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Meet the President Who Won 49 States

President Ronald Reagan was that rarest of politicians: a true believer in the greatness of the American people. Rather than seeing government as an instrument to mould and shape Americans to the will of the elite governing class, Reagan saw government as at best a necessary evil that had overgrown its proper boundaries in previous administrations and was now in need of cutting back. And cut back he did — with the notable exception of defense, which he rightly saw as a core function of government, and something that had been dangerously weakened under Jimmy Carter, with disastrous consequences abroad.

Reagan's conservatism was not a pose. It was something he had learned and cultivated over decades, and something the king-makers and deal-brokers in his own party too often viewed with suspicion. Unlike far too many of today's Republicans, Ronald Reagan embraced conservative ideas without apology and evangalized for them without fear or hesitation. The result? Two smashing Republican electoral victories and a degree of freedom and prosperity for all classes of people which remains unrivaled the world over.

There will never be another politician like Ronald Reagan. Fortunately he left behind a rich vein of quotes and aphorisms which capture not only his essential good humor and decency, but the timeless value and wisdom of his ideas, which we are more in need of than ever before. Read on...

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.

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I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.

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Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.

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Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.

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It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.

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The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.

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If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

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We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.

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Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.

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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.

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Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.

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The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

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We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

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Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.

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Man is not free unless government is limited.

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There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.

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The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.

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Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.

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Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.

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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.

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Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.

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Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem.

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All great change in America begins at the dinner table.

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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!

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Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

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We are never defeated unless we give up on God.

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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.

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

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We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.

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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.

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One way to make sure crime doesn't pay would be to let the government run it.

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Trust, but verify.

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A people free to choose will always choose peace.

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Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.

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We might come closer to balancing the Budget if all of us lived closer to the Commandments and the Golden Rule.

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There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.

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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.

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Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

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Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.

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The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.

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I've never been able to understand why a Republican contributor is a 'fat cat' and a Democratic contributor of the same amount of money is a 'public-spirited philanthropist'.

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Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.

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Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.

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Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.

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Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.

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When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat.

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The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away.

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Latinos are Republican. They just don't know it yet.

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But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.

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We have the duty to protect the life of an unborn child.

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Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.

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One picture is worth 1,000 denials.

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We're in greater danger today than we were the day after Pearl Harbor. Our military is absolutely incapable of defending this country.

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Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.

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Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in'.

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Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

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Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.

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I've often said there's nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.

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To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will.

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Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.

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Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They're just braver five minutes longer.

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Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.

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Facts are stubborn things.

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Don't be afraid to see what you see.

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If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.

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Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing.

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Politics I supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

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There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.

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No mother would ever willingly sacrifice her sons for territorial gain, for economic advantage, for ideology.

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History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.

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Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man.

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People do not make wars; governments do.

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My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out.

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Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.

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Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.

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How can a president not be an actor?

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While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.

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They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong.

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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.

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Today we did what we had to do. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong.

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We can not play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent.

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Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known.

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To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I have just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy.

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I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.

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