.
Ronald Reagan (The Reagan Diaries)
Harry Truman once said: “Find me a one-armed economist, because every one I know always says, ‘Well, on the other hand . . .
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
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
New Rule: Republicans must stop pitting the American people against the government. Last week, we heard a speech from Republican leader Bobby Jindal--and he began it with the story that every immigrant tells about going to an American grocery store for the first time and being overwhelmed with the "endless variety on the shelves." And this was just a 7-Eleven--wait till he sees a Safeway. The thing is, that "endless variety"exists only because Americans pay taxes to a government, which maintains roads, irrigates fields, oversees the electrical grid, and everything else that enables the modern American supermarket to carry forty-seven varieties of frozen breakfast pastry.Of course, it's easy to tear government down--Ronald Reagan used to say the nine most terrifying words in the Englishlanguage were "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." But that was before "I'm Sarah Palin, now show me the launch codes."The stimulus package was attacked as typical "tax and spend"--like repairing bridges is left-wing stuff. "There the liberals go again, always wanting to get across the river." Folks, the people are the government--the first responders who put out fires--that's your government. The ranger who shoos pedophiles out of the park restroom, the postman who delivers your porn.How stupid is it when people say, "That's all we need: the federal government telling Detroit how to make cars or Wells Fargo how to run a bank. You want them to look like the post office?"You mean the place that takes a note that's in my hand in L.A. on Monday and gives it to my sister in New Jersey on Wednesday, for 44 cents? Let me be the first to say, I would be thrilled if America's health-care system was anywhere near as functional as the post office.Truth is, recent years have made me much more wary of government stepping aside and letting unregulated private enterprise run things it plainly is too greedy to trust with. Like Wall Street. Like rebuilding Iraq.Like the way Republicans always frame the health-care debate by saying, "Health-care decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not government bureaucrats," leaving out the fact that health-care decisions aren't made by doctors, patients, or bureaucrats; they're made by insurance companies. Which are a lot like hospital gowns--chances are your gas isn't covered.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Hardcore groups were singing songs about Ronald Reagan. I wasn't interested in this and preferred to sing about the darkness shimmering beneath the shiny quilt of American pop culture. I suppose you could say that Sonic Youth was always trying to defy people's expectations.
Kim Gordon (Girl in a Band)
BY THE EARLY 1960S, GE was receiving more speaking invitations for me from around the country than I could handle. And, although I was still saying the same things that I’d said for six years during the Eisenhower administration, I was suddenly being called a “right-wing extremist.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
the Secret Service is now saying that Hinckley could have been stopped. All it would have taken was for Delahanty and the other Metro Police officers on the rope line to continue facing the crowd as Ronald Reagan departed the Hilton. It is a question that will dog Thomas Delahanty the rest of his life.
Bill O'Reilly (Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency)
My parents constantly drummed into me the importance of judging people as individuals. There was no more grievous sin at our household than a racial slur or other evidence of religious or racial intolerance. A lot of it, I think, was because my dad had learned what discrimination was like firsthand. He’d grown up in an era when some stores still had signs at their door saying, NO DOGS OR IRISHMEN ALLOWED. When my brother and I were growing up, there were still ugly tumors of racial bigotry in much of America, including the corner of Illinois where we lived. At our one local movie theater, blacks and whites had to sit apart—the blacks in the balcony. My mother and father urged my brother and me to bring home our black playmates, to consider them equals, and to respect the religious views of our friends, whatever they were. My brother’s best friend was black, and when they went to the movies, Neil sat with him in the balcony. My mother always taught us: “Treat thy neighbor as you would want your neighbor to treat you,” and “Judge everyone by how they act, not what they are.” Once my father checked into a hotel during a shoe-selling trip and a clerk told him: “You’ll like it here, Mr. Reagan, we don’t permit a Jew in the place.” My father, who told us the story later, said he looked at the clerk angrily and picked up his suitcase and left. “I’m a Catholic,” he said. “If it’s come to the point where you won’t take Jews, then some day you won’t take me either.” Because it was the only hotel in town, he spent the night in his car during a winter blizzard and I think it may have led to his first heart attack.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
