Reagan in 1964: A Time for Choosing
Address on behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater
October 27, 1964
Here's a wonderful snippet from this speech... also known as "The Speech":
... Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us that they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy "accommodation." And they say if we only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he will forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers. They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer - not an easy answer - but simple.
If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based upon what we know in our hearts is morally right. We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion now in slavery behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skin, we are willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Let's set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace - and you can have it in the next second - surrender.
Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face - that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand - the ultimatum. And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he would rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin--just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it's a simple answer after all. ...
A friend passed this along to me... Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent from Times Online UK, has recently highlighted some great Reagan quotes also:
"Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose."
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so."
"Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong."
"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."
"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."
"Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."
"I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting."
"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."
"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."
"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."
"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.
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
More Reagan speeches here.