"Once you begin a great movement, there's no telling where it will end. We meant to change a nation, and instead we changed a world." --Ronald Reagan
"There's no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
"The future belongs to the free."
"We defend freedom here or it is gone."
"To those who are fainthearted and unsure, I have this message: If you're afraid of the future, then get out of the way, stand aside. The people of this country are ready to move again."
"Trust but verify."
"Who can forget those so-called 'experts' who said our military buildup threatened a dangerous escalation of tensions? What kind of fool, they asked, would call the Soviet Union an 'Evil Empire'?"
"Don't be afraid to see what you see."
"If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let's start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual."
"The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith."
"I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."
"Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"
"Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States."
"Regulations are like spores of a fungus -- they settle anywhere and everywhere and create more spores."
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
"I don't believe in a government that protects us from ourselves."
"No arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."
"Communism is neither an economic or a political system -- it is a form of insanity -- a temporary aberration which will one day disappear from the earth because it is contrary to human nature."
"The West won't contain Communism. It will transcend it. It will dismiss it as some bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written."
"All great change in America begins at the dinner table."
"[T]he march of freedom and democracy ... will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people."
"There's no question I am an idealist, which is another way of saying I am an American."
"Those who created our country -- the Founding Fathers and Mothers -- understood that there is a divine order which transcends the human order. They saw the state, in fact, as a form of moral order and felt that the bedrock of moral order is religion. ... The truth is, politics and morality are inseparable. And as morality's foundation is religion, religion and politics are necessarily related. We need religion as a guide. We need it because we are imperfect, and our government needs the church, because only those humble enough to admit they're sinners can bring to democracy the tolerance it requires in order to survive."
"Ronald Reagan had a higher claim than any other leader to have won the Cold War for liberty and he did it without a shot being fired. To have achieved so much against such odds and with such humor and humanity made Ronald Reagan a truly great American hero." --Margaret Thatcher
"Ronald Reagan was easily the greatest president of my lifetime -- and he will be regarded as one of the greatest leaders this country has ever had...a man of extraordinary vision, great compassion and resolute leadership. He brought down the Evil Empire and made the world safer for my children and theirs." --Lt. Col. Oliver North
"Ronald Reagan loved the truth. We all do or say we do but for Reagan it was like fresh water, something he needed and wanted." -- Peggy Noonan
"Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter -- and they're on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs -- with faith in themselves and faith in an idea -- who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They're individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art and education. Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life."
"I think they broke the mold when they made Ronnie. He had absolutely no ego, and he was very comfortable in his own skin; therefore, he didn't feel he ever had to prove anything to anyone." --Nancy Reagan
"He was hated for precisely the same reasons he was loved. He had convictions and made those without them look weak. ... He knew who he was before he came to office; he did not need the office to complete him." --Cal Thomas
"In his last moment he taught me that there is nothing stronger than love between two people, two souls. It was the last thing he could do to show my mother how entwined their souls are... At the last moment when his breathing told us this was it, he opened his eyes and looked straight at my mother. Eyes that had not opened for days did, and they weren't chalky or vague. They were clear and blue and full of life. If a death can be lovely, his was." --Patti Davis, Reagan's daughter
THE ESSENTIAL REAGAN
"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
"A great man's reach invariably extends beyond the battles he won or the buildings he raised, and can only be fully measured by the hearts he touched and the dreams he inspired. By that measure Ronald Reagan, America's 40th president, still lives -- in countless millions of us. At the pedestrian level of American politics, it is hard to find an active Republican today who does not carry in his or her mind a bit of secondhand Reagan magic. Thousands of leading conservative journalists, politicians, even academics, are in the business because of Mr. Reagan, or are better, more principled, more optimistic and more effective because Ronald Reagan lived and filled a vast political and human void. ...It is the magic of great men that, what is considered normal (even prosaic) after them, was considered implausible or impossible before they did it. Whether it was defeating tyranny, cutting taxes or honoring religious faith, Ronald Reagan opened the door for conservative governance and has made all that might yet be, possible." --The Washington Times
"Over two terms, from 1981 to 1989, Reagan reshaped the Republican Party in his conservative image, fixed his eye on the demise of the Soviet Union and Eastern European communism and tripled the national debt to $3 trillion in his single-minded competition with the other superpower." --Associated Press
"[Reagan] was fortunate to have as his counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev, a Soviet leader ready to acknowledge his society's failings and interested in reducing international tensions." --The New York Times
"His foreign policy was criticized for being in disarray. ... His October 1983 invasion of the small Caribbean island of Grenada was dismissed as a clumsy sham. Then there were his gaffes. ... The report [from Congress on the Iran-contra kerfuffle] was seen as a devastating indictment of Mr. Reagan's style of government. ... More of a figurehead than a strong leader with a grasp for detail." --BBC
From the "See B.S." Department: "Ronald Reagan was a guy who came to government to shrink it. He wanted less government. But the face that he presented to the public didn't appear to be that of a cost-cutter or a radical conservative, it was a friendly face. And he succeeded beyond conservatives' wildest dreams in shrinking the size of government, partly by spending so much there was no money left." --CBS's Bill Plante
This week's "Village Marxist Victimitis" Award: "The death of any person is lamentable, but it is more lamentable when this person exercised such great power as the U.S. president and committed crimes, not just in Nicaragua but elsewhere in the world." --Daniel Ortega, former Sandinista (AKA Communist) president of Nicaragua, who eventually went down to electoral defeat after Ronald Reagan backed the Nicaraguan opposition Contra freedom fighters in the 1980s.
