A. Ronald Reagan
in His Own Words
& by others

CONTENTS

A. Ronald Reagan in His Own Words (in chronological order)

   I. Rendezvous with Destiny

   II. City Upon a Hill

   III. The Crusade for Freedom

   IV. President Reagans Speech before  the National Association of Evangelicals

   V. President Reagans Speech  at Pointe de Hoc, Normandy

   VI. President Reagan made the following comments at a Prayer Breakfast in 1994

   VII.  President Reagans Words at the Brandenburg Gate 

   VIII. President Reagans Personhood Proclamation

B. Commentary from others

   I. RONALD REAGAN – What Would He Say Today

   II. How Reagan, Thatcher & John Paul II  won the Cold War.

   III. NAMING EVIL OFTEN GIVES US POWER OVER IT:

   IV. Religious Convictions Shaped Reagan

   V. Lech Wolesa on Poland and Reagan -- "In Solidarity" -

   VI. THE WORLD ACCORDING TO REAGAN 

NOTE: Reagan also had his failures.

I. Rendezvous with Destiny

October 27, 1964

Address on behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater
This is the first speech that brought Ronald Reagan to the attention of the American people.

This campaign speech for Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964 by Ronald Reagan is said to be the speech that first introduced Ronald Reagan to politics. It was after this speech that he was asked to run for Governor of California. One of his best speeches ever! You will soon see why.

Thank you very much. Thank you and good evening. The sponsor has been identified, but unlike most television programs, the performer hasn't been provided with a script. As a matter of fact, I have been permitted to choose my own ideas regarding the choice that we face in the next few weeks.
I have spent most of my life as a Democrat. I recently have seen fit to follow another course. I believe that the issues confronting us cross party lines. Now, one side in this campaign has been telling us that the issues of this election are the maintenance of peace and prosperity. The line has been used "We've never had it so good."

But I have an uncomfortable feeling that this prosperity isn't something on which we can base our hopes for the future. No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income. Today, 37 cents of every dollar earned in this country is the tax collector's share, and yet our government continues to spend $17 million a day more than the government takes in. We haven't balanced our budget 28 out of the last 34 years. We have raised our debt limit three times in the last twelve months, and now our national debt is one and a half times bigger than all the combined debts of all the nations in the world. We have $15 billion in gold in our treasury--we don't own an ounce. Foreign dollar claims are $27.3 billion, and we have just had announced that the dollar of 1939 will now purchase 45 cents in its total value.

As for the peace that we would preserve, I wonder who among us would like to approach the wife or mother whose husband or son has died in South Vietnam and ask them if they think this is a peace that should be maintained indefinitely. Do they mean peace, or do they mean we just want to be left in peace? 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 doing so 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. Well, I think it's time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.

Not too long ago two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are! I had someplace to escape to." In that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left or right, but I would like to suggest that there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down--up to a man's age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order--or down to the ant heap totalitarianism, and regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

In this vote-harvesting time, they use terms like the "Great Society," or as we were told a few days ago by the President, we must accept a "greater government activity in the affairs of the people." But they have been a little more explicit in the past and among themselves--and all of the things that I now will quote have appeared in print. These are not Republican accusations. For example, they have voices that say "the cold war will end through acceptance of a not undemocratic socialism." Another voice says that the profit motive has become outmoded, it must be replaced by the incentives of the welfare state; or our traditional system of individual freedom is incapable of solving the complex problems of the 20th century. Senator Fullbright has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the president as our moral teacher and our leader, and he said he is hobbled in his task by the restrictions in power imposed on him by this antiquated document. He must be freed so that he can do for us what he knows is best. And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as "meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government." Well, I for one resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me--the free man and woman of this country--as "the masses." This is a term we haven't applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, "the full power of centralized government"--this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. 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.

Now, we have no better example of this than the government's involvement in the farm economy over the last 30 years. Since 1955, the cost of this program has nearly doubled. One-fourth of farming in America is responsible for 85% of the farm surplus. Three-fourths of farming is out on the free market and has known a 21% increase in the per capita consumption of all its produce. You see, that one-fourth of farming is regulated and controlled by the federal government. In the last three years we have spent $43 in feed grain program for every bushel of corn we don't grow.

Senator Humphrey last week charged that Barry Goldwater as President would seek to eliminate farmers. He should do his homework a little better, because he will find out that we have had a decline of 5 million in the farm population under these government programs. He will also find that the Democratic administration has sought to get from Congress an extension of the farm program to include that three-fourths that is now free. He will find that they have also asked for the right to imprison farmers who wouldn't keep books as prescribed by the federal government. The Secretary of Agriculture asked for the right to seize farms through condemnation and resell them to other individuals. And contained in that same program was a provision that would have allowed the federal government to remove 2 million farmers from the soil.

At the same time, there has been an increase in the Department of Agriculture employees. There is now one for every 30 farms in the United States, and still they can't tell us how 66 shiploads of grain headed for Austria disappeared without a trace and Billie Sol Estes never left shore.

Every responsible farmer and farm organization has repeatedly asked the government to free the farm economy, but who are farmers to know what is best for them? The wheat farmers voted against a wheat program. The government passed it anyway. Now the price of bread goes up; the price of wheat to the farmer goes down.

Meanwhile, back in the city, under urban renewal the assault on freedom carries on. Private property rights are so diluted that public interest is almost anything that a few government planners decide it should be. In a program that takes for the needy and gives to the greedy, we see such spectacles as in Cleveland, Ohio, a million-and-a-half-dollar building completed only three years ago must be destroyed to make way for what government officials call a "more compatible use of the land." The President tells us he is now going to start building public housing units in the thousands where heretofore we have only built them in the hundreds. But FHA and the Veterans Administration tell us that they have 120,000 housing units they've taken back through mortgage foreclosures. For three decades, we have sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning, and the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan. The latest is the Area Redevelopment Agency. They have just declared Rice County, Kansas, a depressed area. Rice County, Kansas, has two hundred oil wells, and the 14,000 people there have over $30 million on deposit in personal savings in their banks. When the government tells you you're depressed, lie down and be depressed.

We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one. So they are going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning. Well, now, if government planning and welfare had the answer and they've had almost 30 years of it, shouldn't we expect government to almost read the score to us once in a while? Shouldn't they be telling us about the decline each year in the number of people needing help? The reduction in the need for public housing?

But the reverse is true. Each year the need grows greater, the program grows greater. We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet. But now we are told that 9.3 million families in this country are poverty-stricken on the basis of earning less than $3,000 a year. Welfare spending is 10 times greater than in the dark depths of the Depression. We are spending $45 billion on welfare. Now do a little arithmetic, and you will find that if we divided the $45 billion up equally among those 9 million poor families, we would be able to give each family $4,600 a year, and this added to their present income should eliminate poverty! Direct aid to the poor, however, is running only about $600 per family. It would seem that someplace there must be some overhead.

So now we declare "war on poverty," or "you, too, can be a Bobby Baker!" Now, do they honestly expect us to believe that if we add $1 billion to the $45 million we are spending...one more program to the 30-odd we have--and remember, this new program doesn't replace any, it just duplicates existing programs--do they believe that poverty is suddenly going to disappear by magic? Well, in all fairness I should explain that there is one part of the new program that isn't duplicated. This is the youth feature. We are now going to solve the dropout problem, juvenile delinquency, by reinstituting something like the old CCC camps, and we are going to put our young people in camps, but again we do some arithmetic, and we find that we are going to spend each year just on room and board for each young person that we help $4,700 a year! We can send them to Harvard for $2,700! Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that Harvard is the answer to juvenile delinquency.

But seriously, what are we doing to those we seek to help? Not too long ago, a judge called me here in Los Angeles. He told me of a young woman who had come before him for a divorce. She had six children, was pregnant with her seventh. Under his questioning, she revealed her husband was a laborer earning $250 a month. She wanted a divorce so that she could get an $80 raise. She is eligible for $330 a month in the Aid to Dependent Children Program. She got the idea from two women in her neighborhood who had already done that very thing.

Yet anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we are denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we are always "against" things, never "for" anything. Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so. We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem.

But we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments to those who depend on them for livelihood. They have called it insurance to us in a hundred million pieces of literature. But then they appeared before the Supreme Court and they testified that it was a welfare program. They only use the term "insurance" to sell it to the people. And they said Social Security dues are a tax for the general use of the government, and the government has used that tax. There is no fund, because Robert Byers, the actuarial head, appeared before a congressional committee and admitted that Social Security as of this moment is $298 billion in the hole. But he said there should be no cause for worry because as long as they have the power to tax, they could always take away from the people whatever they needed to bail them out of trouble! And they are doing just that.

A young man, 21 years of age, working at an average salary...his Social Security contribution would, in the open market, buy him an insurance policy that would guarantee $220 a month at age 65. The government promises $127. He could live it up until he is 31 and then take out a policy that would pay more than Social Security. Now, are we so lacking in business sense that we can't put this program on a sound basis so that people who do require those payments will find that they can get them when they are due...that the cupboard isn't bare? Barry Goldwater thinks we can.

At the same time, can't we introduce voluntary features that would permit a citizen who can do better on his own to be excused upon presentation of evidence that he had made provisions for the non-earning years? Should we allow a widow with children to work, and not lose the benefits supposedly paid for by her deceased husband? Shouldn't you and I be allowed to declare who our beneficiaries will be under these programs, which we cannot do? I think we are for telling our senior citizens that no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds. But I think we are against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program, especially when we have such examples, as announced last week, when France admitted that their Medicare program was now bankrupt. They've come to the end of the road.

In addition, was Barry Goldwater so irresponsible when he suggested that our government give up its program of deliberate planned inflation so that when you do get your Social Security pension, a dollar will buy a dollar's worth, and not 45 cents' worth?

I think we are for an international organization, where the nations of the world can seek peace. But I think we are against subordinating American interests to an organization that has become so structurally unsound that today you can muster a two-thirds vote on the floor of the General Assembly among the nations that represent less than 10 percent of the world's population. I think we are against the hypocrisy of assailing our allies because here and there they cling to a colony, while we engage in a conspiracy of silence and never open our mouths about the millions of people enslaved in Soviet colonies in the satellite nation.

I think we are for aiding our allies by sharing of our material blessings with those nations which share in our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world. We set out to help 19 countries. We are helping 107. We spent $146 billion. With that money, we bought a $2 million yacht for Haile Selassie. We bought dress suits for Greek undertakers, extra wives for Kenyan government officials. We bought a thousand TV sets for a place where they have no electricity. In the last six years, 52 nations have bought $7 billion worth of our gold, and all 52 are receiving foreign aid from this country.

No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this Earth. Federal employees number 2.5 million, and federal, state, and local, one out of six of the nation's work force is employed by the government. These proliferating bureaus with their thousands of regulations have cost us many of our constitutional safeguards. How many of us realize that today federal agents can invade a man's property without a warrant? They can impose a fine without a formal hearing, let alone a trial by jury, and they can seize and sell his property in auction to enforce the payment of that fine. In Chico County, Arkansas, James Wier overplanted his rice allotment. The government obtained a $17,000 judgment, and a U.S. marshal sold his 950-acre farm at auction. The government said it was necessary as a warning to others to make the system work. Last February 19 at the University of Minnesota, Norman Thomas, six-time candidate for President on the Socialist Party ticket, said, "If Barry Goldwater became President, he would stop the advance of socialism in the United States." I think that's exactly what he will do.

As a former Democrat, I can tell you Norman Thomas isn't the only man who has drawn this parallel to socialism with the present administration. Back in 1936, Mr. Democrat himself, Al Smith, the great American, came before the American people and charged that the leadership of his party was taking the part of Jefferson, Jackson, and Cleveland down the road under the banners of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin. And he walked away from his party, and he never returned to the day he died, because to this day, the leadership of that party has been taking that party, that honorable party, down the road in the image of the labor socialist party of England. Now it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? Such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment. Our Democratic opponents seem unwilling to debate these issues. They want to make you and I believe that this is a contest between two men...that we are to choose just between two personalities.

Well, what of this man that they would destroy? And in destroying, they would destroy that which he represents, the ideas that you and I hold dear. Is he the brash and shallow and trigger-happy man they say he is? Well, I have been privileged to know him "when." I knew him long before he ever dreamed of trying for high office, and I can tell you personally I have never known a man in my life I believe so incapable of doing a dishonest or dishonorable thing.

This is a man who in his own business, before he entered politics, instituted a profit-sharing plan, before unions had ever thought of it. He put in health and medical insurance for all his employees. He took 50 percent of the profits before taxes and set up a retirement program, a pension plan for all his employees. He sent checks for life to an employee who was ill and couldn't work. He provided nursing care for the children of mothers who work in the stores. When Mexico was ravaged by floods from the Rio Grande, he climbed in his airplane and flew medicine and supplies down there.

