At the Hadrian Hotel

At the Hadrian Hotel

Monday, October 30, 2006

Reagan Had It Right

Tonight, while driving home from work, I heard a story on NPR about a new two-volume anthology of American Speeches. The first volume covers "Public Oratory from the Revolution to the Civil War" and the second "from Abraham Lincoln to Bill Clinton." In the story, they played audio from a speech given by Ronald Reagan (then a Democrat) entitled "A Time for Choosing." It was given on October 27, 1964 in support of Barry Goldwater (a Republican).

Although the speech was given over 40 years ago, the portion that NPR played for their story was extremely relevant today:

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 -- [up] man's old -- old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

That last line is the one that got me. I was only 5 years old when Reagan gave that speech, so I wasn't paying too much attention to politics or the state of the nation at the time. I'm a bit older now, and I am paying attention. I think that anybody who is paying attention will realize that, at least with the statements quoted above, Reagan had it right.

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1 comment:

Steve said...

He had it right, thanks largely to his speech-writer knowing what Benjamin Franklin had said about the issue 200 years earlier (1759): "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."