Ronald Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004), was America’s 40th president, widely known for helping redefine the purpose of government and for pressuring the Soviet Union to end the Cold War.
Reagan grew up in a modest family. Despite their shortcomings and his father’s drinking problem, Ronald recalls his childhood as the best and happiest period of his life.
“The Great Communicator” never thought that he would someday become a world leader. In fact, Reagan has worked for more than 25 years as an actor. He starred in over 50 different films and was usually typecast as the “good guy” — the characters were remarkably like Reagan himself.
During the 1964 US presidential election campaign, Reagan delivered a notable speech — A Time for Choosing — that had a major contribution to his future political career.
At the time, Reagan was the only film actor and the oldest person elected to the U.S. presidency. He served from January 1981 to January 1989 and he is still regarded as one of the best three leaders America has ever had.
Here Are 85 Ronald Regan quotes on freedom, socialism, government, marines, leadership and America
Ronald Reagan quotes on freedom
Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuous revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions.
[Freedom] It is the right to dream — to follow your dream or stick to your conscience, even if you’re the only one in a sea of doubters.
Freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority or government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every individual life is infinitely precious, that every one of us put on this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to.
Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay the price.
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
A people free to choose will always choose peace.
The years ahead will be great ones for our country, for the cause of freedom and the spread of civilization.
Four years ago we said we would invigorate our economy by giving people greater freedom and incentives to take risks and letting them keep more of what they earned. We did what we promised, and a great industrial giant is reborn.
We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.
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.
Coercion, after all, merely captures man. Freedom captivates him.
Ronald Reagan quotes on socialism
Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it and Hell where they already have it.
One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project.
I believe the best social program is a job I believe the best social program is a job
Ronald Reagan quotes on government
Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.
No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!
History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.
Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.
Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.
Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing.
The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away.
We the people tell the government what to do. It doesn’t tell us.
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.
I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited.
Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.
Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse.
History shows that when the taxes of a nation approach about 20% of the people’s income, there begins to be a lack of respect for government… When it reaches 25%, there comes an increase in lawlessness.
One way to make sure crime doesn’t pay would be to let the government run it.
Ronald Reagan quotes on the Marines
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.
Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.
There are some who’ve forgotten why we have a military. It’s not to promote war, it’s to be prepared for peace.
We don’t maintain a strong military force to conquer or coerce others. The purpose of our military is simple and straightforward: We want to prevent war by deterring others from the aggression that causes war.
Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used
Ronald Reagan quotes on leadership
The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.
Our people look to us for leadership and nobody can provide it if we don’t. But we won’t be very effective leaders unless we can rise above the specific but secondary concerns that preoccupy our respective bureaucracies and give our governments a strong push in the right direction.
Somebody once said that life begins when you begin to serve. Maybe if there’s a feeling that you can be of service then you feel you have to do it.
If no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?
To grasp and hold a vision, that is the very essence of successful leadership — not only on the movie set where I learned it, but everywhere.
Most often it’s not how handsomely or eloquently you say something, but the fact that your words mean something.
Never let the things you can’t do stop you from doing what you can.
Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.
I don’t take too seriously the statement of positions in advance of negotiations. Everyone wants to preserve their position at their highest price before negotiations, and for them to do otherwise is to give away something they might not have to give away once the negotiations start.
You’re unlikely to get all you want; you’ll probably get more of what you want if you don’t issue ultimatums and leave your adversary room to maneuver; you shouldn’t back your adversary into a corner, embarrass him, or humiliate him; and sometimes, the easiest way to get things done is for the top people to do them alone and in private.
Now, what should happen when you make a mistake is this: You take your knocks, you learn your lessons, and then you move on. That’s the healthiest way to deal with a problem.
The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.
Trust, but verify.
There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.
I don’t think a chief executive should peer constantly over the shoulders of the people who are in charge of a project and tell them every few minutes what to do.
Set clear goals and appoint good people to help you achieve them. As long as they are doing what you have in mind, don’t interfere, but if somebody drops the ball, intervene and make a change.
The way I work is to identify the problem, find the right individuals to do the job, and then let them go to it. I’ve found this invariably brings out the best in people. They seem to rise to their full capability, and in the long run you get more done.
Don’t be afraid to see what you see.
There are no easy answers but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.
Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer.
Ronald Reagan quotes on communism
The West will not contain Communism; it will transcend Communism. We will not bother to denounce it, we’ll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.
They have answered the stirrings of liberty with brute force, killings, mass arrests, and the setting up of concentration camps.
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.
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.
I have seen the rise of fascism and communism. Both philosophies glorify the arbitrary power of the state… But both theories fail. Both deny those God-given liberties that are the inalienable right of each person on this planet, indeed, they deny the existence of God.
The great dynamic success of capitalism had given us a powerful weapon in our battle against Communism-money.
Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.
Ronald Reagan quotes on God
Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.
If we ever forget that we are one nation under God then we will be a nation gone under.
We are never defeated unless we give up on God.
We must be cautious in claiming God is on our side. I think the real question we must answer is, are we on His side?
Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.
Ronald Reagan quotes about America
The dreams of people may differ, but everybody wants their dreams to come true. And America, above all places, gives us the freedom to do that.
While I take inspiration from the past like most Americans, I live for the future.
I’ve always believed that this blessed land was set apart in a special way, that some divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love for freedom and the courage to uproot themselves, leave homeland and friends, to come to a strange land.
America is the moral force that defeated communism and all those who would put the human soul itself into bondage.
All great change in America begins at the dinner table.
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.
I believe now, as I always have, that America’s strength is in ‘We the People.’
We Americans don’t want war, and we don’t start fights.
Ronald Reagan quotes about love
Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.
Each day is different, and you get up, put one foot in front of the other, and go, and love; just love.
What do you say about someone who’s always there with support and understanding, someone who makes sacrifices so that your life will be easier and more successful? Well, what you say is that you love that person and treasure her.
My request of you is: could you on this day whisper in her ear that someone loves her very much and more and more each day.
The nicest thing a girl ever did for me was when a girl named Nancy married me and brought a warmth and joy to my life that has grown with each passing year.
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.
There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.