Ronald Wilson Reagan

The Prime-time President

A bird on a tether, no matter how long the rope, can always be pulled back.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

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.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

A government bureau is the closest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

A leader, once convinced a particular course of action is the right one, must have the determination to stick with it and be undaunted when the going gets tough.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

A recession is when a neighbour loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And a recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his job.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan (during the 1980 presidential campaign).

A tree's a tree. How many more do you need to look at?
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan (opposing expansion of Redwood National Park), Sacramento Bee (12 March 1966).

Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Admittedly, there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Televised Nationwide Address on Behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater A Time for Choosing (27 October 1964)

All systems are capitalist. It's just a matter of who owns and controls the capital -- ancient king, dictator, or private individual. We should properly be looking at the contrast between a free market system where individuals have the right to live like kings if they have the ability to earn that right and government control of the market system such as we find today in socialist nations.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Radio address (21 September 1976).

America is too great for small dreams.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union (25 January 1984).

An economist is someone who sees something that works in practice and wonders if it would work in theory.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Anyone that's ever had their kitchen done over knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, first published in Sierra (10 September 1980)

As long as there are guns, the individual that wants a gun for a crime is going to have one and going to get it.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Being free and prosperous in a world at peace. That's our ultimate goal.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Common sense told us that when you put a big tax on something, the people will produce less of it. So we cut the people's tax rates, and the people produced more than ever before."
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Democracy is not a fragile flower; still it needs cultivating.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan (introducing Project Democracy to foster democratic ideals in authoritarian regimes).

Democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day in Pointe Du Hoc, France (6 June 1984)

Double, no triple, our troubles and we'd still be better off than any other people on earth. It is time that we recognized that ours was, in truth, a noble cause.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Draft registration destroys the very values that our society is committed to defending.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

During my first press conference as president, in answer to a direct question, I pointed out that, as good Marxist-Leninists, the Soviet leaders have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is that which will further their cause, which is world revolution.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at the National Association of Evangelicals (8 March 1983)

Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Even Albert Einstein reportedly needed help on his 1040 form.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Every dollar the Federal Government does not take from us, every decision it does not make for us will make our economy stronger, our lives more abundant, our future more free.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union (6 February 1985).

Excellence does not begin in Washington.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union (25 January 1984).

Facts are stupid things.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Time magazine (29 August 1988). Impromptu comment at the 1988 Republican National Convention

Four years ago we said we would invigorate our economy by giving people greater freedom and incentives to take risks and letting them keep more of what they earned. We did what we promised, and a great industrial giant is reborn.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union (6 February 1985).

Freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority of government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every individual life is infinitely precious, that every one of us put on this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany (2 June 1987)

Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address to the Nation on the Fiscal Year 1983 Federal Budget (29 April 1982).

Government does not solve problems -- it subsidizes them.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan (speech in 1972), in The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan (1989). Speaking My Mind

Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Government has laid its hand on health, housing, farming, industry, commerce, education, and to an ever-increasing degree interferes with the people's right to know. Government tends to grow, government programs take on weight and momentum as public servants say, always with the best of intentions. But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or economically as the private sector of the economy.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Acceptance Speech of the Republican Nomination for U.S. President (23 August 1984).

Government is the people's business and every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the first penny of tax paid.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Televised Nationwide Address on Behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater A Time for Choosing (27 October 1964)

Governments don't reduce deficits by raising taxes on the people; governments reduce deficits by controlling spending and stimulating new wealth.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Radio address on the progress of his economic programs (14 May 1983)

Governments tend not to solve problems, only rearrange them.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (1973).

History shows that when the taxes of a nation approach about 20% of the people's income, there begins to be a lack of respect for government. . . . When it reaches 25%, there comes an increase in lawlessness.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap. To keep the peace, we and our allies must be strong enough to convince any potential aggressor that war could bring no benefit, only disaster.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address to the Nation and Other Countries on United States-Soviet Relations (16 January 1984).

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 Wilson Reagan

How stands the city on this winter night?
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Farewell address to the American people (11 January 1989)

I am very proud to be called a pig. It stands for pride, integrity and guts.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I believe Moses was 80 when God first commissioned him for public service.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow men.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at the National Association of Evangelicals (8 March 1983)

I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer, just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals . . . The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom, and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Interview in Reason Magazine (1 July 1975).

I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God's help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can't expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I consider all proposals for government action with an open mind before voting "no."
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, DK Publishing (1 July 2001) Ronald Reagan: An American Hero

I couldn't help but say to [Mr. Gorbachev], just think how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from another planet. [We'd] find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (1985).

