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Ronald Reagan’s Christmas Messages

“In this day, when our freedom to worship is most precious, let us redouble our efforts to bring this and other greatest freedoms to all the peoples of the Earth.” (1988)

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by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan believed in Americans. He believed in the promise of America, that Americans possessed the inherent and acquired power to rise to the occasion. This, because of the overt and unique design of the Founders to foster freedom and responsibility. Reagan was optimistic about America’s future. He believed that when freedom flourishes, responsibility and accomplishment would naturally follow. (Sometimes to the astonishment and even delight of our greatest skeptics.) Others assume the opposite; they believe that force or coercion is necessary to accomplish their ends. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Thanksgiving Day Messages

“We have seen the splendor of our natural resource spread across the tables of the world, and we have seen the splendor of freedom coursing with new vigor through the channels of history.” 

by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan believed in America. He believed in America’s promise. He saw the best in his fellow Americans. We, too, believe in America, its promise, and see the best in our fellows.

At the beginning of our republic, President George Washington declared a Day of Thanksgiving his first year in office. In the midst of the sore trials of a massive Civil War, President Lincoln established a regular Day of Thanksgiving.

In the spirit of his predecessors, and while he tackled serious economic and foreign policy challenges, President Reagan delivered a series of eight Thanksgiving Day messages from 1981 through 1988. He repeated previous presidential calls to “set aside” this special day as one of thanksgiving and prayer to God. Further, he challenged the nation to recall and fulfill their responsibility to “give” to those who are less fortunate. There are those who lacked of the “abundance” which America enjoyed — they do not enjoy the abundance which comes as a result of our industry. Many around the world do not enjoy an “abundance of freedom.” America’s example of freedom is one of the lasting legacies we leave for a world — we are the last best hope of mankind. Reagan reminded us to live up to that legacy. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan, “You’re out there on the frontier of freedom.”

Ronald Reagan said to conservatives, “You’re the troops. You’re out there on the frontier of freedom.” 

Reagan Korea

A young soldier stands guard in the cold, looking out over no-man’s-land through to the other side of the demilitarized zone and into North Korea. President Reagan is visiting the troops there that day. During the visit the young soldier turns to the president, salutes and says, “Mr. President, when you get home, tell them we’re on the frontier of freedom.”

Reagan concludes his final speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference with this brief story. He compares the gathered conservative movers and shakers to the “troops” who — like the soldier in the story — are on the forefront of defeating “totalitarianism.”

He tells the story to them, “because,” he said, “you’re the troops.” He illustrates the comparison, telling them, “You’re out there on the frontier of freedom.” He then repeats what the soldier said to him (“Mr. President, we’re on the frontier of freedom.”) And immediately afterwards adds the pithy coda to the very end of the speech, “Well, so are you.”

And so we are. Or should be. [Read more...]

Missile Defense: projecting strength rather than weakness

by George Landrith   Missile Defense

Ronald Reagan coined the phrase, “Peace through strength,” but it was not a new idea and it had not been an historically partisan concept. It dates back to George Washington who said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” Washington and Reagan understood that peace is achieved through strength and conversely that weakness invites attack. This was once a universally accepted truth among American leaders. Current events prove, it should again become American policy regardless of party.

We live in a dangerous world. Kim Jung-un is threatening military invasions and nuclear attacks. We’ve recently learned that the North Koreans are much closer to being able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile than was previously believed. China, already a nuclear power, is rapidly developing a large navy and stealth aircraft. Russia has been sending its military aircraft into American airspace on provocative test missions. [Read more...]

Tribute to Margaret Thatcher (October 13, 1925 – April 8, 2013)

Margaret Thatcher was a friend to the United States and the principles of liberty. She rescued the U.K. from economic malaise with economic policies that empowered the individual and harnessed the power of the marketplace. She joined with Ronald Reagan to win the Cold War using the “peace through strength” doctrine. She empowered her people, strengthened her nation, and made the world a safer, better place. She will be missed.

Ronald Reagan: Born February 6, 1911

One of America’s greatest presidents, Ronald Reagan was born on this day 102 years ago. 

His economic vision lifted America out of economic malaise. He was the architect of communism’s defeat.

President Reagan’s positive vision of America’s promise and potential lifted the nation and inspired freedom-loving people around the globe.

~

Classic Reagan Speeches 

Our 2012 Reagan Gala Tribute Video 

Click here for an excerpt of George Landrith’s remarks about Ronald Reagan at the 2012 Reagan Gala.

