The Left never quite understood why we hold Reagan in such high regard. They think it has something to do with taxes and the economy. Or the military. Or the Berlin Wall. It’s more than that.
With uncommon clarity, Ronaldus Magnus understood the choice that lay before us then and — by extension — which continues to lay before us now.
The siren song of socialism isn’t merely a minor adjustment to the system we now have. It’s a dismantling and rebuilding it in a different image, according to vastly different principles.
Even back then, when Bernie Sanders was still young, the left tried to slap the word ‘democratic’ onto the socialist promises. But Reagan saw through the high language to the root ideas.
Here is a portion of the Great Communicator’s now-famous ‘A Time For Choosing’ Speech, a speech so memorable that it is often referred to as simply ‘The Speech’.
Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.” And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.
And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.
This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
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.
In this vote-harvesting time, they use terms like the “Great Society,” or as we were told a few days ago by the President, we must accept a greater government activity in the affairs of the people. But they’ve been a little more explicit in the past and among themselves; and all of the things I now will quote have appeared in print. These are not Republican accusations. For example, they have voices that say, “The cold war will end through our acceptance of a not undemocratic socialism.” Another voice says, “The profit motive has become outmoded. It must be replaced by the incentives of the welfare state.” Or, “Our traditional system of individual freedom is incapable of solving the complex problems of the 20th century.” Senator Fulbright has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the President as “our moral teacher and our leader,” and he says he is “hobbled in his task by the restrictions of power imposed on him by this antiquated document.” He must “be freed,” so that he “can do for us” what he knows “is best.” And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as “meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government.”
Well, I, for one, resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me, the free men and women of this country, as “the masses.” This is a term we haven’t applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, “the full power of centralized government” — this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don’t control things. A government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy. — Full Transcript here
Reagan understood – as Patriots do now — that Americans are free citizens, and not ‘the masses’.
Which goes to the point of the matter.
Patriots bled the ground red in 1776, in 1812, in the Civil War, through the 20th Century and beyond explicitly because we REJECTED the idea that a powerful cluster of men could wield overwhelming control over the a nation of citizens.
The only way a government can even attempt to make good on that socialist promise is to exert control. Force and coercion are the blunt instruments of the state.
The more power and authority we place in the hands of a few decision-makers in government buildings somewhere, the less control a free citizen has over his own options.
Unlike money, political power truly IS a zero-sum game. Whenever the government gets more, it is only because the individual now has less.
The Framers put as much of that power as possible in the hands of an individual.
Socialists shift that into the hands of a few cloistered decision-makers and power-brokers in back rooms.
Some people see no problem with that exchange.
Traditional red-blooded Americans are NOT an example of such people.