Ronald Wilson Reagan
40th President of the United States
The greatest president not on Mt. Rushmore.
Quotes from the Great Communicator
Concerning Communism, Reagan called a spade a spade:
"Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose."
President Ronald Reagan
- “The West won’t contain communism. It will transcend communism. It will dismiss it as some bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.” May 17, 1981
- "What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term; the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history." June 8, 1982
- "Let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness; pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world." March 8, 1983
- "Communism works only in heaven, where they don't need it, and in hell, where they've already got it." June 22, 1983
- "My fellow Americans. I'm pleased to announce that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." August 11, 1984
- "That wall is an insult to the civilized world. I think it's time that we got mad and Mr. Gorbachev tried to get on our good side." Response to an aide who warned against making Gorbachev mad with the "tear down this wall" line.
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
June 12, 1987
- "The Soviet Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of gathering. The American Constitution guarantees freedom after speech and freedom after gathering." July 8, 1987
- "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." September 25, 1987
- "Trust, but verify." December 4, 1987
- "In the 2,765 days of our administration, not one inch of ground has fallen to the communists." August 15, 1988
"Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot."
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Iron Lady
Nor did the Gipper mince words about the Iranians:
23 days before taking office, he warned them to deal with President Carter while they still had the chance.
- "I don't think you pay ransom for people that have been kidnapped by barbarians." December 28, 1980
The hostages were released during his inauguration.
Reagan vs. Big Government:
- "They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy." October 27, 1964
- "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence." January 7, 1970
- "It is old-fashioned, even reactionary to remind people that free enterprise has done more to reduce poverty than all the government programs dreamed up by Democrats." Governor Reagan, 1972
- "Government does not really solve problems; it subsidizes them. And it does not produce a dime of revenue. It can spend only what it first takes from the pockets of the working men and women of this country." March 29, 1973
- "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem." Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981
- "Lower tax rates mean greater freedom, and whenever we lower the tax rates, our entire nation is better off." October 3, 1985
- "My friends, some years ago, the federal government declared war on poverty and poverty won." State of the Union Address, January 25, 1988
- "The ten most terrifying words in the English language are, 'Hi, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" July 28, 1988
- "We believe that no power of government is as formidable a force for good as the creativity and entrepreneurial drive of the American people." Republican National Convention, August 17, 1992
- "Government is like a baby; an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
- "The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."
- "We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added."
- "Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his." 1980 Campaign
- "I hope you're all Republicans." Speaking to surgeons after March 30, 1981 assassination attempt.
- "Honey, I forgot to duck." Explaining to Nancy why he was shot.
- "Al Haig sent a message to Brezhev that said, 'Roses are red, violets are blue, stay out of El Salvador and Poland, too.'" June 12, 1981
- "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."
- "I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born."
- "I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." 2nd Presidential Debate, 1984
- "A friend of mine was asked to a costume ball a short time ago. He slapped some egg on his face and went as a liberal economist." February 11, 1988
Ronald Reagan comforted and inspired us:
- "These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war." 40th D-Day Memorial, June 6, 1984
- "Individual freedom and the profit motive were the engines of progress which transformed an American wilderness into an economic dynamo that provided the American people with a standard of living that is still the envy of the world." March 29, 1985
- "It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives - the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember." Veterans Day, 1985
- "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 the journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'" January 28, 1986
- "I have always believed there was some divine providence that placed this great land here between the two great oceans, to be found by a special kind of people from every corner of the world, who had a special love for freedom, and a special courage that enabled them to leave their own land, leave their friends and their countrymen, and come to this new and strange land to build a new world of peace and freedom and hope." July 3, 1986
- "People from every race, culture, and creed on the face of the earth now inhabit this land. Their presence illuminates the basic yearning for freedom, peace, and prosperity that has always been the spirit of the New World." Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 1988
- "And always remember that you are Americans, and it is your birthright to dream great dreams in this sweet and blessed land, truly the greatest, freest, strongest nation on Earth." December 16, 1988
- "America owes a special thanks to those who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We must honor them and respect them, not just when they are in battle, but every day they wear the proud uniform of our country." May 15, 1993
Peace Through Strength
"Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong."
U.S.S. Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)
104,000 Tons of Diplomacy
4.5 Acres of Sovereign American Territory
On Call, Worldwide
"As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will never surrender for it, now or ever." Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981
"I accept without question the words of George Washington: 'To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.'" May 27, 1981
"We desire peace. But peace is a goal, not a policy. Lasting peace is what we hope for at the end of our journey. It doesn't describe the steps we must take nor the paths we should follow to reach that goal." November 22, 1982
"Well, to put Teddy in modern terms: Speak softly, but keep the battleship Iowa close at hand." February 10, 1987
"Our enemies ... do not fear the United States for its diplomatic skills or the number of automobiles and software programs it produces. They respect only the firepower of our tanks, planes, and helicopter gunships." May 15, 1993
1980 Campaign Bumper Sticker
1980 Campaign Poster
From LaCrosse, WI rally, October 9, 1980
1984 Political Cartoons