It is the simplest phrase you can imagine,” Favreau said, “three monosyllabic words that people say to each other every day.” But the speech etched itself in rhetorical lore. It inspired music videos and memes and the full range of reactions that any blockbuster receives online today, from praise to out-of-context humor to arch mockery. Obama’s “Yes, we can” refrain is an example of a rhetorical device known as epistrophe, or the repetition of words at the end of a sentence. It’s one of many famous rhetorical types, most with Greek names, based on some form of repetition. There is anaphora, which is repetition at the beginning of a sentence (Winston Churchill: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields”). There is tricolon, which is repetition in short triplicate (Abraham Lincoln: “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people”). There is epizeuxis, which is the same word repeated over and over (Nancy Pelosi: “Just remember these four words for what this legislation means: jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs”). There is diacope, which is the repetition of a word or phrase with a brief interruption (Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”) or, most simply, an A-B-A structure (Sarah Palin: “Drill baby drill!”). There is antithesis, which is repetition of clause structures to juxtapose contrasting ideas (Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”). There is parallelism, which is repetition of sentence structure (the paragraph you just read). Finally, there is the king of all modern speech-making tricks, antimetabole, which is rhetorical inversion: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” There are several reasons why antimetabole is so popular. First, it’s just complex enough to disguise the fact that it’s formulaic. Second, it’s useful for highlighting an argument by drawing a clear contrast. Third, it’s quite poppy, in the Swedish songwriting sense, building a hook around two elements—A and B—and inverting them to give listeners immediate gratification and meaning. The classic structure of antimetabole is AB;BA, which is easy to remember since it spells out the name of a certain Swedish band.18 Famous ABBA examples in politics include: “Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men.” —Benjamin Disraeli “East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other.” —Ronald Reagan “The world faces a very different Russia than it did in 1991. Like all countries, Russia also faces a very different world.” —Bill Clinton “Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.” —George W. Bush “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.” —Hillary Clinton In particular, President John F. Kennedy made ABBA famous (and ABBA made John F. Kennedy famous). “Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind,” he said, and “Each increase of tension has produced an increase of arms; each increase of arms has produced an increase of tension,” and most famously, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Antimetabole is like the C–G–Am–F chord progression in Western pop music: When you learn it somewhere, you hear it everywhere.19 Difficult and even controversial ideas are transformed, through ABBA, into something like musical hooks.
Derek Thompson (Hit Makers: Why Things Become Popular)
Alas, I soon grew disillusioned, concluding that economics was largely a form of intellectual prostitution where you got rewarded for saying what the powers that be wanted to hear. Whatever a politician wanted to do, he or she could find an economist as advisor who had argued for doing precisely that. Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to increase government spending, so he listened to John Maynard Keynes, whereas Ronald Reagan wanted to decrease government spending, so he listened to Milton Friedman.
Max Tegmark (Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality)
I think there ought to be a regulation that the president could return a salute inasmuch as he is commander in chief and civilian clothes are his uniform.” “Well, if you did return a salute,” the general said, “I don’t think anyone would say anything to you about it.” The next time I got a salute, I saluted back. A big grin came over the marine’s face, and down came his hand. From then on, I always returned salutes. When George Bush followed me into the White House, I encouraged him to keep up the tradition.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life: An Enhanced eBook with CBS Video: The Autobiography)
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)
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)
...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)
Mitt Romney's first interview with Zombie Reagan: Mitt Romney came in with cheerful assurance, because he wasn’t capable of anything else. “Let me first welcome you back to this side of the veil, Mr. President.” “Yeah, Mitt, it’s good to see you looking so well. Your father says hello, and he wanted me to add specially that whatever unfortunate negative things you might remember him saying to you when you were a kid, he always tried to tell you the truth and he hopes you’ve used it to improve, and he understands that even with the help of those comments, it might just not have been in you to improve. He wants you to remember he still loves you no matter what you’ve become, or even if you haven’t chosen to become any one thing in particular.” “That’s very kind. I miss my dad even now.” “Oh, so do I. I remember George as always that kind of guy, he had your back, whenever you’d think to watch your back, you’d find him somewhere around there, ready for action with that knife already drawn.
