Ronald Reagan quotes

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Ronald Reagan

Birthdate: 6. February 1911
Date of death: 5. June 2004
Other names: Ronald Regan, Ronald Wilson Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician and actor who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Before his presidency, he was the 33rd Governor of California, from 1967 to 1975, after a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader.

Raised in a poor family in small towns of northern Illinois, Reagan graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and worked as a sports announcer on several regional radio stations. After moving to Hollywood in 1937, he became an actor and starred in a few major productions. Reagan was twice elected President of the Screen Actors Guild—the labor union for actors—where he worked to root out Communist influence. In the 1950s, he moved into television and was a motivational speaker at General Electric factories. Reagan had always been a Democrat until 1962 when he became a conservative and switched to the Republican Party. In 1964, Reagan's speech, "A Time for Choosing", supported Barry Goldwater's foundering presidential campaign and earned him national attention as a new conservative spokesman. Building a network of supporters, he was elected Governor of California in 1966. As governor, Reagan raised taxes, turned a state budget deficit to a surplus, challenged the protesters at the University of California, ordered National Guard troops in during a period of protest movements in 1969, and was re-elected in 1970. He twice ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency in 1968 and 1976; four years later, he easily won the nomination outright, becoming the oldest elected U.S. president up to that time, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Entering the presidency in 1981, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, control of the money supply to curb inflation, economic deregulation, and reduction in government spending. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, spurred the War on Drugs, and fought public sector labor. Over his two terms, the economy saw a reduction of inflation from 12.5% to 4.4%, and an average annual growth of real GDP of 3.4; while Reagan did enact cuts in domestic discretionary spending, tax cuts and increased military spending contributed to increased federal outlays overall, even after adjustment for inflation. During his re-election bid, Reagan campaigned on the notion that it was "Morning in America", winning a landslide in 1984 with the largest electoral college victory in American history. Foreign affairs dominated his second term, including ending of the Cold War, the bombing of Libya, and the Iran–Contra affair. Publicly describing the Soviet Union as an "evil empire", and during his famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate, President Reagan challenged Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!". He transitioned Cold War policy from détente to rollback, by escalating an arms race with the USSR while engaging in talks with Gorbachev, which culminated in the INF Treaty, shrinking both countries' nuclear arsenals. Reagan's presidency came during the decline of the Soviet Union and just ten months after the end of his term, the Berlin Wall fell, Germany reunified the following year, and on December 26, 1991, nearly three years after he left office, the Soviet Union collapsed.

When Reagan left office in 1989, he held an approval rating of sixty-eight percent, matching those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and later Bill Clinton, as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the modern era. He was the first president since Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve two full terms, after a succession of five prior presidents did not, some under unusual circumstances. Although he had planned an active post-presidency, Reagan disclosed in 1994 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier that year. He appeared publicly for the last time at the funeral of Richard Nixon. He died ten years later in 2004 at the age of 93. Reagan had the third-longest life out of all the presidents, after George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford. An icon among Republicans, he is viewed favorably in historian rankings of U.S. presidents, and his tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the U.S.

Works

The Reagan Diaries
The Reagan Diaries
Ronald Reagan

„Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.“

—  Ronald Reagan

Speech in Jersey City, New Jersey (1 September 1980) http://www.slate.com/id/2201249/
1980s
Context: Let it show on the record that when the American people cried out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary. Well, if it's a definition he wants, I'll give him one. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.

„They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer — not an easy answer — but simple.“

—  Ronald Reagan

In some published transcripts or quotations of this speech a variant of this statement appears immediately before the quote by Churchill below, but was not said during Reagan's televised address on (27 October 1964). Though he did make variations of the speech elsewhere it is unclear exactly when and where he may have said used these precise words:
: They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.
Later variant: For many years now, you and I have been shushed like children and told there are no simple answers to the complex problems which are beyond our comprehension. Well, the truth is, there are simple answers, they just are not easy ones.
:* California Gubernatorial Inauguration Speech (5 January 1967) http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/govspeech/01051967a.htm
1960s, A Time for Choosing (1964)

„I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.“

—  Ronald Reagan

Anderson-Reagan Presidential Debate (21 September 1980) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29407
1980s
Context: With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there's one individual who's not being considered at all. That's the one who is being aborted. And I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.

„The future doesn't belong to the faint-hearted. It belongs to the brave.“

—  Ronald Reagan

As quoted in Who was Ronald Reagan? (2004), by Joyce Milton, p. 85
Post-presidency (1989–2004)
Context: I know it's hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all 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 faint-hearted. It belongs to the brave.

„America's future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts. It rests in the message of hope in songs of a man so many young Americans admire -- New Jersey's own, Bruce Springsteen.“

—  Ronald Reagan

Speech in Hammonton, N.J. http://www.myhammonton.com/reaganhammonton.php (19 September 1984)
1980s, First term of office (1981–1985)

„God made all his creations in different colors. It would be pretty boring if we all looked the same.“

—  Ronald Reagan

As quoted in "Daughter of Ronald Reagan breaks silence on ‘monkeys’ remark" https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/daughter-of-ronald-reagan-breaks-silence-on-monkeys-remark (2 August 2019), by Zachary Halaschak, The Washington Examiner

„Honey, I forgot to duck.“

—  Ronald Reagan

To his wife, Nancy, while in hospital shortly after he was shot in an assassination attempt (30 March 1981). Reagan is believed to have been quoting the words of boxer Jack Dempsey to his wife after he lost to Gene Tunney in 1926. http://www.rd.com/content/openContent.do?contentId=26804
1980s, First term of office (1981–1985)

„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.“

—  Ronald Reagan

Remarks in Arlington, Virginia http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1987/092587b.htm (25 September 1987)
1980s, Second term of office (1985–1989)

„Although I held public office for a total of sixteen years, I also thought of myself as a citizen-politician, not a career one.“

—  Ronald Reagan

Address to the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce (10 July 1991)
Post-presidency (1989–2004)
Context: Although I held public office for a total of sixteen years, I also thought of myself as a citizen-politician, not a career one. Every now and then when I was in government, I would remind my associates that "When we start thinking of government as 'us' instead of 'them,' we've been here too long." By that I mean that elected officeholders need to retain a certain skepticism about the perfectibility of government.

„Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.“

—  Ronald Reagan

As cited in The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World (2007), Alan Greenspan, Penguin Press, Chapter 4 (Private Citizen), p. 87 : ISBN 15942 01315
1980s

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