Actor, Fortieth President of the US.
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th (1981-1989) President of the United States. Reagan was also a noted film actor before entering politics. He is the longest-lived person to have served as President, as well as the oldest elected President (69 years and 349 days).
While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live
for the future.
Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.
Facts are stupid things.
I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national
emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting.
Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards,
if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come
to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating
My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation
which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.
(Said during a radio microphone test in 1984.)
Above all, we must realize that 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. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do
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. If
we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say
of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be
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, subsidise it.
Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the
need for its own existence.
It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to
make it work -- work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not
ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not
smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.
We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity
and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up,
not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to
invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake
in deciding economic policies and benefiting from their success --
only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive,
and free. Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of
the entire postwar period contradicting the notion that rigid government
controls are essential to economic development.
We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough;
we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.
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. (October 27, 1964)
However, our task is far from over. Our friends in the other party
will never forgive us for our success, and are doing everything in
their power to rewrite history. Listening to the liberals, you'd think
that the 1980's were the worst period since the Great Depression,
filled with suffering and despair. I don't know about you, but I'm
getting awfully tired of the whining voices from the White House these
days. They're claiming there was a decade of greed and neglect, but
you and I know better than that. We were there. (RNC Annual Gala,
Feb. 3, 1994)
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."
This 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. (October 27, 1964)
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.
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. (October 27, 1964)
This fellow they've nominated claims he's the new Thomas Jefferson.
Well let me tell you something; I knew Thomas Jefferson. He was a
friend of mine and Governor... You're no Thomas Jefferson! (Republican
National Convention, 1992)
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.
Cures were developed for which there were no known diseases. (Commenting
on Congress and the federal budget, 1981)
I hope you're all Republicans. (To surgeons as he entered the operating
room, March 30, 1981.)
The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of
social conscience or charitable concern. (Address to the National
Alliance of Business, October 5, 1981)
We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final
word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women
across America who for 8 years did the work that brought America back.
My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference.
We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her
in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all. (Farewell Address
to the Nation, January 20th, 1989)
Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
(Speech near the Berlin Wall, 1987)
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. (Remarks in Arlington, Virginia, September 25, 1987)
It was leadership here at home that gave us strong American influence
abroad, and the collapse of imperial Communism. Great nations have
responsibilities to lead, and we should always be cautious of those
who would lower our profile, because they might just wind up lowering
our flag. (RNC Annual Gala, Feb. 3, 1994)
Republicans believe every day is 4th of July, but Democrats believe
every day is April 15.
The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would
hire them away.
The Democrats may remember their lines, but how quickly they forget
the lessons of the past. I have witnessed five major wars in my lifetime,
and I know how swiftly storm clouds can gather on a peaceful horizon.
The next time a Saddam Hussein takes over Kuwait, or North Korea brandishes
a nuclear weapon, will we be ready to respond? In the end, it all
comes down to leadership, and that is what this country is looking
for now. (RNC Annual Gala, Feb. 3, 1994)
Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority,
and don't interfere.
A leader, once convinced a particular course of action is the right
one, must have the determination to stick with it and be undaunted
when the going gets rough. (December 5, 1990)
...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he
doesn't mind who gets the credit.
"...I know it's hard when you're up to your armpits in alligators
to remember you came here to drain the swamp. (February 10, 1982)
In America, our origins matter less than our destination, and that
is what democracy is all about. (August 17, 1992)
This country was founded and built by people with great dreams and
the courage to take great risks. (January 26, 1983)
I've always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would
disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.
(April 11, 1984)
We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we're
in a time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to
look. (January 20, 1981)
I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care
They say hard work never hurt anybody, but I figure why take the
There is absolutely no circumstance whatever under which I would
accept that spot. Even if they tied and gagged me, I would find a
way to signal by wiggling my ears. (on possibly being offered the
vice presidency in 1968)
I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this
campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's
youth and inexperience. (during a 1984 presidential debate with Walter
A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no
responsibility at the other.
Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.
But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after
I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.
The most terrifying words in the English langauge are: I'm from the
government and I'm here to help.
Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.
Most of my dreams came true. (told to biographer Lou Cannon in 1991)
When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with
the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for