I don't agree that our nation must resign itself to unevitable decline . . . I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I favor the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it must be enforced at gun point if necessary.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, October 1965

I have always stated that the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on the earth is a government program.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers. Go ahead -- make my day.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US congress.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I know you have been critically looking at the mores and customs of the past and questioning their value. Every generation does that. But don't discard the time-tested values upon which civilization has been built just because they are old.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I made a speech by that title [A Time for Choosing] in 1964. I said, "We've been told increasingly that we must choose between left or right." But we're still using those terms -- left or right. And I'll repeat what I said then in '64. "There is no left or right. There's only an up or down": up to the ultimate in individual freedom, consistent with an orderly society -- or down to the totalitarianism of the ant heap. And those today who, however good their intentions, tell us that we should trade freedom for security are on that downward path.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (20 March 1981).

I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I oppose registration for the draft . . . because I believe the security of freedom can best be achieved by security through freedom.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I urged the Soviet leader, Mr. Gorbachev, to send a new signal of openness to the world by tearing down that wall.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech about his visit to the Berlin Wall (June 1987)

I was raised to believe that God has a plan for everyone and that seemingly random twists of fate are all a part of His plan.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full-bloom from my brow -- they came from the heart of a great nation.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I would have voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I've often wondered how some people in positions of this kind . . . manage without having had any acting experience.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

If I could paraphrase a well-known statement by Will Rogers that he never met a man he didn't like -- I'm afraid we have some people around here who never met a tax they didn't like.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

If I had as much make-up on as he did, I'd have looked younger, too.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

If illegal actions were undertaken, those who did so will be brought to justice.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Public address approving appointment of Iran-Contra independent counsel (2 December 1986)

If the Soviet Union let another political party come into existence, they would still be a one-party state, because everybody would join the other party.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Remark to Polish Americans in Chicago (23 June 1983)

If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

If you've seen one redwood, you've seen them all.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (March 1987).

I'm not smart enough to lie.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

I've often wondered, what if all of us in the world discovered that we were threatened by a greater power from outer space from another planet -- wouldn't we all of a sudden find that we didn't have any differences between us at all?
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. . . . I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Announcement of Alzheimer's Disease (5 November 1994)

In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Announcement of Alzheimer's Disease (5 November 1994)

In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside of this world. And yet I ask -- is not an alien force already among us?
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech to the Forty-second General Assembly of the United Nations (21 September 1987).

In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind -- too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. . . . East and West do not distrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we distrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty. . . . The most fundamental distinction of all between East and West (sic.) [is that] the totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany (2 June 1987)

It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of human history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (1982).

It's difficult to believe that people are still starving in this country because food isn't available.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

It's difficult to see that people are starving in this country because food isn't available.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

It's time we reduced the federal budget and left the family budget alone.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

It's true, hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

It is time to realize we are too great a nation for small dreams. We're not -- as some would have us believe -- doomed to an inevitable fate.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Let friend and foe alike know that America has the muscle to back up its words.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Remarks to the Crew of the U.S.S. Constellation (20 August 1981).

Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union (25 January 1984).

Let us resolve that we will stop spreading dependency and start spreading opportunity; that we will stop spreading bondage and start spreading freedom.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union (6 February 1985).

Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court's result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Quoted in New York: Thomas Nelson (1984). Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation

Man is not free unless government is limited.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, in Criswell Freeman The Wisdom of the West (1997)

Many Americans today, just as they did 200 years ago, feel burdened, stifled, and sometimes even oppressed by government that has grown too large, too bureaucratic, too wasteful, too unresponsive, too uncaring about people and their problems. I believe we can embark on a new age of reform in this country and an era of national renewal, an era that will reorder the relationship between citizen and government, that will make government again responsive to people, that will revitalize the values of family, work, and neighborhood and that will restore our private and independent social institutions.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (1980).

Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at the Annual Joint Meeting of the Board of Governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (27 September 1983)

Money can't buy happiness but it will get you a better class of memories.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

My belief has always been . . . that wherever in this land any individual's constitutional rights are being unjustly denied, it is the obligation of the federal government -- at point of bayonet if necessary -- to restore that individual's constitutional rights.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Said during radio microphone test (11 August 1984)

My fellow Americans, there's an old saying that "nothing spreads so quickly as a rumor," so I thought it was time to speak with you directly, to tell you first hand about our dealings with Iran.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Televised address defending Iran arms sales (13 November 1986)

Nations do not mistrust each other because they are armed; they are armed because they mistrust each other.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at the United Nations General Assembly (22 September 1986)

Not everybody aspires to be a bank president or a nuclear scientist, but everybody wants to do something with one's life that will give him pride and a sense of accomplishment.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Now we can say to you, and say as a nation, thank you for your courage.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

One picture is worth 1,000 denials.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, to White House News Photographers Association (18 May 1983)

One way to make sure crime doesn't pay would be to let the government run it.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Our Constitution is to be celebrated not for being old, but for being young.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Our whole system of government is based on "We the people," but if we the people don't pay attention to what's going on, we have no right to bellyache or squawk when things go wrong.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, in An American Life (1990).

