Smart things that Ronald Reagan said

This morning, I heard two men talking.  In response to something the first man said, the second said, “Trust, but verify.”  The first man replied, “That’s one of the few smart things Ronald Reagan said.”  The second man answered, “It’s the only smart thing Reagan said.”

Putting aside all the smart things Reagan did, such as helping our economy to explosive growth and fatally weakening Communism’s hold on large parts of the world, I thought I’d revisit some of the things Reagan said.  Maybe my standards are low, but I think the following quotations are pretty darn smart, whether one is defining smart as extremely clever or as extremely profound:

“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have.”

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

“How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”

“I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves.”

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

“But at the moment I’d like to talk about another way because this threat is with us and at the moment is more imminent. One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. . . . Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it. We have an example of this. Under the Truman administration it was proposed that we have a compulsory health insurance program for all people in the United States, and, of course, the American people unhesitatingly rejected this.”

“Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other

Do you have any favorites?

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  • JKB

    I really like the “How do you tell a communist?”

    But it is very close with “Government is like a baby” 

    Although I do like:

    “[The Democrats] say that the United States has had its days in the sun, that our nation has passed its zenith.… My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view.”

  • Marica

    Read the words in the link. #1 is Republicans must stop asking, “What would Ronald Reagan do?” and start asking, “What would Vince Lombardi do?”

  • DL Sly

    WRT the post, a few of my favorites:

    “The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

    “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.'”

    “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.”

    However, this is by far my personal favorite:
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world.  But, the Marines don’t have that problem.”


  • bkivey

    “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

    “Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way”

    “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

    And my favorite: “Please tell me you’re Republicans.”

  • Mike Devx

    bkivey adds: And my favorite: “Please tell me you’re Republicans.”
    Was that his humorous aside to his surgeons when he was about to be operated on after he’d been shot?  A classic!

    I’m unhappy with this wonderful and great President of the USA because of his institutionalization of yearly deficits and – along with a Democrat Congress – the creation of the thirty-year progression that has led to our national debt calamity, but I’ll save that for another post and another thread.  There are a couple of reasons he can be forgiven – at least three reasons – where as Obama CANNOT be forgiven similarly.  This is a thread to, instead, celebrate all the many manifestations of The Reagan Greatness.

     “Mr. Gorbachev, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!”, and the military buildup, and, as David Goldman points out, the installation of Pershing missiles into Germany in 1983, and SDI.  (You can’t separate the great quotes from the great policies.)

    My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”   (The supposedly accidental off-air microphone test)

    I cannot find the quote, but an on-camera speech – an address to Congress? – where Reagan spoke to the young adults and children of America and told them, in no uncertain terms, that when their parents spoke to them against America and of socialist leanings, that they should ignore it and even gently correct them.  And he did so with a fierce, intent, resolute gleam in his eye – even grimness – and a resolute voice.  He meant BUSINESS, he absolutely meant it.  It was greatness.  I want to find that.

  • suek

    Here’s a timely article on the actual relationship between Reagan and the Dems, and one they seem to have forgotten:

  • bizcor

    Marcia #2 great link!!! Kyle Anne Shiver is one of my favorites writers and she really knocked the ball out of the park this time. If you haven’t had the time to read Marcia’s link. do it. It’ll fire you right up.

  • skullbuster

    “I’m from the government and I’m here to help!” Ronald Reagan