10th Anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s Death: STILL ‘A Time for Choosing’

PortraitRonald Reagan famously quipped, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. It left me.” As a recovering Democrat, I know what he meant.  (Yes, I once voted for Jimmy Carter. Didn’t make the same mistake twice.)

Today marks the 10th anniversary of President Reagan’s passing. Breitbart’s Ron Robinson has penned a terrific and timely tribute to our president, Ronald Reagan: An Extraordinary Politician focusing on Reagan’s 1964 speech on behalf of presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Eventually known as the A Time for Choosing or the Rendezvous with Destiny speech, Reagan used the air time to articulate conservative principles, saying:

“I think it’s time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers…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 capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

“… there is no modern equivalent of an emerging or promising personality who has proven willing to champion a losing candidate, one who made fatal mistakes or “blunders” in his campaign, solely to make the case for limited government, individual freedom, and a strong foreign policy” writes Robinson, adding:

What Reagan demonstrated in the “A Time for Choosing” speech, and he would later repeat in similar speeches as a recently inaugurated President at CPAC in March 1981 and at the Brandenburg Gate in June 1987, is unusual political courage. Repeatedly, he was willing to ignore conventional political pundits, and staid White House and State Department advisors, to boldly raise a banner for the cause of freedom.

Vibrant, witty and visionary, President Reagan’s full speech takes on government spending and dependency, foreign policy and appeasement, unemployment and the welfare state, and “the schemes of the do-gooders.” It includes:

The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.

You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

A Time for Choosing is as fresh and relevant today as it was in 1964.  It’s one example of why we still honor President Reagan as one of our greatest. Where will we find another?

My favorite photo of The Ronaldus appears above. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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