Peace is more than just the absence of war. True peace is justice, true peace is freedom. And true peace dictates the recognition of human rights.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at the United Nations General Assembly (22 September 1986)

People don't start wars, governments do.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Politics is just like show business. You have a hell of an opening, coast for a while, and then have a hell of a close.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan (said to aide Stuart Spencer in 1966), Quoted in Mark Green and Gail MacColl (ed., 1983). There He Goes Again

Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Remark at a conference in Los Angeles (2 March 1977)

Putting people first has always been America's secret weapon. It's the way we've kept the spirit of our revolutions alive -- a spirit that drives us to dream and dare, and take great risks for a greater good.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (1981).

Recession is when a neighbor loses his job; depression is when you lose yours.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, The New York Times (10 October 1984).

Since I came to the White House, I got two hearing aids, a colon operation, skin cancer, a prostate operation, and I was shot. The damn thing is I've never felt better in my life.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech to the Washington Gridiron Club (1987)

Some may try and tell us that this is the end of an era. But what they overlook is that in America, every day is a new beginning, and every sunset is merely the latest milestone on a voyage that never ends. For this is the land that has never become, but is always in the act of becoming. Emerson was right: America is the land of tomorrow.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Some of you may remember that in my early days, I was sort of a bleeding heart liberal. Then I became a man and put away childish ways.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (1985).

Someone once said that every form of government has one characteristic peculiar to it and if that characteristic is lost, the government will fall. In a monarchy, it is affection and respect for the royal family. If that is lost the monarch is lost. In a dictatorship, it is fear. If the people stop fearing the dictator he'll lose power. In a representative government such as ours, it is virtue. If virtue goes, the government fails. Are we choosing paths that are politically expedient and morally questionable? Are we in truth losing our virtue? . . . If so, we may be nearer the dustbin of history than we realize.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Radio address (9 July 1979).

Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Quoted in Fortune magazine (15 September 1986).

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

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."
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan (after the loss of the space shuttle "Challenger"), Oval Office Broadcast (28 January 1986)

The current tax code is a daily mugging.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The [Democratic] 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.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The future doesn't belong to the faint-hearted; it belongs to the brave.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past. For example, the long struggle of minority citizens for equal rights, once a source of disunity and civil war, is now a point of pride for all Americans. We must never go back. There is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at the National Association of Evangelicals (8 March 1983)

The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a healthy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Remark while campaigning for governor of California (1965)

The march of freedom and democracy . . . will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (1982).

The more government takes in taxes, the less incentive people have to work. What coal miner or assembly-line worker jumps at the offer of overtime when he knows Uncle Sam is going to take 60 percent or more of his extra pay?
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The one irrefutable lesson of the entire postwar period [is] contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The Soviet leaders reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat and that the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Press Conference (27 January 1981)

The Soviet Union is the focus of evil in the modern world.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at the National Association of Evangelicals (8 March 1983)

The Soviet Union would remain a one-party nation even if an opposition party were permitted -- because everyone would join that party.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech to British Parliament (8 June 1982)

The taxpayer -- that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take a civil service examination.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The thought of being President frightens me and I do not think I want the job.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas-a trial of spiritual resolve: the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideals to which we are dedicated.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan (introducing Project Democracy to foster democratic ideals in authoritarian regimes).

The United States has much to offer the third world war.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The United States is unique because we are an empire of ideals.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The United States remains the last best hope for a mankind plagued by tyranny and deprivation. America is no stronger than its people -- and that means you and me. Well, I believe in you, and I believe that if we work together, then one day we will say, "We fought the good fight. We finished the race. We kept the faith." And to our children and our children's children, we can say, "We did all what could be done in the brief time that was given us here on earth."
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Remarks, Annual Members Banquet of the National Rifle Association, Phoenix, AZ (6 May 1983).

The very key to our success has been our ability, foremost among nations, to preserve our lasting values by making change work for us rather than against us.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

The West will not contain communism, it will transcend communism. We will not bother to denounce it, we'll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Commencement Address at Notre Dame University (May 1981)

There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union (6 February 1985).

