The most important national goal we can have is assured survival.
— President Ronald Reagan
"Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose."
"When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat."
"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."
"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."
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."
"I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in 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.
It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
"They say the world has become too complex for simple answers.
They are wrong."
"Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again."
"Whatever time I've got left now belongs to the Big Fella Upstairs."
"Our forbearance should never be misunderstood.
Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will.
When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act."
"There are no easy answers ... but there are simple answers.
We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right."
"I'm convinced more than ever that man finds liberation only
when he binds himself to God and commits himself to his fellow man."
"The house we hope to build is not for my generation but for yours.
It is your future that matters. And I hope that when you are my age,
you will be able to say as I have been able to say: We lived in freedom.
We lived lives that were a statement, not an apology."
"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 done."
"I know hard work never killed anyone, but why should I take the risk?"
"Facts are stupid things."
"History's no easy subject. Even in my day it wasn't, and we had so much less of it to learn."
"Today's Democrat spends money like a drunken sailor. Only that's not fair to drunken sailors. At least they spend their own money."
"Eighty percent of air pollution comes from plants and trees."
"Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources."
"Without God, there is no virtue because there's no prompting of the conscience. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
"Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure."
"America was founded by people who believe that God was their rock of safety. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it's all right to keep asking if we're on His side."
"An actor knows two important things -- to be honest in what he is doing and to be in touch with the audience. That's not bad advice for a politician either."
"With our eyes fixed on the future, but recognizing the realities of today, we will achieve our destiny to be as a shining city on a hill for all mankind to see."
"Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born."
"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?"
"You are right, ... We didn't have those things when we were young. We invented them."
"While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future."
"Where fraternities are not allowed, communism flourishes."
"America is too great for small dreams."
"A friend of mine was asked to a costume ball a short time ago. He slapped some egg on his face and went as a liberal economist."
"A tree's a tree. How many more do you need to look at?"
"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."
"All systems are capitalist. It's just a matter of who owns and controls the capital -- ancient king, dictator, or private individual. We should properly be looking at the contrast between a free market system where individuals have the right to live like kings if they have the ability to earn that right and government control of the market system such as we find today in socialist nations."
"An economist is someone who sees something that works in practice and wonders if it would work in theory."
"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 in this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer."
"Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."
"History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap."
"How can a president not be an actor?"
"I am very proud to be called a pig. It stands for pride, integrity and guts."
"I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself."
"I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow men."
"I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God's help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can't expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living."
"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."
"I made a speech by that title [A Time for Choosing] in 1964. I said, "We've been told increasingly that we must choose between left or right." But we're still using those terms -- left or right. And I'll repeat what I said then in '64. "There is no left or right. There's only an up or down": up to the ultimate in individual freedom, consistent with an orderly society -- or down to the totalitarianism of the ant heap. And those today who, however good their intentions, tell us that we should trade freedom for security are on that downward path."
"I was raised to believe that God has a plan for everyone and that seemingly random twists of fate are all a part of His plan."
"I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full-bloom from my brow -- they came from the heart of a great nation."
"I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future."
"I would have voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964."
"In America, our origins matter less than our destination, and that is what democracy is all about."
"In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind -- too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. . . . East and West do not distrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we distrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty. . . . The most fundamental distinction of all between East and West (sic.) [is that] the totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront."
"It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of human history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens."
"It is time to realize we are too great a nation for small dreams. We're not -- as some would have us believe -- doomed to an inevitable fate."
"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."
"It's silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home by Christmas."
"Let us not forget who we are. Drug abuse is a repudiation of everything America is."
"Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court's result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right."
"We have the duty to protect the life of an unborn child."
"My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing will begin in five minutes." (During radio microphone test.)
"Some of you may remember that in my early days, I was sort of a bleeding heart liberal. Then I became a man and put away childish ways."
"Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
"The future doesn't belong to the faint-hearted; it belongs to the brave."
"The neutron warhead is a defensive weapon designed to offset the great superiority that the Soviet Union has on the western front against the NATO nations."
"The Soviet Union is an Evil Empire, and Soviet communism is the focus of evil in the modern world."
"The United Sates has much to offer the third world war."
"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."
"We can not play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent."
"Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse."
"We believe faith and freedom must be our guiding stars, for they show us truth, they make us brave, give us hope, and leave us wiser than we were."
"We are never defeated unless we give up on God."
"We seek a constitutional amendment to permit voluntary school prayer. God should never have been expelled from America's classrooms in the first place."
"We relax at the ranch, which if not heaven itself, probably has the same zip code."
"When I've heard all I need to make a decision, I don't take a vote. I make a decision."
"You know, by the time you reach my age, you've made plenty of mistakes if you've lived your life properly."
"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."
"Yes, there could be a limited nuclear war in Europe."