John Barnes (Raise the Gipper!)
What I saw in Washington that October were a lot of Americans who were genuinely dismayed by what their country was doing in Vietnam; I also saw a lot of other Americans who were self-righteously attracted to a most childish notion of heroism - namely, their own. They thought that to force a confrontation with soldiers and policemen would not only elevate themselves to the status of heroes; this confrontation, they deluded themselves, would expose the corruption of the political and social system they loftily thought they opposed. These would be the same people who, in later years, would credit the antiwar 'movement' with eventually getting the U.S. armed forces out of Vietnam. That was not what I saw. I saw that the righteousness of many of these demonstrators simply helped to harden the attitudes of those poor fools who supported the war. That is what makes what Ronald Reagan would say - two years later, in 1969 - so ludicrous: that the Vietnam protests were 'giving aid and comfort to the enemy.' What I saw was that the protests did worse than that; they gave aid and comfort to the idiots who endorsed the war - they made that war last longer. That's what I saw.
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
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 his book, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, Viet Thanh Nguyen writes that immigrant communities like San Jose or Little Saigon in Orange County are examples of purposeful forgetting through the promise of capitalism: “The more wealth minorities amass, the more property they buy, the more clout they accumulate, and the more visible they become, the more other Americans will positively recognize and remember them. Belonging would substitute for longing; membership would make up for disremembering.” One literal example of this lies in the very existence of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Chinese immigrants in California had battled severe anti-Chinese sentiment in the late 1800s. In 1871, eighteen Chinese immigrants were murdered and lynched in Los Angeles. In 1877, an “anti-Coolie” mob burned and ransacked San Francisco’s Chinatown, and murdered four Chinese men. SF’s Chinatown was dealt its final blow during the 1906 earthquake, when San Francisco fire departments dedicated their resources to wealthier areas and dynamited Chinatown in order to stop the fire’s spread. When it came time to rebuild, a local businessman named Look Tin Eli hired T. Paterson Ross, a Scottish architect who had never been to China, to rebuild the neighborhood. Ross drew inspiration from centuries-old photographs of China and ancient religious motifs. Fancy restaurants were built with elaborate teak furniture and ivory carvings, complete with burlesque shows with beautiful Asian women that were later depicted in the musical Flower Drum Song. The idea was to create an exoticized “Oriental Disneyland” which would draw in tourists, elevating the image of Chinese people in America. It worked. Celebrities like Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Ronald Reagan and Bing Crosby started frequenting Chinatown’s restaurants and nightclubs. People went from seeing Chinese people as coolies who stole jobs to fetishizing them as alluring, mysterious foreigners. We paid a price for this safety, though—somewhere along the way, Chinese Americans’ self-identity was colored by this fetishized view. San Francisco’s Chinatown was the only image of China I had growing up. I was surprised to learn, in my early twenties, that roofs in China were not, in fact, covered with thick green tiles and dragons. I felt betrayed—as if I was tricked into forgetting myself. Which is why Do asks his students to collect family histories from their parents, in an effort to remember. His methodology is a clever one. “I encourage them and say, look, if you tell your parents that this is an academic project, you have to do it or you’re going to fail my class—then they’re more likely to cooperate. But simultaneously, also know that there are certain things they won’t talk about. But nevertheless, you can fill in the gaps.” He’ll even teach his students to ask distanced questions such as “How many people were on your boat when you left Vietnam? How many made it?” If there were one hundred and fifty at the beginning of the journey and fifty at the end, students may never fully know the specifics of their parents’ trauma but they can infer shadows of the grief they must hold.
Stephanie Foo (What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma)
He was the reincarnation of John Wayne, sitting tall in the saddle, a man who wasn’t afraid to resort to violence to bring order, who protected those deemed worthy of protection, who wouldn’t let political correctness get in the way of saying what had to be said or the norms of democratic society keep him from doing what needed to be done. Unencumbered by traditional Christian virtue, he was a warrior in the tradition (if not the actual physical form) of Mel Gibson’s William Wallace. He was a hero for God-and-country Christians in the line of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Oliver North, one suited for Duck Dynasty Americans and American Christians. He was the latest and greatest high priest of the evangelical cult of masculinity.