Click here for other articles and opinion pieces on this website about Ronald Reagan.

 

 

The End of the Reagan Era?

“The Reagan vision and values are already here, ready to be tapped and again prevail.”

by Paul Kengor

With Barack Obama’s second inauguration, liberals are touting an altogether new epoch: the end of the Reagan era.

Unfortunately, I believe they are largely correct. We are witnessing a period of left-wing ascendance, marked by gay marriage, forced taxpayer funding of abortion, an exploding government class, and big government. As to the latter, Ronald Reagan had declared in his first inaugural: “government is not the solution … government is the problem.” [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Second Inaugural Address: Human freedom is on the march, and nowhere more so than our own hemisphere

“The American sound . . . is hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent, and fair.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

One-term presidents rarely are considered our most successful presidents. Getting re-elected is not in and of itself an indicator of a successful second term. Of course, the more successful the first term, the more likely the success of a second.

During his second term Reagan built on the real economic accomplishment of his first. This success enabled him to ensure our freedoms and secure our defense. This freedom, then, spread around the world. Indeed, America became again the last best hope of earth. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address: “We are a nation that has a government–not the other way around.”

“We are a nation that has a government–not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

The claim is made that the most important political event in history was neither the writing of the Declaration nor the crafting or ratification of the Constitution which secures our rights. It was neither of these two monumental accomplishments; it was the peaceful transition of the control of the executive office of the United States of America from George Washington to John Adams. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address to the ’88 Republican National Convention

“Our party speaks for human freedom, for the sweep of liberties that are at the core of our existence. . . . Together we’ve fought for causes we love. But we can never let the fire go out or quit the fight, because the battle is never over. Our freedom must be defended over and over again — and then again.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

At the end of a Super Bowl the winning head coach can rightly point to the day’s game plan, key plays, and stats. All these and more contributed to what was accomplished by the team – led by the coach.

At the end of his time in office, a successful two-term president can rightly point to the administration’s fundamental principles and key policies. All these and more produced the real-world accomplishments – led by the president. After eight years of concrete success and indisputable accomplishment President Reagan reported to the 1988 Republican National Convention. Prior to being elected Reagan had carefully and overtly taught — yes, taught — the country the key principles on which the Founders based the U.S. Constitution and preserved American culture. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan, “Our Noble Vision: An Opportunity For All”

“You cannot create a desert, hand a person a cup of water, and call that compassion. . . . And you cannot build up years of dependence on government and dare call that hope.” 

by Scott L. Vanatter

Before his first term was complete President Reagan restored the American economy and revived the American spirit. The power and focus of his words and his policies returned America to its true identity and destiny.

Soaring rhetoric must be supported by real accomplishment. Otherwise the words are empty, the sentiment is trite. Too often national leaders only give lip service to the lofty principles which Reagan carefully and continually taught. Worse, when some leaders overtly deprecate the Founding principles, America fails to preserve and advance our precious freedoms. Tyranny is never more than a generation away from falling on us. Americans need to continually self-inoculate against a creeping tyranny. [Read more...]

George Landrith on Legacy of Ronald Reagan

“In Eastern Europe and around the world, memorials, boulevards, and plazas are renamed for Ronald Reagan — because they see him as their liberator.”

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by George Landrith

Presidential greatness is determined by making an enduring impact – by changing the course of history for the better. By this standard, few are Ronald Reagan’s equal.

He changed the way Americans viewed themselves and the way the world viewed America. [Read more...]

The Real Fiscal Cliff

“After the phony cliff, we face the terrifying one.”

by Conrad Black

Last week, Fareed Zakaria and Charles Krauthammer appeared in Toronto (where I live much of the time), and while I did not go to their main debate, I went to a tasting of it at a luncheon. There was, I regret to write, as a longstanding friend of both of them, a surreal aspect to the exchange. After the usual compliments one exchanges (as I know from my time on that circuit), they embarked on a dialogue of the deaf, and a mutual flight, joined at the wingtip like Jurassic pterodactyls, soaring above the mighty chasm of American fiscal problems below. The otherworldly discussion of whether the Republican leaders in Congress will reach an agreement with the president about the automatic expiration of the Bush tax cuts of a decade ago vastly overshadowed the issue of reinserting spontaneous growth into the U.S. economy and grappling with the deficit at last. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan on Tax Cutting Legislation (The “whole controversy”)

“This whole controversy: Are you entitled to the fruits of your own labor or does government have some presumptive right to spend and spend and spend?” 

by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan is well known for his multi-decade devotion America’s purpose and promise. By returning to these lofty ideas America would fulfill its destiny.