An ex-GI told me how he met him. It was the week before Christmas during the Korean War, and he was at the Los Angeles airport trying to get a ride home to Arizona for Christmas, and he said that there were a lot of servicemen there and no seats available on the planes. Then a voice came over the loudspeaker and said, "Any men in uniform wanting a ride to Arizona, go to runway such-and-such," and they went down there, and there was this fellow named Barry Goldwater sitting in his plane. Every day in the weeks before Christmas, all day long, he would load up the plane, fly to Arizona, fly them to their homes, then fly back over to get another load.

During the hectic split-second timing of a campaign, this is a man who took time out to sit beside an old friend who was dying of cancer. His campaign managers were understandably impatient, but he said, "There aren't many left who care what happens to her. I'd like her to know I care." This is a man who said to his 19-year-old son, "There is no foundation like the rock of honesty and fairness, and when you begin to build your life upon that rock, with the cement of the faith in God that you have, then you have a real start." This is not a man who could carelessly send other people's sons to war. And that is the issue of this campaign that makes all of the other problems I have discussed academic, unless we realize that we are in a war that must be won.

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. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers. They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer--not an easy answer--but simple.

If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based upon what we know in our hearts is morally right. We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion 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." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Let's set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace--and you can have it in the next second--surrender.

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--that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand--the ultimatum. And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he would rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin--just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it's a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." There is a point beyond which they must not advance. This is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits--not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

We will keep in mind and remember that Barry Goldwater has faith in us. He has faith that you and I have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny.

Thank you very much.
 

 


II. City Upon a Hill


The President at the first annual CPAC conference, January 25, 1974.


There are three men here tonight I am very proud to introduce. It was a year ago this coming February when this country had its spirits lifted as they have never been lifted in many years. This happened when planes began landing on American soil and in the Philippines, bringing back men who had lived with honor for many miserable years in North Vietnam prisons. Three of those men are here tonight, John McCain, Bill Lawrence and Ed Martin. It is an honor to be here tonight. I am proud that you asked me and I feel more than a little humble in the presence of this distinguished company.

There are men here tonight who, through their wisdom, their foresight and their courage, have earned the right to be regarded as prophets of our philosophy. Indeed they are prophets of our times. In years past when others were silent or too blind to the facts, they spoke up forcefully and fearlessly for what they believed to be right. A decade has passed since Barry Goldwater walked a lonely path across this land reminding us that even a land as rich as ours can't go on forever borrowing against the future, leaving a legacy of debt for another generation and causing a runaway inflation to erode the savings and reduce the standard of living. Voices have been raised trying to rekindle in our country all of the great ideas and principles which set this nation apart from all the others that preceded it, but louder and more strident voices utter easily sold cliches.

Cartoonists with acid-tipped pens portray some of the reminders of our heritage and our destiny as old-fashioned. They say that we are trying to retreat into a past that actually never existed. Looking to the past in an effort to keep our country from repeating the errors of history is termed by them as “taking the country back to McKinley.” Of course I never found that was so bad—under McKinley we freed Cuba. On the span of history, we are still thought of as a young upstart country celebrating soon only our second century as a nation, and yet we are the oldest continuing republic in the world.

I thought that tonight, rather than talking on the subjects you are discussing, or trying to find something new to say, it might be appropriate to reflect a bit on our heritage.

You can call it mysticism if you want to, but I have always believed that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those who were possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage.

This was true of those who pioneered the great wilderness in the beginning of this country, as it is also true of those later immigrants who were willing to leave the land of their birth and come to a land where even the language was unknown to them. Call it chauvinistic, but our heritage does not set us apart. Some years ago a writer, who happened to be an avid student of history, told me a story about that day in the little hall in Philadelphia where honorable men, hard-pressed by a King who was flouting the very law they were willing to obey, debated whether they should take the fateful step of declaring their independence from that king. I was told by this man that the story could be found in the writings of Jefferson. I confess, I never researched or made an effort to verify it. Perhaps it is only legend. But story, or legend, he described the atmosphere, the strain, the debate, and that as men for the first time faced the consequences of such an irretrievable act, the walls resounded with the dread word of treason and its price—the gallows and the headman's axe. As the day wore on the issue hung in the balance, and then, according to the story, a man rose in the small gallery. He was not a young man and was obviously calling on all the energy he could muster. Citing the grievances that had brought them to this moment he said, “Sign that parchment. They may turn every tree into a gallows, every home into a grave and yet the words of that parchment can never die. For the mechanic in his workshop, they will be words of hope, to the slave in the mines—freedom.” And he added, “If my hands were freezing in death, I would sign that parchment with my last ounce of strength. Sign, sign if the next moment the noose is around your neck, sign even if the hall is ringing with the sound of headman’s axe, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom, the bible of the rights of man forever.” And then it is said he fell back exhausted. But 56 delegates, swept by his eloquence, signed the Declaration of Independence, a document destined to be as immortal as any work of man can be. And according to the story, when they turned to thank him for his timely oratory, he could not be found nor were there any who knew who he was or how he had come in or gone out through the locked and guarded doors.

Well, as I say, whether story or legend, the signing of the document that day in Independence Hall was miracle enough. Fifty-six men, a little band so unique—we have never seen their like since—pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Sixteen gave their lives, most gave their fortunes and all of them preserved their sacred honor. What manner of men were they? Certainly they were not an unwashed, revolutionary rebel, nor were then adventurers in a heroic mood. Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, 11 were merchants and tradesmen, nine were farmers. They were men who would achieve security but valued freedom more.

And what price did they pay? John Hart was driven from the side of his desperately ill wife. After more than a year of living almost as an animal in the forest and in caves, he returned to find his wife had died and his children had vanished. He never saw them again, his property was destroyed and he died of a broken heart—but with no regret, only pride in the part he had played that day in Independence Hall. Carter Braxton of Virginia lost all his ships—they were sold to pay his debts. He died in rags. So it was with Ellery, Clymer, Hall, Walton, Gwinnett, Rutledge, Morris, Livingston, and Middleton. Nelson, learning that Cornwallis was using his home for a headquarters, personally begged Washington to fire on him and destroy his home--he died bankrupt. It has never been reported that any of these men ever expressed bitterness or renounced their action as not worth the price. Fifty-six rank-and-file, ordinary citizens had founded a nation that grew from sea to shining sea, five million farms, quiet villages, cities that never sleep—all done without an area re-development plan, urban renewal or a rural legal assistance program.

Now we are a nation of 211 million people with a pedigree that includes blood lines from every corner of the world. We have shed that American-melting-pot blood in every corner of the world, usually in defense of someone's freedom. Those who remained of that remarkable band we call our Founding Fathers tied up some of the loose ends about a dozen years after the Revolution. It had been the first revolution in all man’s history that did not just exchange one set of rulers for another. This had been a philosophical revolution. The culmination of men's dreams for 6,000 years were formalized with the Constitution, probably the most unique document ever drawn in the long history of man's relation to man. I know there have been other constitutions, new ones are being drawn today by newly emerging nations. Most of them, even the one of the Soviet Union, contains many of the same guarantees as our own Constitution, and still there is a difference. The difference is so subtle that we often overlook it, but is is so great that it tells the whole story. Those other constitutions say, “Government grants you these rights” and ours says, “You are born with these rights, they are yours by the grace of God, and no government on earth can take them from you.”

Lord Acton of England, who once said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” would say of that document, “They had solved with astonishing ease and unduplicated success two problems which had heretofore baffled the capacity of the most enlightened nations. They had contrived a system of federal government which prodigiously increased national power and yet respected local liberties and authorities, and they had founded it on a principle of equality without surrendering the securities of property or freedom.” Never in any society has the preeminence of the individual been so firmly established and given such a priority.

In less than twenty years we would go to war because the God-given rights of the American sailors, as defined in the Constitution, were being violated by a foreign power. We served notice then on the world that all of us together would act collectively to safeguard the rights of even the least among us. But still, in an older, cynical world, they were not convinced. The great powers of Europe still had the idea that one day this great continent would be open again to colonizing and they would come over and divide us up.

In the meantime, men who yearned to breathe free were making their way to our shores. Among them was a young refugee from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He had been a leader in an attempt to free Hungary from Austrian rule. The attempt had failed and he fled to escape execution. In America, this young Hungarian, Koscha by name, became an importer by trade and took out his first citizenship papers. One day, business took him to a Mediterranean port. There was a large Austrian warship under the command of an admiral in the harbor. He had a manservant with him. He had described to this manservant what the flag of his new country looked like. Word was passed to the Austrian warship that this revolutionary was there and in the night he was kidnapped and taken aboard that large ship. This man's servant, desperate, walking up and down the harbor, suddenly spied a flag that resembled the description he had heard. It was a small American war sloop. He went aboard and told Captain Ingraham, of that war sloop, his story. Captain Ingraham went to the American Consul. When the American Consul learned that Koscha had only taken out his first citizenship papers, the consul washed his hands of the incident. Captain Ingraham said, “I am the senior officer in this port and I believe, under my oath of my office, that I owe this man the protection of our flag.”

He went aboard the Austrian warship and demanded to see their prisoner, our citizen. The Admiral was amused, but they brought the man on deck. He was in chains and had been badly beaten. Captain Ingraham said, “I can hear him better without those chains,” and the chains were removed. He walked over and said to Kocha, “I will ask you one question; consider your answer carefully. Do you ask the protection of the American flag?” Kocha nodded dumbly “Yes,” and the Captain said, “You shall have it.” He went back and told the frightened consul what he had done. Later in the day three more Austrian ships sailed into harbor. It looked as though the four were getting ready to leave. Captain Ingraham sent a junior officer over to the Austrian flag ship to tell the Admiral that any attempt to leave that harbor with our citizen aboard would be resisted with appropriate force. He said that he would expect a satisfactory answer by four o'clock that afternoon. As the hour neared they looked at each other through the glasses. As it struck four he had them roll the cannons into the ports and had then light the tapers with which they would set off the cannons—one little sloop. Suddenly the lookout tower called out and said, “They are lowering a boat,” and they rowed Koscha over to the little American ship.

Captain Ingraham then went below and wrote his letter of resignation to the United States Navy. In it he said, “I did what I thought my oath of office required, but if I have embarrassed my country in any way, I resign.” His resignation was refused in the United States Senate with these words: “This battle that was never fought may turn out to be the most important battle in our Nation's history.” Incidentally, there is to this day, and I hope there always will be, a USS Ingraham in the United States Navy.

I did not tell that story out of any desire to be narrowly chauvinistic or to glorify aggressive militarism, but it is an example of government meeting its highest responsibility.

In recent years we have been treated to a rash of noble-sounding phrases. Some of them sound good, but they don't hold up under close analysis. Take for instance the slogan so frequently uttered by the young senator from Massachusetts, “The greatest good for the greatest number." Certainly under that slogan, no modern day Captain Ingraham would risk even the smallest craft and crew for a single citizen. Every dictator who ever lived has justified the enslavement of his people on the theory of what was good for the majority.

We are not a warlike people. Nor is our history filled with tales of aggressive adventures and imperialism, which might come as a shock to some of the placard painters in our modern demonstrations. The lesson of Vietnam, I think, should be that never again will young Americans be asked to fight and possibly die for a cause unless that cause is so meaningful that we, as a nation, pledge our full resources to achieve victory as quickly as possible.

I realize that such a pronouncement, of course, would possibly be laying one open to the charge of warmongering—but that would also be ridiculous. My generation has paid a higher price and has fought harder for freedom that any generation that had ever lived. We have known four wars in a single lifetime. All were horrible, all could have been avoided if at a particular moment in time we had made it plain that we subscribed to the words of John Stuart Mill when he said that “war is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.”

The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war is worse. The man who has nothing which he cares about more than his personal safety is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

The widespread disaffection with things military is only a part of the philosophical division in our land today. I must say to you who have recently, or presently are still receiving an education, I am awed by your powers of resistance. I have some knowledge of the attempts that have been made in many classrooms and lecture halls to persuade you that there is little to admire in America. For the second time in this century, capitalism and the free enterprise are under assault. Privately owned business is blamed for spoiling the environment, exploiting the worker and seducing, if not outright raping, the customer. Those who make the charge have the solution, of course—government regulation and control. We may never get around to explaining how citizens who are so gullible that they can be suckered into buying cereal or soap that they don't need and would not be good for them, can at the same time be astute enough to choose representatives in government to which they would entrust the running of their lives.

Not too long ago, a poll was taken on 2,500 college campuses in this country. Thousands and thousands of responses were obtained. Overwhelmingly, 65, 70, and 75 percent of the students found business responsible, as I have said before, for the things that were wrong in this country. That same number said that government was the solution and should take over the management and the control of private business. Eighty percent of the respondents said they wanted government to keep its paws out of their private lives.

We are told every day that the assembly-line worker is becoming a dull-witted robot and that mass production results in standardization. Well, there isn't a socialist country in the world that would not give its copy of Karl Marx for our standardization.

