This past Sunday marked the 100th birthday of our 40th President, Ronald Reagan. In my lifetime, Reagan is my favorite president, and he is one who has earned marks as one of the greatest presidents ever. As recent as the previous election, Reagan earned marks ranging from 8th-10th greatest president ever. Though, I haven’t sat down and tried to evaluate it myself, I think that this is a very fair assessment for “The Great Communicator.” Reagan was the ideal man for the job to lead us to the end of the Cold War. I would find it hard to imagine anyone who does not think highly of his famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate where he called out Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall!” There are many things that Reagan did to earn his place among the mention of the greatest presidents ever, but among my most favorite memories of Ronald Reagan are related to things that he said. The Great Communicator as he was called knew how to turn a phrase and could speak on his toes like the best of them. Here are some of my favorite Reaganisms:
The famous lines after surviving an assassination attempt are among my favorites,
“Honey, I forgot to duck.” -to his wife, Nancy
“I hope you’re all Republicans.” -speaking to surgeons who would operate to remove the bullet.
Then there are the many he said at various times throughout his presidency that still bring a smile.
“Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”
“It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?”
“I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.”
“I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency — even if I’m in a Cabinet meeting.”
“I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” -Turning a question around during a 1984 presidential debate with Walter Mondale as he was running for a second term.
“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.”
“Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.”
“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.”
“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.”
And many, many more. How about you? Any other favorite Reagan memories or memorable quotes to share?