Kristin Kobes Du Mez (Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation)
No other speaker at that convention was allowed to ignore the time limit laid out for him in the split-second script, but Goldwater was encouraged to rave and snarl at the cameras until he ran out of things to say. His speech set the tone for the whole convention, and his only real competition was Ronald Reagan. Compared to those two, both Agnew and Nixon sounded like bleeding-heart liberals.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72)
I believe that President Reagan can say these things only because he knows that the American people will never hold him accountable for what he says; it is history that holds you accountable, and I've already expressed my opinion that Americans are not big on history. How many of them even remember their own, recent history? Was twenty year ago so long ago for Americans? Do they remember October 21, 1967? Fifty thousand antiwar demonstrators were in Washington; I was there; that was the "March on the Pentagon" -remember? And two years later--in October of '69--there were fifty thousand people in Washington again; they were carrying flashlights, they were asking for peace. There were a hundred thousand asking for peace in Boston Common; there were two hundred fifty thousand in New York. Ronald Reagan had not yet numbed the United States, but he had succeeded in putting California to sleep; he described the Vietnam protests as "giving aid and comfort to the enemy." As president, he still didn't know who the enemy was.
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
I saw that the righteousness of many of these demonstrators simply helped to harden the attitudes of those poor fools who supported the war. That is what makes what Ronald Reagan would say—two years later, in 1969—so ludicrous: that the Vietnam protests were “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.” What I saw was that the protests did worse than that; they gave aid and comfort to the idiots who endorsed the war—they made that war last longer. That’s what I saw.
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
Hippies survived Nixon, but punk caved in to Ronald Reagan, know what I'm saying? Punk actually couldn't take a good challenge.
Legs McNeil (Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk)
I don't really watch my own old films, unlike Ronald Reagan, who sat in the White House and reran Knute Rockne — All American [1940] again and again. That way madness lies — though I must say, of my own films ...
Alex Cox
When the time came to apply for college, I decided against physics and other technical fields, and ended up at the Stockholm School of Economics, focusing on environmental issues. I wanted to do my small part to make our planet a better place, and felt that the main problem wasn't that we lacked technical solutions, but that we didn't properly use the technology we had. I figured that the best way to affect people's behavior was through their wallets, and was intrigued by the idea of creating economic incentives that aligned individual egoism with the common good. Alas, I soon grew disillusioned, concluding that economics was largely a form of intellectual prostitution where you got rewarded for saying what the powers that be wanted to hear. Whatever a politician wanted to do, he or she could find an economist as advisor who had argued for doing precisely that. Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to increase government spending, so he listened to John Maynard Keynes, whereas Ronald Reagan wanted to decrease government spending, so he listened to Milton Friedman.
Max Tegmark (Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality)
It’s hard to say what difference we make, but we meet people who are hungry, people who bless us, and people who turn away because they’re busy shooting up, or crack has taken away their appetites, or suffering has driven them mad. Few remember that there was no significant US homeless population before the 1980s, that Ronald Reagan’s new society and economy created these swollen ranks of street people.
Rebecca Solnit (Hope in the Dark: The Untold History of People Power)
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)
I remember watching these kids getting up in the morning on my dorm floor, putting on a suit and tie and a briefcase, talking about this guy from California named Ronald Reagan and how he was going to be the next president,” says Mould. “And I’d be sitting there arguing with those fucks in speech class and poli sci and just hating that, thinking, ‘This is not acceptable behavior. This is not what we’re supposed to be doing with our late teens.