Standardization means production for the masses and the assembly line means more leisure for the worker—freedom from backbreaking and mind-dulling drudgery that man had known for centuries past. Karl Marx did not abolish child labor or free the women from working in the coal mines in England ­ the steam engine and modern machinery did that.

Unfortunately, the disciples of the new order have had a hand in determining too much policy in recent decades. Government has grown in size and power and cost through the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier and the Great Society. It costs more for government today than a family pays for food, shelter and clothing combined. Not even the Office of Management and Budget knows how many boards, commissions, bureaus and agencies there are in the federal government, but the federal registry, listing their regulations, is just a few pages short of being as big as the Encyclopedia Britannica.

During the Great Society we saw the greatest growth of this government. There were eight cabinet departments and 12 independent agencies to administer the federal health program. There were 35 housing programs and 20 transportation projects. Public utilities had to cope with 27 different agencies on just routine business. There were 192 installations and nine departments with 1,000 projects having to do with the field of pollution.

One Congressman found the federal government was spending 4 billion dollars on research in its own laboratories but did not know where they were, how many people were working in them, or what they were doing. One of the research projects was “The Demography of Happiness,” and for 249,000 dollars we found that “people who make more money are happier than people who make less, young people are happier than old people, and people who are healthier are happier than people who are sick.” For 15 cents they could have bought an Almanac and read the old bromide, “It's better to be rich, young and healthy, than poor, old and sick.”

The course that you have chosen is far more in tune with the hopes and aspirations of our people than are those who would sacrifice freedom for some fancied security.

Standing on the tiny deck of the Arabella in 1630 off the Massachusetts coast, John Winthrop said, “We will be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.” Well, we have not dealt falsely with our God, even if He is temporarily suspended from the classroom.

When I was born my life expectancy was 10 years less than I have already lived—that’s a cause of regret for some people in California, I know. Ninety percent of Americans at that time lived beneath what is considered the poverty line today, three-quarters lived in what is considered substandard housing. Today each of those figures is less than 10 percent. We have increased our life expectancy by wiping out, almost totally, diseases that still ravage mankind in other parts of the world. I doubt if the young people here tonight know the names of some of the diseases that were commonplace when we were growing up. We have more doctors per thousand people than any nation in the world. We have more hospitals that any nation in the world.

When I was your age, believe it or not, none of us knew that we even had a racial problem. When I graduated from college and became a radio sport announcer, broadcasting major league baseball, I didn’t have a Hank Aaron or a Willie Mays to talk about. The Spaulding Guide said baseball was a game for Caucasian gentlemen. Some of us then began editorializing and campaigning against this. Gradually we campaigned against all those other areas where the constitutional rights of a large segment of our citizenry were being denied. We have not finished the job. We still have a long way to go, but we have made more progress in a few years than we have made in more than a century.

One-third of all the students in the world who are pursuing higher education are doing so in the United States. The percentage of our young Negro community that is going to college is greater than the percentage of whites in any other country in the world.

One-half of all the economic activity in the entire history of man has taken place in this republic. We have distributed our wealth more widely among our people than any society known to man. Americans work less hours for a higher standard of living than any other people. Ninety-five percent of all our families have an adequate daily intake of nutrients—and a part of the five percent that don't are trying to lose weight! Ninety-nine percent have gas or electric refrigeration, 92 percent have televisions, and an equal number have telephones. There are 120 million cars on our streets and highways—and all of them are on the street at once when you are trying to get home at night. But isn't this just proof of our materialism—the very thing that we are charged with? Well, we also have more churches, more libraries, we support voluntarily more symphony orchestras, and opera companies, non-profit theaters, and publish more books than all the other nations of the world put together.

Somehow America has bred a kindliness into our people unmatched anywhere, as has been pointed out in that best-selling record by a Canadian journalist. We are not a sick society. A sick society could not produce the men that set foot on the moon, or who are now circling the earth above us in the Skylab. A sick society bereft of morality and courage did not produce the men who went through those year of torture and captivity in Vietnam. Where did we find such men? They are typical of this land as the Founding Fathers were typical. We found them in our streets, in the offices, the shops and the working places of our country and on the farms.

We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so. The leadership of the free world was thrust upon us two centuries ago in that little hall of Philadelphia. In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, “The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.”

We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth.
 


III. The Crusade for Freedom

President Reagan's Speech to the United Kingdom's
House of Commons, June 8, 1982.


We're approaching the end of a bloody century plagued by a terrible political invention -- totalitarianism. Optimism comes less easily today, not because democracy is less vigorous, but because democracy's enemies have refined their instruments of repression. Yet optimism is in order because day by day democracy is proving itself to be a not at all fragile flower. From Stettin on the Baltic to Varna on the Black Sea, the regimes planted by totalitarianism have had more than thirty years to establish their legitimacy. But none -- not one regime -- has yet been able to risk free elections. Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.

The strength of the Solidarity movement in Poland demonstrates the truth told in an underground joke in the Soviet Union. It is that the Soviet Union would remain a one-party nation even if an opposition party were permitted because everyone would join the opposition party....

Historians looking back at our time will note the consistent restraint and peaceful intentions of the West. They will note that it was the democracies who refused to use the threat of their nuclear monopoly in the forties and early fifties for territorial or imperial gain. Had that nuclear monopoly been in the hands of the Communist world, the map of Europe--indeed, the world--would look very different today. And certainly they will note it was not the democracies that invaded Afghanistan or suppressed Polish Solidarity or used chemical and toxin warfare in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia.

If history teaches anything, it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly. We see around us today the marks of our terrible dilemma--predictions of doomsday, antinuclear demonstrations, an arms race in which the West must, for its own protection, be an unwilling participant. At the same time we see totalitarian forces in the world who seek subversion and conflict around the globe to further their barbarous assault on the human spirit. What, then, is our course? Must civilization perish in a hail of fiery atoms? Must freedom wither in a quiet, deadening accommodation with totalitarian evil?

Sir Winston Churchill refused to accept the inevitability of war or even that it was imminent. He said, "I do not believe that Soviet Russia desires war. What they desire is the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines. But what we have to consider here today while time remains is the permanent prevention of war and the establishment of conditions of freedom and democracy as rapidly as possible in all countries."

Well, this is precisely our mission today: to preserve freedom as well as peace. It may not be easy to see; but I believe we live now at a turning point.

In an ironic sense Karl Marx was right. We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis, a crisis where the demands of the economic order are conflicting directly with those of the political order. But the crisis is happening not in the free, non-Marxist West but in the home of Marxism- Leninism, the Soviet Union. It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens. It also is in deep economic difficulty. The rate of growth in the national product has been steadily declining since the fifties and is less than half of what it was then.

The dimensions of this failure are astounding: a country which employs one-fifth of its population in agriculture is unable to feed its own people. Were it not for the private sector, the tiny private sector tolerated in Soviet agriculture, the country might be on the brink of famine. These private plots occupy a bare 3 percent of the arable land but account for nearly one-quarter of Soviet farm output and nearly one-third of meat products and vegetables. Overcentralized, with little or no incentives, year after year the Soviet system pours its best resources into the making of instruments of destruction. The constant shrinkage of economic growth combined with the growth of military production is putting a heavy strain on the Soviet people. What we see here is a political structure that no longer corresponds to its economic base, a society where productive forced are hampered by political ones.

The decay of the Soviet experiment should come as no surprise to us. Wherever the comparisons have been made between free and closed societies -- West Germany and East Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, Malaysia and Vietnam -- it is the democratic countries that are prosperous and responsive to the needs of their people. And one of the simple but overwhelming facts of our time is this: of all the millions of refugees we've seen in the modern world, their flight is always away from, not toward the Communist world. Today on the NATO line, our military forces face east to prevent a possible invasion. On the other side of the line, the Soviet forces also face east to prevent their people from leaving.

The hard evidence of totalitarian rule has caused in mankind an uprising of the intellect and will. Whether it is the growth of the new schools of economics in America or England or the appearance of the so-called new philosophers in France, there is one unifying thread running through the intellectual work of these groups -- rejection of the arbitrary power of the state, the refusal to subordinate the rights of the individual to the superstate, the realization that collectivism stifles all the best human impulses....

Chairman Brezhnev repeatedly has stressed that the competition of ideas and systems must continue and that this is entirely consistent with relaxation of tensions and peace.

Well, we ask only that these systems begin by living up to their own constitutions, abiding by their own laws, and complying with the international obligations they have undertaken. We ask only for a process, a direction, a basic code of decency, not for an instant transformation.

We cannot ignore the fact that even without our encouragement there has been and will continue to be repeated explosion against repression and dictatorships. The Soviet Union itself is not immune to this reality. Any system is inherently unstable that has no peaceful means to legitimize its leaders. In such cases, the very repressiveness of the state ultimately drives people to resist it, if necessary, by force.

While we must be cautious about forcing the pace of change, we must not hesitate to declare our ultimate objectives and to take concrete actions to move toward them. We must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings. So states the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, among other things, guarantees free elections.

The objective I propose is quite simple to state: to foster the infrastructure of democracy, the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities, which allows a people to choose their own way to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means.

This is not cultural imperialism; it is providing the means for genuine self-determination and protection for diversity. Democracy already flourishes in countries with very different cultures and historical experiences. It would be cultural condescension, or worse, to say that any people prefer dictatorship to democracy. Who would voluntarily choose not to have the right to vote, decide to purchase government propaganda handouts instead of independent newspapers, prefer government to worker-controlled unions, opt for land to be owned by the state instead of those who till it, want government repression of religious liberty, a single political party instead of a free choice, a rigid cultural orthodoxy instead of democratic tolerance and diversity.

Since 1917 the Soviet Union has given covert political training and assistance to Marxist-Leninists in many countries. Of course, it also has promoted the use of violence and subversion by these same forces. Over the past several decades, West European and other social democrats, Christian democrats, and leaders have offered open assistance to fraternal, political, and social institutions to bring about peaceful and democratic progress. Appropriately, for a vigorous new democracy, the Federal Republic of Germany's political foundations have become a major force in this effort.

We in America now intend to take additional steps, as many of our allies have already done, toward realizing this same goal. The chairmen and other leaders of the national Republican and Democratic party organizations are initiating a study with the bipartisan American Political Foundation to determine how the United States can best contribute as a nation to the global campaign for democracy now gathering force. They will have the cooperation of congressional leaders of both parties, along with representatives of business, labor, and other major institutions in our society. I look forward to receiving their recommendations and to working with these institutions and the Congress in the common task of strengthening democracy throughout the world.

It is time that we committed ourselves as a nation -- in both the public and private sectors -- to assisting democratic development....

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 as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people. And that's why we must continue our efforts to strengthen NATO even as we move forward with our zero-option initiative in the negotiations on intermediate-range forces and our proposal for a one-third reduction in strategic ballistic missile warheads.

Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used, for the ultimate determinant in the struggle that's now going on in 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, the ideals to which we are dedicated.

The British people know that, given strong leadership, time, and a little bit of hope, the forces of good ultimately rally and triumph over evil. Here among you is the cradle of self-government, the Mother of Parliaments. Here is the enduring greatness of the British contribution to mankind, the great civilized ideas: individual liberty, representative government, and the rule of law under God.

I've often wondered about the shyness of some of us in the West about standing for these ideals that have done so much to ease the plight of man and the hardships of our imperfect world. This reluctance to use those vast resources at our command reminds me of the elderly lady whose home was bombed in the blitz. As the rescuers moved about, they found a bottle of brandy she'd stored behind the staircase, which was all that was left standing. And since she was barely conscious, one of the workers pulled the cork to give her a taste of it. She came around immediately and said, "Here now -- there now, put it back. That's for emergencies."

Well, the emergency is upon us. Let us be shy no longer. Let us go to our strength. Let us offer hope. Let us tell the world that a new age is not only possible but probable.

During the dark days of the Second World War, when this island was incandescent with courage, Winston Churchill exclaimed about Britain's adversaries, "What kind of people do they think we are?" Well, Britain's adversaries found out what extraordinary people the British are. But all the democracies paid a terrible price for allowing the dictators to underestimate us. We dare not make that mistake again. So, let us ask ourselves, "What kind of people do we think we are?" And let us answer, "Free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so but to help others gain their freedom as well."

Sir Winston led his people to great victory in war and then lost an election just as the fruits of victory were about to be enjoyed. But he left office honorably and, as it turned out, temporarily, knowing that the liberty of his people was more important than the fate of any single leader. History recalls his greatness in ways no dictator will ever know. And he left us a message of hope for the future, as timely now as when he first uttered it, as opposition leader in the Commons nearly twenty-seven years ago, when he said, "When we look back on all the perils through which we have passed and at the mighty foes that we have laid low and all the dark and deadly designs that we have frustrated, why should we fear for our future? We have," he said, "come safely through the worst."

