Thursday, 18 December 2008

Freedom & Choice

When he first appeared on the political scene I seem to recall some people tried to make fun of and belittle him, however I have always been one of his admirers. Ronald Reagan was a man of wisdom and I would like to share some of the words he spoke during his time on the political stage. I make no excuse, nor offer any apology, for the length of these extracts nor the length of this post.

From his inaugural address, 20th January 1981:

But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we're not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?

We hear much of special interest groups. Well, our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we're sick--professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, "we the people,"

.....let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government--not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

From his Farewell Address, 11th January 1989:

Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: "We the people." "We the people" tell the government what to do, it doesn't tell us. "We the people" are the driver, the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which "We the people" tell the government what it is allowed to do. "We the people" are free.

But back in the 1960s, when I began, it seemed to me that we'd begun reversing the order of things--that through more and more rules and regulations and confiscatory taxes, the government was taking more of our money, more of our options, and more of our freedom.

And I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.

Consider Ronald Reagan's remarks not only with regard to this government but also with regard to the European Union. Is it not time that we, the people of the United Kingdom, stood up and told our provincial government, headquartered in Westminster, and our real government, headquartered in Brussels and Strasbourg, that we have had enough!

1 comment:

Dungeekin said...

President Reagan spoke a great deal of sense, but sadly for us I fear it's too late.

Ignoring Europe for a moment, we have allowed an unstable megalomaniac into the seat of power in this country, and he has systematically destroyed any chance we have for freedom.

Ask yourself a Question - look at the legislation, look at the facts and ask yourself if we'll ever get a democratic Vote again.

Personally, I think not.