Everyone who listens to Ronald Reagan’s “A Time For Choosing” is struck by another “time” aspect: The speech is timeless. Sure, details have changed here and there (mostly the details with dollar signs in front of them), but already on October 27, 1964, Reagan clearly delineated the difference between a political ideology that sought to subordinate the individual to the state and an ideology that sought to subordinate the state to the individual.
Moreover, being Reagan, without fatally simplifying these complex ideas, he was able to present them in clear, image-rich language that made them accessible to everyone who was willing to listen. It’s a great skill to distill the essence of complex ideas while retaining clarity.
With polls open today and the full election in two weeks, this is a good time for people to remind themselves about the difference between freedom and freedom’s alternative: something that starts off looking like a gilded cage (which is bad enough, unless one doesn’t mind cages), but that ends up looking remarkably like a shabby socialist prison.
One other thing: I was originally going to save this link for a round-up, but it somehow seems more appropriate here, perhaps because it’s the ridiculous following the sublime. My brilliant friend Tom Elias has taken a stab at updating Shelley’s Ozymandias.. You will be cheating yourself out of a great pleasure if you don’t check out his efforts.