Well, the task I've set forth will long outlive our own generation. But together, we too have come through the worst. Let us now begin a major effort to secure the best -- a crusade for freedom that will engage the faith and fortitude of the next generation. For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny.

 


IV. President Reagan's Speech before
the National Association of Evangelicals


Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech
President Reagan addressed the annual convention in Orlando, Florida on March 8, 1983.


Reverend Clergy all, Senator Hawkins, distinguished members of the Florida congressional delegation, and all of you:

I can't tell you how you have warmed my heart with your welcome. I'm delighted to be here today.

Those of you in the National Association of Evangelicals are known for you spiritual and humanitarian work. And I would be especially remiss if I didn't discharge right now one personal debt of gratitude. Thank you for your prayers. Nancy and I have felt their presence many times in many years. And believe me, for us they've made all the difference.

The other day in the East Room of the White House at a meeting there, someone asked me whether I was aware of all the people out there who were praying for the President. And I had to say, "Yes, I am. I've felt it. I believe in intercessionary prayer." But I couldn't help but say to that questioner after he'd asked the question that - or at least say to them that if sometimes when he was praying he got a busy signal, it was just me in there ahead of him. [Laughter] I think I understand how Abraham Lincoln felt when he said, "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go." From the joy and the good feeling of this conference, I go to a political reception. [Laughter] Now, I don't know why, but that bit of scheduling reminds me of a story - [Laughter] - which I'll share with you.

An evangelical minister and a politician arrived at Heaven's gate one day together. And St. Peter, after doing all the necessary formalities, took them in hand to show them where their quarters would be. And he took them to a small, single room with a bed, a chair, and a table and said this was for the clergyman. And the politician was a little worried about what might be in store for him. And he couldn't believe it then when St. Peter stopped in front of a beautiful mansion with lovely grounds, many servants, and told him that these would be his quarters.

And he couldn't help but ask, he said, "But wait, how-there's something wrong - how do I get this mansion while that good and holy man only gets a single room?" And St. Peter said, "You have to understand how things are up here. We've got thousands and thousands of clergy. You're the first politician who ever made it." [Laughter]

But I don't want to contribute to a stereotype. [Laughter] So I tell you there are a great many God-fearing, dedicated, noble men and women in public life, present company included. And yes, we need your help to keep us ever mindful of the ideas and the principles that brought us into the public arena in the first place. The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself, is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted.

The American experiment in democracy rests on this insight. Its discovery was the great triumph of our Founding Fathers, voiced by William Penn when he said: "If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants." Explaining the inalienable rights of men, Jefferson said, "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time." And it was George Washington who said that "of all the disposition and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supporters."

And finally, that shrewdest of all observers of American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville, put it eloquently after he had gone on a search for the secret of America's greatness and genius - and he said: "Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America . . . America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

Well, I'm pleased to be here today with you who are keeping America great by keeping her good. Only through your work and prayers and those of millions of others cans we hope to survive this perilous century and keep alive this experiment in liberty, this last, best hope of man.

I want you to know that this administration is motivated by a political philosophy that sees the greatness of America in you, here people, and in your families, churches, neighborhoods, communities - the institutions that foster and nourish values like concern for others and respect for the rule of law under God.

Now, I don't have to tell you that this puts us in opposition to, or at least out of step with, a prevailing attitude of many who have turned to a modern-day secularism, discarding the tried and time-tested values upon which our very civilization is based. No matter how well intentioned, their value system is radically different from that of most Americans. And while they proclaim that they're freeing us from superstitions of the past, they've taken upon themselves the job of superintending us by government rule and regulation. Sometimes their voices are louder than ours, but they are not yet a majority.

An example of that vocal superiority is evident in a controversy now going on in Washington. And since I'm involved I've been waiting to hear from the parents of young America. How far are they willing to go in giving to government their prerogatives as parents?

Let me state the case as briefly and simply as I can. An organization of citizens, sincerely motivated and deeply concerned about the increase in illegitimate births and abortions involving girls well below the age of consent, some time ago established a nationwide network of clinics to offer help to these girls and, hopefully, alleviate this situation. Now, again, let me say, I do not fault their intent. However, in their well-intentioned effort, these clinics have decided to provide advice and birth control drugs and devices to underage girls without the knowledge of their parents.

For some years now, the federal government has helped with funds to subsidize these clinics. In providing for this, the Congress decreed that every effort would be made to maximize parental participation. Nevertheless, the drugs and devices are prescribed without getting parental consent or giving notification after they've done so. Girls termed "sexually active" - and that has replaced the word "promiscuous" - are given this help in order to prevent illegitimate birth or abortion.

Well, we have ordered clinics receiving federal funds to notify the parents such help has been given. One of the nation's leading newspapers has created the term "squeal rule" in editorializing against us for doing this, and we're being criticized for violating the privacy of young people. A judge has recently granted an injunction against an enforcement of our rule. I've watched TV panel shows discuss the issue, seen columnists pontificating on our error, but no one seems to mention morality as playing a part in the subject of sex.

Is all of Judeo-Christian tradition wrong? Are we to believe that something so sacred can be looked upon as a purely physical thing with no potential for emotional and psychological harm? And isn't it the parents' right to give counsel and advice to keep their children from making mistakes that may affect their entire lives?

Many of us in government would like to know what parents think about this intrusion in their family by government. We're going to fight in the courts. The right of parents and the rights of family take precedence over those of Washington-based bureaucrats and social engineers.

But the fight against parental notification is really only one example of many attempts to water down traditional values and even abrogate the original terms of American democracy. Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. When our Founding Fathers passed the First Amendment, they sought to protect churches from government interference. They never intended to construct a wall of hostility between government and the concept of religious belief itself.

The evidence of this permeates our history and our government. The Declaration of Independence mentions the Supreme Being no less than four times. "In God We Trust" is engraved on our coinage. The Supreme Court opens its proceedings with a religious invocation. And the members of Congress open their sessions with a prayer. I just happen to believe the schoolchildren of the United States are entitled to the same privileges as Supreme Court justices and congressmen.

Last year, I sent the Congress a constitutional amendment to restore prayer to public schools. Already this session, there's growing bipartisan support for the amendment, and I am calling on the Congress to act speedily to pass it and to let our children pray.

Perhaps some of you read recently about the Lubbock school case, where a judge actually ruled that it was unconstitutional for a school district to give equal treatment to religious and nonreligious student groups, even when the group meetings were being held during the students' own time. The First Amendment never intended to require government to discriminate against religious speech.

Senators Denton and Hatfield have proposed legislation in the Congress on the whole question of prohibiting discrimination against religious forms of student speech. Such legislation could go far to restore freedom of religious speech for public school students. And I hope the Congress considers these bills quickly. And with you help, I think it's possible we could also get the constitutional amendment through the Congress this year.

More than a decade ago, a Supreme Court decision literally wiped off the books of fifty states statutes protecting the rights of unborn children. Abortion on demand now takes the lives of up to one and a half million unborn children a year. Human life legislation ending this tragedy will someday pass the Congress, and you and I must never rest until it does. Unless and until it can be proven that the unborn child is not a living entity, then its right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must be protected.

You may remember that when abortion on demand began, many, and indeed, I'm sure many of you, warned that the practice would lead to a decline in respect for human life, that the philosophical premises used to justify abortion on demand would ultimately be used to justify other attacks on the sacredness of human life - infanticide or mercy killing. Tragically enough, those warnings proved all too true. Only last year a court permitted the death by starvation of a handicapped infant.

I have directed the Health and Human Services Department to make clear to every health care facility in the United States that the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects all handicapped persons against discrimination based on handicaps, including infants. And we have taken the further step of requiring that each and every recipient of federal funds who provides health care services to infants must post and keep posted in a conspicuous place a notice stating that "discriminatory failure to feed and care for handicapped infants in this facility is prohibited by federal law." It also lists a twenty-four-hour, toll-free number so that nurses and others may report violations in time to save the infant's life.

In addition, recent legislation introduced in the Congress by Representative Henry Hyde of Illinois not only increases restrictions on publicly financed abortions, it also addresses this whole problem of infanticide. I urge the Congress to begin hearings and to adopt legislation that will protect the right of life to all children, including the disabled or handicapped.

Now, I'm sure that you must get discouraged at times, but you've done better than you know, perhaps. There's a great spiritual awakening in America, a renewal of the traditional values that have been the bedrock of America's goodness and greatness.

One recent survey by a Washington-based research council concluded that Americans were far more religious than the people of other nations; 95 percent of those surveyed expressed a belief in God and a huge majority believed the Ten Commandments had real meaning in their lives. And another study has found that an overwhelming majority of Americans disapprove of adultery, teenage sex, pornography, abortion, and hard drugs. And this same study showed a deep reverence for the importance of family ties and religious belief.

I think the items that we've discussed here today must be a key part of the nation's political agenda. For the first time the Congress is openly and seriously debating and dealing with the prayer and abortion issues - and that's enormous progress right there. I repeat: America is in the midst of a spiritual awakening and a moral renewal. And with your biblical keynote, I say today, "Yes, let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream."

Now, obviously, much of this new political and social consensus I've talked about is based on a positive view of American history, one that takes pride in our country's accomplishments and record. But we must never forget that no government schemes are going to perfect man. We know that living in this world means dealing with what philosophers would call the phenomenology of evil or, as theologians would put it, the doctrine of sin.

There is sin and evil in the world, and we're enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might. Our nation, too, has a legacy of evil with which it must deal. 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.

I know that you've been horrified, as have I, by the resurgence of some hate groups preaching bigotry and prejudice. Use the mighty voice of your pulpits and the powerful standing of your churches to denounce and isolate these hate groups in our midst. The commandment given us is clear and simple: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

But whatever sad episodes exist in our past, any objective observer must hold a positive view of American history, a history that has been the story of hopes fulfilled and dreams made into reality. Especially in this century, America has kept alight the torch of freedom, but not just for ourselves but for millions of others around the world.

And this brings me to my final point today. During my first press conference as president, in answer to a direct question, I point 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. I think I should point out I was only quoting Lenin, their guiding spirit, who said in 1920 that they repudiate all morality that proceeds from supernatural ideas - that's their name for religion - or ideas that are outside class conceptions. Morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of class war. And everything is moral that is necessary for the annihilation of the old, exploiting social order and for uniting the proletariat.

Well, I think the refusal of many influential people to accept this elementary fact of Soviet doctrine illustrates a historical reluctance to see totalitarian powers for what they are. We saw this phenomenon in the 1930s. We see it too often today.

This doesn't mean we should isolate ourselves and refuse to seek an understanding with them. I intend to do everything I can to persuade them of our peaceful intent, to remind them that it was the West that refused to use its nuclear monopoly in the forties and fifties for territorial gain and which now proposes a 50-percent cut in strategic ballistic missiles and the elimination of an entire class of land-based, intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

At the same time, however, they must be made to understand we will never compromise our principles and standards. We will never give away our freedom. We will never abandon our belief in God. And we will never stop searching for a genuine peace. But we can assure none of these things America stands for through the so-called nuclear freeze solutions proposed by some.

The truth is that a freeze now would be a very dangerous fraud, for that is merely the illusion of peace. The reality is that we must find peace through strength.

I would agree to freeze if only we could freeze the Soviets' global desires. A freeze at current levels of weapons would remove any incentive for the Soviets to negotiate seriously in Geneva and virtually end our chances to achieve the major arms reductions which we have proposed. Instead, they would achieve their objectives through the freeze.

A freeze would reward the Soviet Union for its enormous and unparalleled military buildup. It would prevent the essential and long overdue modernization of United States and allied defenses and would leave our aging forces increasingly vulnerable. And an honest freeze would require extensive prior negotiations on the systems and numbers to be limited and on the measures to ensure effective verification and compliance. And the kind of a freeze that has been suggested would be virtually impossible to verify. Such a major effort would divert us completely from our current negotiations on achieving substantial reductions.

A number of years ago, I heard a young father, a very prominent young man in the entertainment world, addressing a tremendous gathering in California. It was during the time of the cold war, and communism and our own way of life were very much on people's minds. And he was speaking to that subject. And suddenly, though, I heard him saying, "I love my little girls more than anything -" And I said to myself, "Oh, no, don't. You can't - don't say that." But I had underestimated him. He went on: "I would rather see my little girls die now, still believing in God, than have them grow up under communism and one day die no longer believing in God."

There were thousands of young people in that audience. They came to their feet with shouts of joy. They had instantly recognized the profound truth in what he had said, with regard to the physical and the soul and what was truly important.

Yes, 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.

It was C.S. Lewis who, in his unforgettable Screwtape Letters, wrote: "The greatest evil is not done now in those sordid 'dens of rime' that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do no need to raise their voice."

