Washington Post – Why Ronald Reagan’s ‘A Time for Choosing’ Endures After All This Time

Washington Post - Why Ronald Reagan’s ‘A Time for Choosing’ Endures After All This Time

Washington Post – Why Ronald Reagan’s ‘A Time for Choosing’ Endures After All This Time

Very timely Washington Post article  that is well worth reading in advance of tomorrow’s elections and for years to come.

Steven Hayward does a masterful job of highlighting Reagan’s “coherent political philosophy” that aimed to transcend partisanship and convey “an understanding of government as ruinously ambitious and out of control, projecting weakness and uncertainty to our enemies abroad — that still defines conservatism today”.

Interestingly, Reagan highlights the notion of “progressive liberalism, with its embrace of ever-expanding “administrative government,” that represented the elitist force in American politics”.  “Reagan portrayed big government as opposing the interests of all Americans, not just the entrepreneurial or property-owning class that forms the GOP’s core constituency.”

Notable highlights from Reagan’s Speech –  ‘A Time for Choosing’:

  • “Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government,” he declared, “and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.”
  • “You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well, I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down: man’s old, old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”
  • “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.’ And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.”
  •  “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 capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”
  • “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.” And this—this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater’s “peace through strength.” Winston Churchill said, “The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we’re spirits—not animals.” And he said, “There’s something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”

Reagan’s remarks strike a resounding cord to those concerned about the state of our nation and economy today.

Mr. Hayward  is the Ronald Reagan distinguished visiting professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy.

To read the full article on the Washington Post web site, click here.

To read Ronald Reagan’s full speech – “A Time for Choosing”, click here.

By Nick Mavrick

You can find Nick Mavrick on Google+

Intelligent Response specializes in operationalizing Predictive Analytics, Market Research, Quantitiative Marketing and Digital Advocacy in Washington DC.

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