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A Time For Choosing, Ronald Reagan - 1964
Intercessors For America ^ | 1964 | Ronald Reagan

Posted on 08/07/2004 9:04:19 AM PDT by epow

A Time For Choosing

Ronald Reagan - 1964

I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this. It’s time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, “We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government.”

The idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest, 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 we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream–the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order–or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.

Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.” The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.

Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, “What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power.” But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.

Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we’re denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we’re always “against,” never “for” anything.

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. However, 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....

We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world.

We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him.... But we cannot have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure....

Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? . . . Today in our country the tax collector’s share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.

Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor’s fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can’t socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he’ll eat you last.

If all of this seems like a great deal, think what’s at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children can say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. 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 first step into a thousand years of darkness.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 1964; choosing; ronaldreagan; speech; time; timeforchoosing
This is "THE SPEECH". It was the spark that lit the fire that eventually grew into 8 great years in the White House. Most of us who love and admire RR have read or heard it many times. I heard it when it was originally given during the 1964 campaign, but I think it is equally relevant to the issues of today as we approach another "fork in the road" election.

The same old tired promises of domestic socialism and foreign appeasement that failed so miserably before Reagan came to office are still being offered to the voters by one camp, and the same tried and true policies of lower taxes and individual responsibilty at home combined with a firm and decisive policy abroad that characterized the Reagan years are being offered by the other. Another "Time to Choose" is coming in November.

1 posted on 08/07/2004 9:04:20 AM PDT by epow
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To: epow

So making working Americans buy whatever drugs are invented for their neighbors doesn't count as socialism? Both parties dole out socialism by the bucketful, because that's what people elect them to do.

2 posted on 08/07/2004 9:09:31 AM PDT by Gunslingr3
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To: epow

Goldwater was the better man in that campaign. I think if he had spent more resources on trying to get americans to like him and trust him, he would have done much better. Instead I feel like his campaign ads were too focused on trying to convince americans on serious issues, when that is not really the strength of political advertising

3 posted on 08/07/2004 9:10:46 AM PDT by Betaille ("Show them no mercy, for none shall be shown to you")
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To: epow

Thank you very much.

Saved on both hard drive a floppy.
I knew very little about him at the time.
Even though I voted for President Reagan both times, my first vote was anti Carter. My second was for the man I believe was the best modern day president.

4 posted on 08/07/2004 9:25:00 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Liberals are like catfish ( all mouth and no brains )(bottom feeders))
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran
My second was for the man I believe was the best modern day president.

No question about that. IMO he was the best president of the 20th century, and in the top 2 or 3 ever. How many other presidents have brought down a powerful evil world empire without firing a shot?

5 posted on 08/07/2004 9:32:41 AM PDT by epow
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To: Gunslingr3
So making working Americans buy whatever drugs are invented for their neighbors doesn't count as socialism?

You make a valid point, Bush isn't Reagan, much as we would like him to be.

OTOH, since RR was president tens of millions of people who are now old enough to vote have been through 16 years of liberal teachers and professors pumping socialism and multiculturalism into their little skulls full of mush. I doubt RR could have been elected in 1980 if the voting population of that time had been the same people who will vote next November. And I don't believe there would be any chance of Bush winning this time if he had not given in to the now almost universal belief among the millions of elderly voters that the government (meaning the rest of us) owes them free medical care. I'm 67 and I don't accept that belief, but I'm an exception and the majority of my generation does. We have lost that battle, but not the war....yet.

You can thank the Democrat/media propaganda machine for turning so many of my generation and older into whining socialists on the medical care issue, and the leftist academic world for indoctrinating almost everyone else with it's socialist philosophy.

Having said all that, I still maintain that Bush is far, far closer to RR's position on socialistic programs than is Kerry.

6 posted on 08/07/2004 10:15:37 AM PDT by epow
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To: epow

USS Ronald Reagan

7 posted on 08/07/2004 4:31:48 PM PDT by UnklGene
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To: epow

I will miss President Reagan all the days of my life. Beloved President. Please watch over America, President Reagan.

8 posted on 08/07/2004 5:04:31 PM PDT by maxwellp (Throw the U.N. in the garbage where it belongs.)
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To: maxwellp
Beloved President. Please watch over America, President Reagan.


Dr. James Dobson met with RR several times while he was president. Dodson says he knows that Reagan was a born again Christian, and that he is with God today. Ron Jr. said his father didn't wear his religion on his sleeve. Maybe not, but he lived it and that's the best way to make it known.

9 posted on 08/07/2004 6:58:08 PM PDT by epow
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To: epow


10 posted on 08/07/2004 7:02:50 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: UnklGene
Great picture. That carrier is a great tribute to a great man. If a Navy ship is ever named after John Kerry it will be a garbage scow.

For some reason I have been thinking a lot about the Reagan years recently. Maybe because he was a real man's man compared to the Botox inflated, blow-dried and coiffed metrosexual who wants to get Reagan's old office and renew the Democrat policies of appeasement abroad and class warfare at home.

11 posted on 08/07/2004 7:19:42 PM PDT by epow
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To: epow


12 posted on 08/07/2004 7:24:11 PM PDT by foreverfree
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13 posted on 08/08/2004 1:10:48 PM PDT by firewalk
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