There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us. We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it has been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. . . . If we lose freedom here [in America], there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Televised Nationwide Address on Behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater A Time for Choosing (27 October 1964)

There is an old Russian proverb: Doverey, no proverey -- Trust but verify.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (Gorbachev-Reagan Summits)

There is nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

There were so many candidates on the platform that there were not enough promises to go around.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

These young Americans sent a message to terrorists everywhere. . . . You can run but you can't hide.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

They had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy."
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech after the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger (28 January 1986).

They have answered the stirrings of liberty with brute force, killings, mass arrests, and the setting up of concentration camps.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Public address condemning Poland's crackdown on Solidarity (23 December 1981)

This mad dog of the Middle East.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at Press Conference (of Colonel Gadaffi of Libya, 9 April 1986)

Those who can lose the most usually do the least to change that.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us that they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy "accommodation". And they say if we only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he will forget his evil ways and learn to love us. . . . We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now in slavery behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skin, we are willing to make a deal with your slave-masters".
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Televised Nationwide Address on Behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater A Time for Choosing (27 October 1964)

To sit back hoping that someday, someway, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last -- but eat you he will.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Today, if you build a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (1975).

Today we have done what we had to do. If necessary, we shall do it again.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Tonight we are launching an effort which holds the promise of changing the course of human history.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (1981)

Trust the people -- that is the crucial lesson of history.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at the Annual Joint Meeting of the Board of Governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (27 September 1983)

Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Sacramento Bee (28 April 1966)

We are especially not going to tolerate these attacks from outlaw states run by the strangest collection of misfits, Looney Tunes, and squalid criminals since the advent of the Third Reich.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech (following the hijack of a U.S. plane, 8 July 1985)

We are never defeated unless we give up on God.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, (1984).

We believe faith and freedom must be our guiding stars, for they show us truth, they make us brave, give us hope, and leave us wiser than we were.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union (6 February 1985).

We built it, we paid for it, it's ours, and we're going to keep it.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan (on the Panama Canal).

We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life -- the unborn -- without diminishing the value of all human life . . . there is no cause more important.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Quoted in "Washington Watch" from the Family Research Council (3 January 1997).

We cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, in The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan (1989). Speaking My Mind (Speech, 6 February 1985)

We cannot stop at the foothills when Everest lies ahead.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

We have the duty to protect the life of an unborn child.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech observing the ten-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade (22 January 1983)

We have the means to change the laws we find unjust or onerous. We cannot, as citizens, pick and choose the laws we will or will not obey.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two world wars: It is better to be here [in Europe] ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day in Pointe Du Hoc, France (6 June 1984)

We must not look to government to solve our problems. Government is the problem.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

We need you, we need your youth, your strength, and your idealism, to help us make right what is wrong.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

We seek a constitutional amendment to permit voluntary school prayer. God should never have been expelled from America's classrooms in the first place.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

We think there is a parallel between the Federal involvement in education and the decline in quality over recent years.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Interview With USA Today (26 April 1983).

Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Well, let me tell you something; I knew Thomas Jefferson. He was a friend of mine and Governor. . . . You're no Thomas Jefferson!
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history. . . . At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. . . . Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there. 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.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day in Pointe Du Hoc, France (6 June 1984)

We're the party that wants to see an America in which people can still get rich.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Remarks at a Republican congressional dinner, Washington, DC (4 May 1982)

We've been creeping closer to socialism, a system that someone once said works only in heaven, where it isn't needed, and in hell, where they've already got it.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

We've gone astray from first principles. We've lost sight of the rule that individual freedom and ingenuity are at the very core of everything that we've accomplished. Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

When cruelty is inflicted on innocent people, it discredits whatever cause.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

When you get there, the world is gone.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan (on Rancho del Cielo, the former Western White House), (1985 interview).

When you see all of the smoke billowing up from the Democrats, ladies and gentlemen, I'd follow the advice of their nominee: Don't Inhale.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Why is it inflationary if the people keep their own money, and spend it the way they want to, [but] not inflationary if the government takes it and spends it the way it wants to?
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Speech at the White House (1981).

Why should we be frightened? No people who have ever lived on this earth have fought harder, paid a higher price for freedom, or done more to advance the dignity of man than the living Americans, those Americans living in this land today.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

With our eyes fixed on the future, but recognizing the realities of today, we will achieve our destiny to be as a shining city on a hill for all mankind to see.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

Without a vision the people perish.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union (6 February 1985).

Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, Remarks at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast, Dallas, TX (23 August 1984).

You can accomplish much if you don't care who gets the credit.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

You can never underestimate the ability of the Democrats to wet their finger and hold it to the wind.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jelly beans.
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan, in The New York Times (15 January 1981).

You make a living from what you get; but you make a life from what you give!
~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

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A Collection of Quotes Based on the Name William