Well, because these "quiet men" do no "raise their voices," because they sometimes speak in soothing tones of brotherhood and peace, because, like other dictators before them, they're always making "their final territorial demand," some would have us accept them as their word and accommodate ourselves to their aggressive impulses. But if history teaches anything, it teaches that simpleminded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.

So, I urge you to speak our against those who would place the United States in a position of military and moral inferiority. You know, I've always believed that old Screwtape reserved his best efforts for those of you in the church. So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride - the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.

I ask you to resist the attempts of those who would have you withhold your support for our efforts, this administration's efforts, to keep America strong and free, while we negotiate real and verifiable reductions in the world's nuclear arsenals and one day, with God's help, their total elimination.

While America's military strength is important, let me add here that I've always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.

Whittaker Chambers, the man whose own religious conversation made him a witness to one of the terrible traumas of our time, the Hiss-Chambers case, wrote that the crisis of the Western world exists to the degree in which the West is indifferent to God, the degree to which it collaborates in communism's attempt to make man stand alone without God. And then he said, for Marxism-Leninism is actually the second-oldest faith, first proclaimed in the Garden of Eden with the words of temptation, "Ye shall be as gods."

The Western world can answer this challenge, he wrote, "but only provided that its faith in God and the freedom He enjoins is as great as communism's faith in Man."

I believe we shall rise to the challenge. 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 man. For in the words of Isaiah: "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increased strength . . . But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary . . . "

Yes, change your world. One of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine, said, "We have it within our power to begin the world over again." We can do it, doing together what no one church could do by itself.

God bless you, and thank you very much.

 


V. President Reagan's Speech
at Pointe de Hoc, Normandy


June 6, 1984 (The 40th anniversary of D-Day)


We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied peoples 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.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. 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. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers -- at the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine-guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting only ninety could still bear arms.

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.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your 'lives fought for life...and left the vivid air signed with your honor'...

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith, and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.
 


VI. President Reagan made the following comments
at a Prayer Breakfast in 1984

 "If children prayed together, would they not understand what they have in common, and would this not, indeed, bring them closer, and is this not to be desired? So, I submit to you that those who claim to be fighting for tolerance on this issue may not be tolerant at all. When John Kennedy was running for President in 1960, he said that his church would not dictate his Presidency any more than he would speak for his church. Just so, and proper. But John Kennedy was speaking in an America in which the role of religion -- and by that I mean the role of all churches -- was secure. Abortion was not a political issue. Prayer was not a political issue. The right of church schools to operate was not a political issue. And it was broadly acknowledged that religious leaders had a right and a duty to speak out on the issues of the day. They held a place of respect, and a politician who spoke to or of them with a lack of respect would not long survive in the political arena. It was acknowledged then that religion held a special place, occupied a special territory in the hearts of the citizenry. The climate has changed greatly since then. And since it has, it logically follows that religion needs defenders against those who care only for the interests of the state. ... The churches of America do not exist by the grace of the state; the churches of America are not mere citizens of the state. The churches of America exist apart; they have their own vantage point, their own authority. Religion is its own realm; it makes its own claims. We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief, to apply moral teaching to public questions. I submit to you that the tolerant society is open to and encouraging of all religions. And this does not weaken us; it strengthens us. ... You know, if we look back through history to all those great civilizations, those great nations that rose up to even world dominance and then deteriorated, declined, and fell, we find they all had one thing in common. One of the significant forerunners of their fall was their turning away from their God. ... Without God, there is no virtue, because there's no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we're mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." --Prayer Breakfast, 1984

 


VII.  President Reagan's Words
at the Brandenburg Gate


The city of West Berlin, June 12, 1987.


 

Thank you very much. Chancellor Kohl, Governing Mayor Diepgen, ladies and gentlemen: Twenty-four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, speaking to the people of this city and the world at the city hall. Well, since then two other presidents have come, each in his turn, to Berlin. And today I, myself, make my second visit to your city.

We come to Berlin, we American Presidents, because it's our duty to speak, in this place, of freedom. But I must confess, we're drawn here by other things as well: by the feeling of history in this city, more than 500 years older than our own nation; by the beauty of the Grunewald and the Tiergarten; most of all, by your courage and determination. Perhaps the composer, Paul Lincke, understood something about American Presidents. You see, like so many Presidents before me, I come here today because wherever I go, whatever I do: "Ich hab noch einen koffer in Berlin." [I still have a suitcase in Berlin.]

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, I extend my warmest greetings and the good will of the American people. To those listening in East Berlin, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guardtowers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same—still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

President von Weizsacker has said: "The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed." Today I say: As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind. Yet I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of triumph.

In this season of spring in 1945, the people of Berlin emerged from their air-raid shelters to find devastation Thousands of miles away, the people of the United States reached out to help. And in 1947 Secretary of State—as you've been told— George Marsh all announced the creation of what would become known as the Marshall plan. Speaking precisely 40 years ago this month, he said: "Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."

In the Reichstag a few moments ago, I saw a display commemorating this 40th anniversary of the Marshall plan. I was struck by the sign on a burnt-out, gutted structure that was being rebuilt. I understand that Berliners of my own generation can remember seeing signs like it dotted throughout the Western sectors of the city. The sign read simply: "The Marshall plan is helping here to strengthen the free world." A strong, free world in the West, that dream became real. Japan rose from ruin to become an economic giant. Italy, France, Belgium —virtually every nation in Western Europe saw political and economic rebirth; the European Community was founded.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty—that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

Where four decades ago there was rubble, today in West Berlin there is the greatest industrial output of any city in Germany—busy office blocks, fine homes and apartments, proud avenues, and the spreading lawns of park land. Where a city's culture seemed to have been destroyed, today there are two great universities, orchestras and an opera, countless theaters, and museums. Where there was want, today there's abundance—food, clothing, automobiles— the wonderful goods of the Ku'damm. From devastation, from utter ruin, you Berliners have, in freedom, rebuilt a city that once again ranks as one of the greatest on Earth. The Soviets may have had other plans. But, my friends, there were a few things the Soviets didn't count on: Berliner herz, Berliner humor, ja, und Berliner schnauze. [Berliner heart, Berliner humor, yes, and a Berliner schnauze.] [Laughter]

In the 1950's, Khrushchev predicted: "We will bury you." But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. 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. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control. Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.

There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. 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!

I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent, and I pledge to you my country's efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So we must maintain defenses of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace; so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides. Beginning 10 years ago, the Soviets challenged the Western alliance with a grave new threat, hundreds of new and more deadly SS-20 nuclear missiles, capable of striking every capital in Europe. The Western alliance responded by committing itself to a counterdeployment unless the Soviets agreed to negotiate a better solution; namely, the elimination of such weapons on both sides. For many months, the Soviets refused to bargain in earnestness. As the alliance, in turn, prepared to go forward with its counterdeployment, there were difficult days—days of protests like those during my 1982 visit to this city—and the Soviets later walked away from the table.

But through it all, the alliance held firm. And I invite those who protested then, I invite those who protest today, to mark this fact: Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table. And because we remained strong, today we have within reach the possibility, not merely of limiting the growth of arms, but of eliminating, for the first time, an entire class of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth. As I speak, NATO ministers are meeting in Iceland to review the progress of our proposals for eliminating these weapons. At the talks in Geneva, we have also proposed deep cuts in strategic offensive weapons. And the Western allies have likewise made far-reaching proposals to reduce the danger of conventional war and to place a total ban on chemical weapons.

While we pursue these arms reductions, I pledge to you that we will maintain the capacity to deter Soviet aggression at any level at which it might occur. And in cooperation with many of our allies, the United States is pursuing the Strategic Defense Initiative research to base deterrence not on the threat of offensive retaliation, but on defenses that truly defend; on systems, in short, that will not target populations, but shield them. By these means we seek to increase the safety of Europe and all the world. But we must remember a crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other- And Our differences are not about weapons but about liberty. When President Kennedy spoke at the City Hall those 24 years ago freedom was encircled, Berlin was under siege. And today, despite all the pressures upon this city, Berlin stands secure in its liberty. And freedom itself is transforming the globe.

In the Philippines, in South and Central America, democracy has been given a rebirth. Throughout the Pacific, free markets are working miracle after miracle of economic growth. In the industrialized nations a technological revolution is taking place—a revolution marked by rapid, dramatic advances in computers and telecommunications.

In Europe, only one nation and those it controls refuse to join the community of freedom. Yet in this age of redoubled economic growth, of information and innovation, the Soviet Union faces a choice: It must make fundamental changes, or it will become obsolete. Today thus represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness, to break down barriers that separate people, to create a safer, freer world.

And surely there is no better place than Berlin, the meeting place of East and West, to make a start. Free people of Berlin: Today, as in the past, the United States stands for the strict observance and full implementation of all parts of the Four Power Agreement of 1971. Let us use this occasion, the 750th anniversary of this city, to usher in a new era, to seek a still fuller, richer life for the Berlin of the future. Together, let us maintain and develop the ties between the Federal Republic and the Western sectors of Berlin, which is permitted by the 1971 agreement. And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world. To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe.

With our French and British partners, the United States is prepared to help bring international meetings to Berlin. It would be only fitting for Berlin to serve as the site of United Nations meetings, or world conferences on human rights and arms control or other issues that call for international cooperation. There is no better way to establish hope for the future than to enlighten young minds, and we would be honored to sponsor summer youth exchanges, cultural events, and other programs for young Berliners from the East. Our French and British friends, I'm certain, will do the same. And it's my hope that an authority can be found in East Berlin to sponsor visits from young people of the Western sectors.

One final proposal, one close to my heart: Sport represents a source of enjoyment and ennoblement, and you many have noted that the Republic of Korea (South Korea) has offered to permit certain events of the 1988 Olympics to take place in the North. International sports competitions of all kinds could take place in both parts of this city. And what better way to demonstrate to the world the openness of this city than to offer in some future year to hold the Olympic games here in Berlin, East and West?

In these four decades, as I have said, you Berliners have built a great city. You've done so in spite of threats, the Soviet attempts to impose the East-mark, the blockade. Today the city thrives in spite of the challenges implicit in the very presence of this wall. What keeps you here? Certainly there's a great deal to be said for your fortitude, for your defiant courage. But I believe there's something deeper, something that involves Berlin's whole look and feel and way of life, not mere sentiment. No one could live long in Berlin without being completely disabused of illusions. Something instead, that has seen the difficulties of life in Berlin but chose to accept them, that continues to build this good and proud city in contrast to a surrounding totalitarian presence that refuses to release human energies or aspirations. Something that speaks with a powerful voice of affirmation, that says yes to this city, yes to the future, yes to freedom. In a word, I would submit that what keeps you in Berlin is love both profound and abiding.

Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. 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. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower's one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the Sun strikes that sphere—that sphere that towers over all Berlin the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner, "This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality." Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

And I would like, before I close, to say one word. I have read, and I have been questioned since I've been here about certain demonstrations against my coming. And I would like to say just one thing, and to those who demonstrate so. I wonder if they have ever asked themselves that if they should have the kind of government they apparently seek, no one would ever be able to do what they're doing again.

Thank you and God bless you all.


VIII. President Reagan's
Personhood Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America - January 14, 1988

A PROCLAMATION

    America has given a great gift to the world, a gift that drew upon the  accumulated wisdom derived from centuries of experiments in self- government, a gift that has irrevocably changed humanity's future.  Our  gift is twofold:  the declaration, as a cardinal principle of all just law,  of the God-given, unalienable rights possessed by every human being; and  the example of our determination to secure those rights and to defend them  against every challenge through the generations.  Our declaration and  defense of our rights have made us and kept us free and have sent a tide of  hope and inspiration around the globe.

    One of those inalienable rights, as the Declaration of Independence  affirms so eloquently, is the right to life.  In the 15 years since the  Supreme Court's decision in <Roe v. Wade>, however, America's unborn have  been denied their right to life.  Among the tragic and unspeakable results  in the past decade and a half have been the loss of life of 22 million  infants before birth; the pressure and anguish of countless women and girls  who are driven to abortion; and a cheapening of our respect for the human  person and the sanctity of human life.

    We are told that we may not interfere with abortion.  We are told that  we may not "impose our morality" on those who wish to allow or participate  in the taking of the life of infants before birth; yet no one calls it  "imposing morality" to prohibit the taking of life after people are born.   We are told as well that there exists a "right" to end the lives of unborn  children; yet no one can explain how such a right can exist in stark  contradiction to each person's fundamental right to life.

    That right to life belongs equally to babies in the womb, babies born  handicapped, and the elderly or infirm.  That we have killed the unborn for  15 years does not nullify this right, nor could any number of killings ever  do so.  The inalienable right to life is found not only in the Declaration  of Independence but also in the Constitution that every President is sworn  to preserve, protect, and defend.   Both the Fifth and Fourteenth  Amendments guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life without due  process of law.