Michael Azerrad (Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991)
The archives acquired the original 1967 letter from then-California Governor Ronald Reagan, written to the postmaster general, suggesting that a stamp be issued for Walt Disney. Reagan wrote, "I hesitate to even mention California's pride in his vast accomplishments for fear of detracting from his true image as a world-renowned and world-beloved figure. There is no necessity for me to itemize his contributions to humanity; they can be summed up by simply saying that because of him the world is a richer, better place,
Dave Smith
On November 16, 2006, an era ended when economist Milton Friedman died. A torrent of eulogies followed. The Wall Street Journal mourned his loss with the same tribute Friedman had credulously used when Ronald Reagan passed, saying “few people in human history have contributed more to the achievement of human freedom”—this about a president responsible for massive human misery. More myth than man, Reagan’s lawless, scandal-plagued tenure deserved condemnation, not praise.
Stephen Lendman (How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War)
I hope when you are my age, you’ll be able to say - as I have been able to say: We lived in freedom. Our lives were a statement, not an apology.
Ronald Reagan
Witnesses to his whoppers realized that Reagan was not lying but had persuaded himself of the validity of his tales. “He finds it next to impossible to say anything that is not in some crucial way untrue,” wrote the journalist Jack Beatty. “It’s not a credibility gap, for there is no evidence of cynical or even conscious duplicity. The President is so far out of touch that it amounts to a reality gap.” Still, listeners were often dumbfounded. His daughter Patti said, “He has the ability to make statements that are so far outside the parameters of logic that they leave you speechless.” John Sloan, author of The Reagan Effect, has written: “In Reagan’s mind, unpleasant facts could be avoided; contradictions could be denied; anecdotes could overcome facts; movie illusions could substitute for history; unpleasant realities could be blamed on a hostile press.” His fictions mattered little, though, for after a generation of assassination and scoundrelry the media decided—consciously or unconsciously—to feature his presidency as a success story and to brush aside inconvenient particulars. “Ronald Reagan,” observed the political scientist James David Barber, “is the first modern President whose contempt for the facts is treated as a charming idiosyncrasy.” In London, a writer in the Observer commented: “His errors glide past unchallenged. At one point … he alleged that almost half the population gets a free meal from the government each day. No one told him he was crazy. The general message of the American press is that, yes, while it is perfectly true that the emperor has no clothes, nudity is actually very acceptable this year.
William E. Leuchtenburg (The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton)
Martin Luther King’s legacy, as its keepers know, is profoundly at odds with the historic American order, and that is why they can have no rest until the symbols of that order are pulled up root and branch. To say that Dr. King are the cause he really represented are now part of the official American creed, indeed the defining and dominant symbol of that creed – which is what both houses of the United States Congress said in 1983 and what President Ronald Reagan signed into law shortly afterward – is the inauguration of a new order and the things they symbolized can retain neither meaning nor respect, in which they are as mute and dark as the gods of Babylon and Tyre and from whose cold ashes will rise a new god, leveling their rough places, straightening their crookedness, and exalting every valley until the whole earth is flattened beneath his feet and perceives the glory of the new lord.
Samuel T. Francis (Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism)
In 2016, nearly three-quarters of white evangelicals believed America had changed for the worse since the 1950s, a more pessimistic view than any other group. They were looking for a man who could put things right, a man who could restore America to a mythical Christian past. Like Bachmann, they believed that God had blessed America and they believed Trump understood this; he wasn’t ashamed of Christian America. Trump wasn’t just a nationalist, he was a Christian nationalist, and he wasn’t afraid to throw his weight around.44 Evangelicals hadn’t betrayed their values. Donald Trump was the culmination of their half-century-long pursuit of a militant Christian masculinity. He was the reincarnation of John Wayne, sitting tall in the saddle, a man who wasn’t afraid to resort to violence to bring order, who protected those deemed worthy of protection, who wouldn’t let political correctness get in the way of saying what had to be said or the norms of democratic society keep him from doing what needed to be done. Unencumbered by traditional Christian virtue, he was a warrior in the tradition (if not the actual physical form) of Mel Gibson’s William Wallace. He was a hero for God-and-country Christians in the line of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Oliver North, one suited for Duck Dynasty Americans and American Christians. He was the latest and greatest high priest of the evangelical cult of masculinity. Chapter 16
Kristin Kobes Du Mez (Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation)
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)