His July 27, 1981 speech was President Reagan’s main public effort to educate the nation on the benefits of a bipartisan bill to cut taxes and spending. He taught America, once again, how and why cutting taxes and spending (cutting the rate of growth of government spending) would make for a stronger economy — and help restore America’s latent greatness.

It was Reagan’s habit to speak on large themes. In this particular case he used a two-letter word to illustrate one of the largest of political themes. He stated that the people in electing him wanted to make a change from ‘by’ to ‘of.’ Succinctly put, “It doesn’t sound like much, but it sure can make a difference changing by government,’ ‘control by government’ to ‘control of government.’” [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Economic Bill of Rights

“Taxation is forced labor; and if it goes beyond reasonable bounds, it is a yoke of oppression.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

Nearing the end of his presidency, Ronald Reagan laid out a final challenge to the nation, its leaders and citizens. He sought to a.) summarize the principles which made possible his record economic growth, and b.) lay out a clear path to secure economic growth into the future.

The president spoke at an Independence Day celebration at the Jefferson Memorial at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event on July 3, 1987. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Election Night Speech

“I am not frightened by what lies ahead and I don’t believe the American people are frightened by what lies ahead. Together, we’re going to do what has to be done.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

On election night November 4, 1980 Ronald Reagan revealed that he had expected “a cliffhanger.” Perhaps the fact that he had previously worked as an actor colored the language he used that night.

CLIFFHANGER

He said he was humbled not just because of the large margin of victory, but also the mere fact of being elected. “Even if it had been the cliffhanger that all of us, I think, were expecting, it would have been the same way.”

Reagan said he would keep “the trust you have placed in me sacred and I give you my sacred oath that I will do my utmost to justify your faith.” [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan, “We’re on the Frontier of Freedom”

“We’re on the Frontier of Freedom.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

In the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House Reagan spoke on February 10, 1987 to the Annual Leadership Conference of the American Legion (February 10, 1987).

In various settings Reagan often told humorous stories. This time he did not disappoint. To kick off his remarks, he told the story of a poor messenger who arrived at full gallop, and had to stop on a dime to deliver his message. [Read more...]

Reagan’s announcement for the presidency, and a challenge that we “keep our rendezvous with destiny.”

“A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and—above all—responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill. I believe that you and I together can keep this rendezvous with destiny.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan formally announced his presidential candidacy with an address which was nationally televised on November 13, 1979. He began by relating that he saw “our country [as] a living, breathing presence, unimpressed by what others say is impossible, proud of its own success, generous, yes and naïve, sometimes wrong, never mean and always impatient to provide a better life for its people in a framework of a basic fairness and freedom. . . .”

Reagan stated prime solution to economic the nation’s economic problems, “The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes.”

After telling why this works, he taught the nation what the Federal government should and should not do. “The 10th article of the Bill of Rights is explicit in pointing out that the federal government should do only those things specifically called for in the Constitution. All others shall remain with the states or the people. We haven’t been observing that 10th article of late. The federal government has taken on functions it was never intended to perform and which it does not perform well.” [Read more...]

Reagan’s Election Eve Address, “A Vision for America”

Protect and pass on lovingly that shining city on a hill.

by Scott L. Vanatter

The gnawing dullness of Carter’s malaise had pretty well set in by late 1980. Ronald Reagan’s growing, optimistic campaign for the presidency culminated with his clear “Vision for America” described in an election eve address on November 3, 1980.

With a gentle touch, Reagan began, “The election will be over soon, autumn will become winter, this year will fade into next . . . and yet, the decisions we make tomorrow will determine our country’s course through what promises to be one of the most perilous decades in our history.” [Read more...]

Reagan’s 1976 campaign address, “To Restore America”

We’re Americans and we have a rendezvous with destiny. 

by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan sought to dethrone a sitting president, though unelected, Gerald Ford. He laid out his case in a major televised campaign address on March 31, 1976 entitled, “To Restore America.” While he failed to secure the nomination, he set the scene for success just four years later.

One of Reagan’s initial critiques of the politics of 1976 was the top line issue of what things the Federal government should tackle. Or not. His point is that there are some things which the Federal government does not do well, and some things it should not do at all. “The truth is, Washington has taken over functions that don’t truly belong to it. In almost every case it has been a failure. Now, understand, I’m speaking of those programs which logically should be administered at state and local levels.” [Read more...]