    All medical and scientific evidence increasingly affirms that children  before birth share all the basic attributes of human personality ÄÄ that  they in fact are persons.  Modern medicine treats unborn children as  patients.  Yet, as the Supreme Court itself has noted, the decision in <Roe  v. Wade> rested upon an earlier state of medical technology.  The law of  the land in 1988 should recognize all of the medical evidence.

    Our Nation cannot continue down the path of abortion, so radically at  odds with our history, our heritage, and our concepts of justice.  This  sacred legacy, and the well-being and the future of our country, demand  that protection of the innocents must be guaranteed and that the personhood  of the unborn be declared and defended throughout our land.  In legislation  introduced at my request in the First Session of the 100th Congress, I have  asked the Legislative branch to declare the "humanity of the unborn child  and the compelling interest of the several states to protect the life of  each person before birth."  This duty to declare on so fundamental a matter  falls to the Executive as well.  By this Proclamation I hereby do so.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of  America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and  the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare the  inalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception  until natural death, and I do proclaim, ordain, and declare that I will  take care that the Constitution and laws of the United States are  faithfully executed for the protection of America's unborn children.  Upon  this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the  Constitution, I invoke the considerate judgement of mankind and the  gracious favor of Almighty God.  I also proclaim Sunday, January 17, 1988,  as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.  I call upon the citizens of this  blessed land to gather on that day in their homes and places of worship to  give thanks for the gift of life they enjoy and to reaffirm their  commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of every  
human life.

    IN WITNESS THEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 14th day of  January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of  the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and  twelfth.

                                                                                                                     
Ronald Reagan
---------------------------------------------
Reference:  Ronald Reagan's Presidential Personhood Proclamation was  published in the <Federal Register>, Presidential Documents, Volume 53, No.  11, Tuesday, January 19, 1988.  Proclamation 5761 of January 14, 1988.  FR   Document 88-1081.  (Pro Life Activist Encyclopedia: fig 86:1)

 


B. Commentary
from those who knew Reagan

I. Ronald Reagan – What Would He Say Today?

By William J. Federer

As we remember President Ronald Reagan at this time of his passing, let us pause to remember the beliefs he cherished and contemplate what he would say to us today.

(Quotations are from the new book, Treasury of Presidential Quotations - www.Amerisearch.net):

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, MARCH 19, 1981, NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER PROCLAMATION:
“Our Nation’s motto – ‘In God We Trust’ - was not chosen lightly. It reflects a basic recognition that there is a divine authority in the universe to which this nation owes homage.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, SEPTEMBER 9, 1982, AT THE ALFRED M. LANDON LECTURE SERIES ON PUBLIC ISSUES:
“We can’t have it both ways. We can’t expect God to protect us in a crisis and just leave Him over there on the shelf in our day-to-day living. I wonder if sometimes He isn’t waiting for us to wake up, He isn’t maybe running out of patience.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 4, 1982, AT THE ANNUAL NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST:
“I’ve always believed that we were, each of us, put here for a reason, that there is a plan, somehow a divine plan for all of us. I know now that whatever days are left to me belong to Him.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, MARCH 15, 1982, ADDRESS TO THE ALABAMA STATE LEGISLATURE:
“To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions and every-day life, may I just say: The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, AUGUST 23, 1984, ADDRESS AT AN ECUMENICAL PRAYER BREAKFAST, REUNION ARENA, DALLAS, TEXAS, FOLLOWING THE ENACTMENT OF THE “EQUAL ACCESS BILL OF 1984:
"America needs God more than God needs America. If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, AUGUST 23, 1984, ADDRESS AT AN ECUMENICAL PRAYER BREAKFAST, REUNION ARENA, DALLAS, TEXAS, FOLLOWING THE ENACTMENT OF THE “EQUAL ACCESS BILL OF 1984:
“In 1962, the Supreme Court in the New York prayer case banned the...saying of prayers. In 1963, the Court banned the reading of the Bible in our public schools. From that point on, the courts pushed the meaning of the ruling ever outward, so that now our children are not allowed voluntary prayer...Cases were started to argue against tax-exempt status for churches. Suits were brought to abolish the words ‘Under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance, and to remove ‘In God We Trust’ from public documents and from our currency. Without God there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience....without God there is a coarsening of the society; without God democracy will not and cannot long endure."

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, MAY 10, 1982, IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE BRIEFING WITH EDITORS FROM THE MIDWEST:
“The First Amendment is to protect not government from religion, but religion from government tyranny....The polls show that it is overwhelming, the percentage of people who want prayer restored....We refer to ours as a country under God. It says ‘In God We Trust’ on our coins. They open the Congress sessions with a chaplain. I’ve never been sure whether he prays for the Congress or for the nation.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, JANUARY 19, 1982, NEWS CONFERENCE:
“I have been one who believes that abortion is the taking of a human life.... The fact that they could not resolve the issue of when life begins was a finding in and of itself. If we don’t know, then shouldn’t we morally opt on the side of life? If you came upon an immobile body and you yourself could not determine whether it was dead or alive, I think that you would decide to consider it alive until somebody could prove it was dead. You wouldn’t get a shovel and start covering it up. And I think we should do the same thing with regard to abortion.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 26, 1982, AT THE ANNUAL CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTION CONFERENCE DINNER:
“We must with calmness and resolve help the vast majority of our fellow Americans understand that the more than one and one-half million abortions performed in America in 1980 amount to a great moral evil, and assault on the sacredness of human life.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, SEPTEMBER 9, 1982, AT THE ALFRED M. LANDON LECTURE SERIES ON PUBLIC ISSUES:
“I know now what I’m about to say will be very controversial, but I also believe that God’s greatest gift is human life and that we have a sacred duty to protect the innocent human life of an unborn child.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, JANUARY 20, 1981, FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
“Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God....I am told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I am deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inauguration Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, JANUARY 20, 1981, FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
“The crisis we are facing today... does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves, and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God’s help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us. And after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, MARCH 19, 1981, NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER PROCLAMATION:
“Throughout our history, Americans have put their faith in God, and no one can doubt that we have been blessed for it. The earliest settlers of this land came in search of religious freedom. Landing on a desolate shoreline, they established a spiritual foundation that has served us ever since. It was the hard work of our people, the freedom they enjoyed and their faith in God that built this country and made it the envy of the world. In all of our great cities and towns evidence of the faith of our people is found: Houses of worship of every denomination are among the oldest structures.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, MARCH 19, 1981, NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER PROCLAMATION:
“While never willing to bow to a tyrant, our forefathers were always willing to get to their knees before God. When catastrophe threatened, they turned to God for deliverance. When the harvest was bountiful, the first thought was thanksgiving to God. Prayer is today as powerful a force in our nation as it has ever been. We as a nation should never forget this source of strength. And while recognizing that the freedom to choose a Godly path is the essence of liberty, as a nation we cannot but hope that more of our citizens would, through prayer, come into a closer relationship with their Maker.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, MARCH 19, 1981, NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER PROCLAMATION:
“Recognizing our great heritage, the Congress, by Joint Resolution approved April 17, 1952, has called upon the president to set aside a suitable day each year as a National Day of Prayer. Now, therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, May 7, 1981, National Day of Prayer. On that day I ask all who believe to join me in giving thanks to Almighty God for the blessings He has bestowed on this land and the protection He affords us as a people. Let us as a nation join together before God, fully aware of the trials that lie ahead and the need, yes, the necessity, for divine guidance. With unshakable faith in God and the liberty which is heritage, we as a free nation will surely survive and prosper.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, MAY 17, 1981, AT THE COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME:
“It is time for the world to know our intellectual an spiritual values are rooted in the source of all strength, a belief in a Supreme Being, and a law higher than our own.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, SEPTEMBER 28, 1981, AT THE MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE CHIEFS OF POLICE:
“Only our deep moral values and our strong social institutions can hold back the jungle and restrain the darker impulses of human nature.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 4, 1982, AT THE ANNUAL NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST:
“I also believe this blessed land was set apart in a very special way, a country created by men and women who came here not in search of gold, but in search of God. They would be free people, living under the law with faith in their Maker and their future. Sometimes it seems we’ve strayed from that noble beginning, from our conviction that standards of right and wrong do exist and must be lived up to.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 4, 1982, AT THE ANNUAL NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST:
“God, the source of our knowledge, has been expelled from the classroom. He gives us His greatest blessing - life - and yet many would condone the taking of innocent life. We expect Him to protect us in a crisis, but turn away from Him too often to our day-to-day living. I wonder if He isn’t waiting for us to wake up.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 4, 1982, AT THE ANNUAL NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST:
“We have God’s promise that what we give will be given back many times over, so let us go forth from here and rekindle the fire of our faith. Let our wisdom be vindicated by our deeds. We are told in II Timothy that when our work is done, we can say, ‘We have fought the good fight. We have finished the race. We have kept the faith.’”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 9, 1982, NATIONAL RELIGIOUS BROADCASTERS ANNUAL CONVENTION:
“Its been written that the most sublime figure in American history was George Washington on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge. He personified a people who knew that it was not enough to depend on their own courage and goodness, that they must seek help from God - their Father and Preserver. Where did we begin to lose sight of that noble beginning, of our convictions that standards of right and wrong do exist and must be lived up to?”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 9, 1982, NATIONAL RELIGIOUS BROADCASTERS ANNUAL CONVENTION:
“Do we really think that we can have it both ways, that God will protect us in a time of crisis even as we turn away from Him in our day-to-day life?”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 9, 1982, NATIONAL RELIGIOUS BROADCASTERS ANNUAL CONVENTION:
“The Book of St. John tells us, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’…We also have His promise that we could take to heart with regard to our country – ‘That if my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.’...To preserve our blessed land, we must look to God....Rebuilding America begins with restoring family strength and preserving family values.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 12, 1982, IN A PROCLAMATION OF A NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER:
“Through the storms of Revolution, Civil War, and the great World Wars, as well as during the times of disillusionment and disarray, the nation has turned to God in prayer for deliverance. We thank Him for answering our call, for, surely, He has. As a nation, we have been richly blessed with His love and generosity.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, MAY 17, 1982, PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FOR PRAYER IN SCHOOLS:
“The public expression through prayer of our faith in God is a fundamental part of our American heritage and a privilege which should not be excluded by law from any American school, public or private. One hundred fifty years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville found that all Americans believed that religious faith was indispensable to the maintenance of their republican institutions. Today, I join with the people of this nation in acknowledging this basic truth, that our liberty springs from and depends upon an abiding faith in God.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, SEPTEMBER 18, 1982, IN A RADIO ADDRESS TO THE NATION:
“At every crucial turning point in our history Americans have faced and overcome great odds, strengthened by spiritual faith. The Plymouth settlers triumphed over hunger, disease, and a cruel Northern wilderness because, in the words of William Bradford, ‘They knew they were Pilgrims, so they committed themselves to the will of God and resolved to proceed.’ George Washington knelt in prayer at Valley Forge and in the darkest days of our struggle for independence said that ‘the fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army.’ Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the wisest of our founding fathers, had no doubt about the source from which our cause was derived. ‘The God who gave us life,’ he declared, ‘gave us liberty.’ And nearly a century later, in the midst of a tragic and at times seemingly hopeless Civil War, Abraham Lincoln vowed that ‘this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.’”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, SEPTEMBER 18, 1982, IN A RADIO ADDRESS TO THE NATION:
“It’s said that prayer can move mountains. Well, it’s certainly moved the hearts and minds of Americans in their times of trial and helped them to achieve a society that, for all its imperfections, is still the envy of the world and the last, best hope of mankind.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, SEPTEMBER 18, 1982, IN A RADIO ADDRESS TO THE NATION:
“And just as prayer has helped us as a nation, it helps us as individuals. In nearly all our lives, there are moments when our prayers and the prayers of our friends and loved ones help to see us through and keep us on the right path.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, SEPTEMBER 18, 1982, IN A RADIO ADDRESS TO THE NATION:
“Prayer is one of the few things in the world that hurts no one and sustains the spirit of millions. The founding fathers felt this so strongly that they enshrined the principle of freedom of religion in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The purpose of that amendment was to protect religion from the interference of government and to guarantee, in its own words, ‘the free exercise of religion.’ Yet today we’re told that to protect that First Amendment, we must suppress prayer and expel God from our children’s classrooms. In one case, a court has ruled against the right of children to say grace in their own school cafeteria before they had lunch. A group of children who sought, on their initiative and with their parents’ approval, to begin the school day with a one-minute prayer meditation have been forbidden to do so. And some students who wanted to join in prayer or religious study on school property, even outside of regular class hours, have been banned from doing so. A few people have been objected to prayers being said in Congress. That’s just plain wrong. The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, SEPTEMBER 18, 1982, IN A RADIO ADDRESS TO THE NATION:
“The time has come for this Congress to give a majority of American families what they want for their children - the firm assurance that children can hold voluntary prayers in their schools just as the Congress, itself, begins each of its daily sessions with an opening prayer. With this in mind, last May I proposed to the Congress a measure that declares once and for all that nothing in the Constitution prohibits prayer in public schools or institutions. It also states that no person shall be required by government to participate in prayer who does not want to. So, everyone’s rights - believers and nonbelievers alike - are protected by our voluntary prayer measure. I’m sorry to say that so far the Congress has failed to vote on the issue of school prayer.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, MONDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1982, SIGNED JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE 97TH CONGRESS, PUBLIC LAW 97-280:
“Now, Therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is authorized and requested to designate 1983 as a national ‘Year of the Bible’ in recognition of both the formative influence the Bible has been for our Nation, and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, THURSDAY, JANUARY 27, 1983, PROCLAMATION OF A NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER:
“Abraham Lincoln said, ‘Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.’ Revived as an annual observance by Congress in 1952, the National Day of Prayer has become a great unifying force for our citizens....This common expression of reverence heals and brings us together as a nation, and we pray it may one day bring renewed respect for God to all peoples of the world.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, JANUARY 31, 1983, AT THE ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE NATIONAL RELIGIOUS BROADCASTERS:
“When American reach out for values of faith, family, and caring for the needy, they’re saying, ‘We want the Word of God. We want to face the future with the Bible.’ We’re blessed to have its words of strength, comfort, and truth. I’m accused of being simplistic at times with some of the problems that confront us. But I’ve often wondered: Within the covers of that single Book are all the answers to all the problems that face us today, if we’d only look there. ‘The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever.’”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, JANUARY 31, 1983, AT THE ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE NATIONAL RELIGIOUS BROADCASTERS:
“It’s my firm belief that the enduring values, as I say, presented in its pages have a great meaning for each of us and for our nation. The Bible can touch our hearts, order our minds, refresh our souls. Now, I realize it’s fashionable in some circles to believe that no one in government should...encourage others to read the Bible....We’re told that will violate the constitutional separation of church and state established by the founding fathers in the First Amendment. Well, it might interest those critics to know that none other than the father of our country, George Washington, kissed the Bible at his inauguration. And he also said words to the effect that there could be no real morality in a society without religion. John Adams called it ‘the best book in the world.’ and Ben Franklin said, ‘...the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men...without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little, partial, local interests, our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach, a bye-word down to future ages.’”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, JANUARY 31, 1983, AT THE ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE NATIONAL RELIGIOUS BROADCASTERS:
“All of us, as Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, have a special responsibility to remember our fellow believers who are being persecuted in other lands. We’re all children of Abraham. We’re children of the same God.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, AUGUST 1, 1983, AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, ATLANTA, GEORGIA:
“It’s not good enough to have equal access to our law; we must also have equal access to the higher law - the law of God. George Washington warned that morality could not prevail in exclusion of religious principles. And Jefferson asked, ‘Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we’ve removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are the gifts of God?’ We must preserve the noble promise of the American dream for every man, woman, and child in this land. And make no mistake, we can preserve it, and we will. That promise was not created by America. It was given to America as a gift from a loving God - a gift proudly recognized by the language of liberty in the world’s greatest charters of freedom: our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, AUGUST 1, 1983, AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, ATLANTA, GEORGIA:
“The explicit promise in the Declaration that we’re endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights was meant for all of us. It wasn’t meant to be limited or perverted by special privilege or by double standards....Trusting in God and helping one another, we can and will preserve the dream of America, the last best hope of man on earth.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 1985, SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
“God bless you and welcome back....I wonder if we could all join in a moment of silent prayer....When the first President, George Washington, placed his hand upon the Bible, he stood less than a single day’s journey by horseback from raw, untamed wilderness. So much has changed. And yet we stand together as we did two centuries ago....One people under God determined that our future shall be worthy of our past.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, DECEMBER 19, 1988, IN A MESSAGE ON THE OBSERVANCE OF CHRISTMAS:
“The themes of Christmas and of coming home for the holidays have long been intertwined in song and story. There is a profound irony and lesson in this, because Christmas celebrates the coming of a Savior Who was born without a home. There was no room at the inn for the Holy Family. Weary of travel, a young Mary close to childbirth and her carpenter husband Joseph found but the rude shelter of a stable. There was born the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace—an event on which all history would turn.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, DECEMBER 19, 1988, IN A MESSAGE ON THE OBSERVANCE OF CHRISTMAS:
“Jesus would again be without a home, and more than once; on the flight to Egypt and during His public ministry, when He said, ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath no where to lay his head.’ From His very infancy, on, our Redeemer was reminding us that from then on we would never lack a home in Him. Like the shepherds to whom the angel of the Lord appeared on the first Christmas Day, we could always say, ‘Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.’”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, DECEMBER 19, 1988, IN A MESSAGE ON THE OBSERVANCE OF CHRISTMAS:
“As we come home with gladness to family and friends this Christmas, let us also remember our neighbors who cannot go home themselves. Our compassion and concern this Christmas and all year long will mean much to the hospitalized, the homeless, the convalescent, the orphaned—and will surely lead us on our way to the joy and peace of Bethlehem and the Christ Child Who bids us come. For it is only in finding and living the eternal meaning of the Nativity that we can be truly happy, truly at peace, truly home. Merry Christmas, and God bless you!”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, 1978, LETTER TO A CALIFORNIA PASTOR ABOUT CHRIST:
“Either he was what he said he was or he was the world’s greatest liar. It is impossible for me to believe a liar or charlatan could have had the effect on mankind that he has had for 2000 years. We could ask, would even the greatest of liars carry his lie through the crucifixion, when a simple confession would have saved him? ... Did he allow us the choice you say that you and others have made, to believe in his teaching but reject his statements about his own identity?”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 26, 1982, AT THE ANNUAL CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTION CONFERENCE DINNER:
“Let us go forward, determined to serve selflessly a vision of man with God, government for people, and humanity at peace.”

