Greatest Ronald Reagan Quotes Text, Video and Audio

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 not have.
-First Inaugural address (1981) Washington, D. C. (1981-01-20) - Full text online

Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
-Address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, (1961-03-30).

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 (1987-09-25)

Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.
-As quoted in The Guardian [London] (1989-06-14)

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Remarks at a business conference in Los Angeles (1977-03-02)

We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.

There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.
-First Inaugural address (1981) Washington, D. C. (1981-01-20) - Full text online

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.

In America, our origins matter less than our destination, and that is what democracy is all about.

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 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.

The 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.

Coercion, after all, merely captures man. Freedom captivates him.

The ten most dangerous words in the English language are "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
-Remarks to Future Farmers of America (1988-07-28)

I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I’m in a cabinet meeting.
-Said often during his presidency, 1981-1989

Back in 1927, an American socialist, Norman Thomas, six times candidate for President on the Socialist Party ticket, said that the American people would never vote for socialism but he said under the name of liberalism the American people would adopt every fragment of the socialist program.
-Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine (recording) (1961)

A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.
-Official Announcement of being a candidate for U.S. President (1979-11-13)

Abraham Lincoln freed the black man. In many ways, Dr. King freed the white man. How did he accomplish this tremendous feat? Where others — white and black — preached hatred, he taught the principles of love and nonviolence. We can be so thankful that Dr. King raised his mighty eloquence for love and hope rather than for hostility and bitterness. He took the tension he found in our nation, a tension of injustice, and channeled it for the good of America and all her people.
-Address on the anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King (1983-01-15)

We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.
-Speech at Omaha Beach on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day (1984-06-06)

My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.
-Joking during a microphone check, unaware that he was being broadcast. (1984-08-11)

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.
- Ronald Reagan: First Inaugural Address; start at 6:08.

We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life — the unborn — without diminishing the value of all human life.
-Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation by Ronald Regan

I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.
-Farewell Address (1989) Washington, D. C. (1989-01-11) - Full text online

Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.
-Farewell Address (1989) Washington, D. C. (1989-01-11) - Full text online

I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life.
-At the dedication of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California (1991-11-04), the inscription on Reagan's tomb.

A people free to choose will always choose peace.

Audio & Video:

Listen to an audio montage of Reagan speeches aired on Morning Edition on Reagan's 90th birthday.

Listen to Reagan deliver his famous line from the 1940 movie, Knute Rockne, All American.

Listen to Reagan's Oct. 27, 1964, "A Time for Choosing" speech on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.

Watch a video clip of Reagan from a 1967 appearance on the TV Western Death Valley Days.

Hear Reagan's comments after narrowly losing the Republican nomination to President Gerald Ford in 1976. "The cause goes on," Reagan says. "...there are millions and millions of Americans out there that...want it to be a shining city on the hill."

Listen to Reagan's definition of a depression in the 1980 presidential campaign.

Listen to Reagan, in the Feb. 23, 1980, debate in Nashua, N.H., angrily declare that he is "paying for this microphone." That was his reaction to the moderator's decision to cut Reagan off in a dispute over allowing additional candidates to participate in the Reagan-funded debate with George Bush.

Hear Reagan, in his second presidential debate with incumbent Jimmy Carter, Oct. 28, 1980, ask Americans: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

Listen to Reagan, in his first inaugural address Jan. 20, 1981, say that in dealing with the nation's economic ills, "government is not the solution to our problem; goverment is the problem." Or hear his complete inaugural address.

Listen to Reagan's Aug. 3, 1981, threat to fire air traffic controllers who went on strike.

Hear Reagan predict in a June 8, 1982, speech to the British House of Commons that "the march of freedom and democracy...will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history..."

Listen to Reagan refer to the Soviet Union as the "evil empire," in a March 8, 1983, speech to the National Association of Evangelicals.

Watch or listen to a part of Reagan's March 23, 1983, Oval Office address unveiling the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Hear Reagan joking into a microphone on Aug. 11, 1984, that the United States would "begin bombing (Russia) in five minutes."

Listen to Reagan's second inaugural addresss Jan. 21, 1985. Listen to Reagan's Nov. 13, 1986, denial of an arms-for-hostages deal with Iran.

Hear Reagan acknowledge a "mistake" in the Iran-Contra affair in comments March 4, 1987.

Listen to Reagan's June 12, 1987, speech at the Brandenberg Gate, in which he demands that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev "tear down this wall."

Hear Reagan's farewell address to the nation, Jan. 11, 1989, in which he said the so-called Reagan revolution "made a difference."


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