"I probably know as well as anybody what a formidable communicator and campaigner that President Reagan was. It was because of him that I was retired from my last job." --Jimmy Carter
"Mr. Kerry's aides said that they saw little point in even trying to campaign this week, before a funeral in which Mr. Bush was likely to speak. 'We think it's respectful, and No. 2, I don't think we're going to get any coverage,' said Mr. Kerry's deputy campaign manager, Steve Elmendorf." --The New York Times
"I certainly do not deny the President the right to freedom of speech. However, I do object to his use of my brother's name to further his own political goals. Ronald Reagan was never a strong supporter of my brother or of the traditional values of the Democratic [sic] Party which my brother fought to instill in America. ... I take exception to Ronald Reagan's parading himself as the 'new JFK' when he clearly did not support my brother's policies when he was alive." --Ted Kennedy, 1984, defending his public claim that President Reagan had "no right" to quote John F. Kennedy
From the "Politically Challenged" Files: "President Clinton really held out all hope the funeral would be a nonpartisan event, like Nixon's was. He's angry and disappointed neither he nor President Carter have been asked to speak as of yet." --Anonymous Clinton spokesmouth, lamenting that the most partisan Clinton was not invited to offer hysterical revisionism of Reagan's real record. **You might recall that Reagan said of the Demo 1992 convention that selected Clinton: "They put on quite a production in New York a few weeks ago. You might even call it slick. A stone's throw from Broadway it was, and how appropriate. Over and over they told us they are not the party they were. They kept telling us with straight faces that they're for family values, they're for a strong America, they're for less intrusive government. And they call me an actor. To hear them talk, you'd never know that the nightmare of nuclear annihilation has been lifted from our sleep. You'd never know that our standard of living remains the highest in the world. You'd never know that our air is cleaner than it was 20 years ago. You'd never know that we remain the one nation the rest of the world looks to for leadership."
RE: VILLAGE IDIOTS
"One of the reasons I fought so hard a few months ago against that sleazy TV Reagan movie was that the former President simply didn't deserve that kind of display. CBS, I believe, came to the same conclusion when programming boss Les Moonves finally began paying attention to the project and decided to dump it. Although the film ultimately aired on a cable station, few Americans saw it. The left-wing ideologues screamed censorship but the real issue was respect. Ronald Reagan deserved the respect of Americans even if they disagreed with his political point of view. The truth is that Reagan was a decent man, a patriot who did not deserve to be mocked in his final days by some Hollywood pinheads with agendas." --Bill O'Reilly
"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement..."
"Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose."
"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."
"Status quo, you know, that is Latin for 'the mess we're in'."
"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."
"If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made."
"Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his."
"It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?"
"I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me...even if it's in the middle of a cabinet meeting."
"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
"I will not exploit my opponent's youth and inexperience."
"And I also remember something that Thomas Jefferson once said: 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that..."
"History's no easy subject. Even in my day it wasn't, and we had so much less of it to learn then."
"Honey, I forgot to duck."
"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."
"I heard one presidential candidate say that what this country needed was a president for the nineties. I was set to run again. I thought he said a president IN his nineties."
"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."
"With the Iran thing occupying everyone's attention, I was thinking: Do you remember the flap when I said, 'We begin bombing in five minutes'? Remember when I fell asleep during my audience with the Pope? Remember Bitburg?... Boy, those were the good old days."