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FEBRUARY 5, 1981, AT THE ANNUAL NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST
“An unknown author wrote of a dream and in the dream was walking down the beach beside the Lord. As they walked, above him in the sky was reflected each stage and experience of his life. Reaching the end of the beach, and of his life, he turned back, looked down the beach, and saw the two sets of footprints in the sand....He looked again and realized that every once in a while there was one set of footprints. And each time there was only one set of footprints, it was when the experience reflected in the sky was one of despair, of desolation, of great trial or grief in his life....He turned to the Lord and said, ‘You said that if I would walk with you, you would always be beside me and take my hand. Why did you desert me? Why are you not there in my times of greatest need?’ And the Lord said, ‘My child, I did not leave you. Where you see only one set of footprints, it was there that I carried you.’...Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘I would be the most foolish person on this footstool earth if I believed for one moment that I could perform the duties assigned to me without the help of one who is wiser than all.’ I know that in the days to come and the years ahead there are going to be many times when there will only be one set of footprints in my life. If I did not believe that, I could not face the days ahead.”

RONALD REAGAN – 40th U.S. PPRESIDENT (February 6, 1911-June 5, 2004)
In 1962, Ronald Reagan switched from being Democrat to Republican and was elected Governor of California in 1966. In 1981, at the age of 70, he became the oldest President in U.S. history. Less than three months later he survived an assassination attempt.

He graduated from Eureka College, IL, 1932, and became an announcer for a radio station in Davenport, Iowa, and WHO Radio, Des Moines, Iowa. He married Jane Wyman and had children Maureen and Michael. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corp during World War II. He became an actor, making over 50 movies in his career, and served as president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, 1947-52 and 59-60. His second marriage was to Nancy Davis, 1952, having children Patti and Ron.
_________________________

All quotations were taken from:

Treasury of Presidential Quotations
by William J. Federer (copyright 2004)
Amerisearch, Inc.
P.O. Box 20163
St. Louis, MO 63123
www.amerisearch.net
1-888-USA-WORD

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For information on the Congressional race of Bill Federer, visit www.Federer04.org

 


Opinion Journal -- WSJ Editorial Page

JOHN FUND ON THE TRAIL

Freedom's Team
II. How Reagan, Thatcher & John Paul II
won the Cold War.


Monday, June 7, 2004 12:01 a.m.

Ronald Reagan died just one day after President Bush bestowed the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, on Pope John Paul II for his heroic efforts to topple communism. Those two men, together with Margaret Thatcher, deserve much of the credit for the West's success in the Cold War.

As the nation mourns Ronald Reagan we should also pause to reflect that in the space of 27 months between 1978 and 1981 three such extraordinary leaders--each with the belief that evil must be confronted--should have come to power. Together they changed the world.

Containment had been the cornerstone of U.S. policy towards the Soviet Union since George Kennan articulated it in 1947. Reagan decided to add an active effort to undermine the props supporting the Soviet empire. Former CIA director Robert Gates says that "Reagan, nearly alone, truly believed in 1981 that the Soviet system was vulnerable . . . right then." In his famous speech to the British House of Commons in 1982 he stood with Mrs. Thatcher and declared, "It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens. . . . The march of freedom and democracy . . . will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history." Last year, President Bush openly emulated Reagan's approach when he also went to Britain last year to issue a challenge that free nations unite to eradicate terrorism.

Few like to recall the feelings of resignation or even despair that many in the West felt in the 1970s as countries from Angola to Nicaragua became Soviet proxies. Mrs. Thatcher says that the West was "slowly but surely losing" the Cold War, and she eagerly embraced Reagan's strategy to win it by becoming "his principal cheerleader" in NATO.

That strategy rested on six pillars: support internal disruption in Soviet satellites, especially Poland; dry up sources of hard currency; overload the Soviet economy with a technology-based arms race; slow the flow of Western technology to Moscow; raise the cost of the wars it was fighting; and demoralize the Soviets by generating pressure for change.

On June 7, 1982, the day before Reagan gave his "ash heap" speech at Westminster Abbey, he met alone with the pope in the Vatican. Richard Allen, Reagan's first national security adviser, says the two men "agreed to undertake a clandestine campaign to hasten the dissolution of the communist empire." Until it was legalized in 1989, Poland's Solidarity union was kept alive by the U.S. and the Vatican. Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, who later became president of free Poland, has said that "we owe our freedom to their unstinting efforts."

A new book by former Air Force secretary Thomas Reed reveals that the Reagan administration allowed a Soviet agent to steal gas-pipeline software that had been secretly designed to go haywire on a catastrophic scale. The ruse led to a June 1982 explosion in the Siberian wilderness that Mr. Reed says was "the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space." It crippled the Soviet's secret techno-piracy operation because they could longer be sure if what they were buying or stealing was similarly booby-trapped. They had reason to worry: Contrived computer chips found their way into Soviet military equipment, flawed turbines were installed on a gas pipeline, and defective plans disrupted chemical plants and tractor factories.

Reagan's arms buildup also unhinged the Kremlin. His clarion call for a missile-based defense system against nuclear weapons in 1983 helped convince the Politburo to select Mikhail Gorbachev as a less hard-line Soviet leader in 1985. "Reagan's SDI was a very successful blackmail," says Gennady Gerasimov, the Soviet Foreign Ministry's top spokesman during the 1980s. "The Soviet economy couldn't endure such competition." Mr. Gorbachev himself agrees the U.S. exhausted his country economically and acknowledges Reagan's place in history. "Who knows what would have happened if he wasn't there?" he told the History Channel in 2002.

It's certainly safe to say that no other president would have made two famous speeches that drew a sharp moral distinction between the West and communism and lifted countless spirits behind the Iron Curtain. The State Department fought desperately to take out Reagan's reference to the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" as well as his challenge to Mr. Gorbachev: "Tear down this wall." But Reagan's candor undermined Moscow's legitimacy. "Reagan's truth-telling--together with the examples of Mrs. Thatcher's economic success and Pope John Paul's moral strength--gave millions of people courage to rise up when the opportunity for change came," says President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic.

After Reagan's death on Saturday, Sen. Ted Kennedy graciously saluted him as "the president who won the Cold War." Historians know the reality is more complicated, but they will no doubt remark on the world's extraordinary good fortune that he, Pope John Paul II and Mrs. Thatcher were able to work as a team for a full eight years.

Joseph Stalin once dismissed the Vatican's influence by asking, "How many divisions does the pope have?" In the end, that didn't matter. The pope and two stalwart Western leaders helped topple the entire Soviet empire without moving a single division across a border. As Reagan himself said in his 1989 Farewell Address. "Not bad, not bad at all."
 

Copyright © 2004 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 


 

 

 
   

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III. NAMING EVIL OFTEN GIVES US POWER OVER IT
THE SPIRITUAL LESSON OF A PRESIDENT

One of the most powerful lessons in spiritual warfare comes to us from none other than a former president.

The lesson is that naming evil -- citing it specifically, out loud, with courage -- often causes it to disappear.

This lesson came, of all places, in Orlando, Florida, at the Citrus Crown Ballroom of the Sheraton Twin Towers Hotel on March 8, 1983 at 3 p.m. -- the hour of mercy. Ronald Reagan was about to shock the world.

Standing at a podium there that March day, America's fortieth president was addressing the National Association of Evangelicals when he requested prayer "for the salvation of all those who live in that totalitarian darkness."

It was a pet cause of his: the tragedy of Communism. He was referring, of course, to the U.S.S.R. -- and he prayed "that they will discover the joy of knowing God."

Until they did, warned President Reagan, we had to beware of them -- for at the same time that they preached the supremacy of the state, declared its omnipotence over individual man, and predicted its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they formed what Reagan rightly and boldly called "the focus of evil in the modern world."

And could anyone doubt it? There are few better examples of evil -- the actual smoke of Satan -- than the former Soviet Union. It was a diabolic regime right up there with Hitler -- exceeded, perhaps, only by China. By the most conservative estimates, at least twenty million and perhaps as many as 65 million had been killed by Communists in the U.S.S.R. by the time of that speech. This didn't count the dozens of millions more killed by totalitarians in China.

Countless priests, nuns, ministers, and other faithful had been thrown into the notorious, hellish gulag or cruelly put to death -- in some cases nailed to walls.

It had been an empire that strapped its citizens into a straitjacket of atheism, treated its people as machines (or animals), fomented violence around the world -- and tried to expunge the very essence of love from humanity.

As Reagan pointed out, it wasn't a competing system; it wasn't just a different "philosophy." It was evil -- true evil -- and when President Reagan called it what it was, the dominoes started falling.

Rallying his fellow Christian soldiers, Reagan rebuked those who considered the two systems of free America and Soviet Communism equally at fault for the Cold War, saying that doing so was "to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire."

There it was: the words "evil empire" -- soon to reverberate from the Ivy Towers in America to the collectives in Ukraine. The president had called it what it was. Soviet Communism was not equal to U.S. democracy. It was evil.

Reagan went on to cite a quote to the effect that Marxism-Leninism was "the second oldest faith, first proclaimed in the Garden of Eden with the words of temptation, 'Ye shall be as gods.'"

He was identifying the Soviet Communists with the serpent!

And the effect?

Decried at first by liberals as extremism, the words hit home with both Soviet politicians and its tyrannized citizenry. As author Paul Kengor points out in a fascinating new book, God and Ronald Reagan, when news of the speech spread, his words were "carved indelibly" and immediately into the Soviet consciousness.

It was if millions suddenly admitted what truly had been happening.

And soon, the Soviet Empire would be no more.

For Reagan's words, coupled with actions by the Vatican -- which was consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart and backing Solidarity in Poland -- brought down one of history's most nefarious governments!

Take it from the Soviets themselves. As Kengor recounts, at one meeting between arms negotiators from the U.S. and Russia, the group began speculating on which straw had finally broken the bear's back, when a former senior general in the Red Army, a little flush with vodka, heatedly interrupted. "You know what caused the downfall of the Soviet Union?" he thundered, slamming his fist on the table. "You know what did? That speech about the evil empire! That's what did it. It was an evil empire. It was!"

The word "evil" had penetrated the Russian soul -- and within 24 hours, the reaction was spreading throughout Soviet society.

"Why did you in the West laugh at him?" asked Arkady Murashev, Moscow's police chief, of those, especially liberals, who were disdainful of the speech. "It's true!"

And so it was. And so it teaches us the lesson. When we name evil -- when we stop covering it up with psychological terms, when we stop glossing it over with intellectual terms, when we halt complicating a simple truth, and rationalizing bad behavior -- we suddenly have power over it. It lances a boil.

Is it time we do it in our own errant society?

It was soon after the speech that the Soviet Union began to crumble -- in a way that was nothing short of miraculous.

This society that had murdered nuns, that had pillaged entire regions, that had killed millions through deliberate famine, that had thrown priests in jail for decades -- for hearing a single Confession -- was at its end.

And so was the immediate threat of nuclear war.

Will it remain this way?

We can only pray. It isn't over yet.

But we have had the threat of Russia removed now for two decades.

"He called it an Evil Empire," admitted one U.S. liberal, Gary Wills, and overnight, "it evaporated."

[resources: God and Ronald Reagan]

   


IV. Religious Convictions Shaped Reagan

by Loredana Vuoto
Posted Apr 29, 2004

Conservatives will remember Ronald Reagan as one of the greatest Presidents in American history. Yet historians for the most part have neglected to examine the impact of religion upon Reagan's worldview. This is no longer the case. Paul Kengor in God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life, powerfully unveils the profound influence that Reagan's faith had upon his administration, his policies and his character.

As Kengor notes, a thorough analysis of Reagan's vast personal correspondence and his public speeches reveals how Christianity deeply shaped the man who would become the 40th President of the United States. In fact, Kengor contends that, without his faith, Reagan would never have ascended to the office of President or been able "to mount a crusade against 'godless Soviet Communism.'"

Throughout the book, Kengor outlines the major influences that led Reagan to Christianity. According to Kengor, Reagan's mother, Nelle, was probably the person who most helped instill the future President with his faith. "What he believed in the 1920s was consistent with what he believed in the 1990s," Kengor states, and this was largely the result of his upbringing and the influence of his mother.

Kengor also outlines three crucial books that shaped Reagan's faith throughout the course of his life: the Bible, which Reagan believed was divinely inspired; Whitaker Chambers' Witness; and Harold Bell Wright's That Printer of Udell's.

After reading That Printer of Udell's, a story about a young boy who became a Christian and pursued a life in politics, Reagan, at the tender age of 11, told his mother, "I want to be like that man. I want to be baptized." Soon after, he was baptized in the Disciples of Christ, of which Reagan was a lifelong member.

Witness, an autobiography chronicling Chambers' repudiation of his Communist past, had a major impact on Reagan and helped to shape his staunch opposition to the Soviet Union. It was by reading Chambers' writings that Reagan came to understand Marxist-Leninism as an ideology bent on waging an all-out war against religion. Reagan rightly understood that the Cold War was ultimately a global struggle between Christian civilization embodied by the United States and government-enforced atheism championed by Soviet communism.

Kengor believes Reagan's faith and his "God-given optimism" gave him the strength to lead the Western alliance in containing Communist Russia. During his presidency, Reagan was ridiculed by many liberals in the media for referring to the Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire." But the overwhelming evidence that has emerged from Soviet archives since the fall of the Berlin Wall has vindicated Reagan's characterization -- a vast empire of subjugated nations, slave labor camps and totalitarian rule that was evil at its core.

After surviving an assassination attempt on March 30, 1981, Reagan believed God had spared his life in order for him to fight communism. But Kengor notes that Reagan's crusade against communism began way before John Hinkley's attempt to end his life. Kengor draws parallels between Reagan's life and the rise of communism as early as the Gipper's childhood.

Reagan was 6 years old when the Bolsheviks launched their bloody coup in St. Petersburg in October 1917. In 1924, Reagan was a teenager when Lenin was nearing his death, and he was about to enter Eureka College when Josef Stalin took control of Russia. As Stalin consolidated his iron grip on power by murdering tens of millions of Soviet citizens (many of whom were priests, nuns and imams), Reagan looked on woefully at "this brutal campaign against religion." And by the time he became President in 1981, he was determined to put an end to the tyranny of Lenin's empire.

Reagan's most consequential accomplishment as President was the central role he played in winning the Cold War. Reagan sought to roll back Soviet power around the globe by crafting policies that assisted antiCommunist insurgencies in Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Poland.

Contrary to last year's fictitious (and almost comical) CBS miniseries "The Reagans," which portrays him as the Antichrist determined to wage Armageddon, Reagan is a deeply spiritual man whose entire life, both private and public, has been shaped by Christianity. It was this spiritual worldview that gave him the moral strength to help defeat one of the greatest evils of the 20th Century. For that alone, we all owe him an immense debt of gratitude.
 



V. In Solidarity

Lech Wolesa

11 June 2004
The Wall Street Journal
A8
English
(Copyright (c) 2004, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)
 

GDANSK, Poland -- When talking about Ronald Reagan, I have to be personal. We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989.

Poles fought for their freedom for so many years that they hold in special esteem those who backed them in their struggle. Support was the test of friendship. President Reagan was such a friend. His policy of aiding democratic movements in Central and Eastern Europe in the dark days of the Cold War meant a lot to us. We knew he believed in a few simple principles such as human rights, democracy and civil society. He was someone who was convinced that the citizen is not for the state, but vice-versa, and that freedom is an innate right.

I often wondered why Ronald Reagan did this, taking the risks he did, in supporting us at Solidarity, as well as dissident movements in other countries behind the Iron Curtain, while pushing a defense buildup that pushed the Soviet economy over the brink. Let's remember that it was a time of recession in the U.S. and a time when the American public was more interested in their own domestic affairs. It took a leader with a vision to convince them that there are greater things worth fighting for. Did he seek any profit in such a policy? Though our freedom movements were in line with the foreign policy of the United States, I doubt it.

I distinguish between two kinds of politicians. There are those who view politics as a tactical game, a game in which they do not reveal any individuality, in which they lose their own face. There are, however, leaders for whom politics is a means of defending and furthering values. For them, it is a moral pursuit. They do so because the values they cherish are endangered. They're convinced that there are values worth living for, and even values worth dying for. Otherwise they would consider their life and work pointless. Only such politicians are great politicians and Ronald Reagan was one of them.

The 1980s were a curious time -- a time of realization that a new age was upon us. Communism was coming to an end. It had used up its means and possibilities. The ground was set for change. But this change needed the cooperation, or unspoken understanding, of different political players. Now, from the perspective of our time, it is obvious that like the pieces of a global chain of events, Ronald Reagan, John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher and even Mikhail Gorbachev helped bring about this new age in Europe. We at Solidarity like to claim more than a little credit, too, for bringing about the end of the Cold War.

In the Europe of the 1980s, Ronald Reagan presented a vision. For us in Central and Eastern Europe, that meant freedom from the Soviets. Mr. Reagan was no ostrich who hoped that problems might just go away. He thought that problems are there to be faced. This is exactly what he did.

Every time I met President Reagan, at his private estate in California or at the Lenin shipyard here in Gdansk, I was amazed by his modesty and even temper. He didn't fit the stereotype of the world leader that he was. Privately, we were like opposite sides of a magnet: He was always composed; I was a raging tower of emotions eager to act. We were so different yet we never had a problem with understanding one another. I respected his honesty and good humor. It gave me confidence in his policies and his resolve. He supported my struggle, but what unified us, unmistakably, were our similar values and shared goals.

---

I have often been asked in the United States to sign the poster that many Americans consider very significant. Prepared for the first almost-free parliamentary elections in Poland in 1989, the poster shows Gary Cooper as the lonely sheriff in the American Western, "High Noon." Under the headline "At High Noon" runs the red Solidarity banner and the date -- June 4, 1989 -- of the poll. It was a simple but effective gimmick that, at the time, was misunderstood by the Communists. They, in fact, tried to ridicule the freedom movement in Poland as an invention of the "Wild" West, especially the U.S.

But the poster had the opposite impact: Cowboys in Western clothes had become a powerful symbol for Poles. Cowboys fight for justice, fight against evil, and fight for freedom, both physical and spiritual. Solidarity trounced the Communists in that election, paving the way for a democratic government in Poland. It is always so touching when people bring this poster up to me to autograph it. They have cherished it for so many years and it has become the emblem of the battle that we all fought together.

As I say repeatedly, we owe so much to all those who supported us. Perhaps in the early years, we didn't express enough gratitude. We were so busy introducing all the necessary economic and political reforms in our reborn country. Yet President Ronald Reagan must have realized what remarkable changes he brought to Poland, and indeed the rest of the world. And I hope he felt gratified. He should have.

---

Mr. Walesa, winner of the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize, was president of Poland from 1990 to 1995.

 


VI. THE WORLD ACCORDING TO REAGAN

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

* The most terrifying words in the English language are:
                                            I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

* 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.

* Government is like a baby:
        An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
 
* Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

* 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.

* The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.

* Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.

* Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.

* Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

* When you see all that rhetorical smoke billowing up from the Democrats, well, ladies and gentlemen, I'd follow the example of their nominee (Bill Clinton): don't inhale.

* I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."

* I've noticed that everybody who is for abortion has already been born.

* 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.

* The other day someone told me the difference between a democracy and a people's democracy. It's the same difference between a jacket and a straitjacket.

* History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.

* I hope that when you're my age you'll be able to say, as I have been able to say: we lived in freedom; we lived lives that were a statement, not an apology.

- Ronald Reagan

[NOTE: Reagan had his failures.   See Charlotte Iserbyt's damning pdf file on Reagan & the US Dept. of Ed.  Government control of education can be made to look good, but it is right out of the devil's pit.   E. Fox]

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