RIP, Quotation Edition

Music legend Ray Charles, center, laughs as President Reagan and Nancy Reagan joined him at a salute to country music at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., on March 16, 1983. Charles died Thursday, June 10, 2004, a spokesman said. He was 73. (AP Photo/Ira Schwarz)

You won’t find a glowing tribute to President Reagan on this blog. He was a champion of liberty and free markets in words, but not in deeds or on principle. He may have hastened the end of the Cold War, but he certainly didn’t “win” it. I believe that his chief virtue is what many commentators call his “optimism.” What they leave out is what he was optimistic about – freedom and the moral certainty in American ideals, – as opposed to welfare statism and internaltional multilateralism. And now for the quotes:

From Ronald Reagan:

“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, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

“There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.”

“Let us beware that while Soviet rulers preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination over all the peoples of the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world…. I urge you to beware the temptation … to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil.”

From Ray Charles:

“I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great.”

“Music was one of my parts… Like my blood. It was a force already with me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me – like food or water.”

(On Addiction) “I did it to myself. It wasn’t society… it wasn’t a pusher, it wasn’t being blind or being black or being poor. It was all my doing.”

4 Comments

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4 Responses to RIP, Quotation Edition

  1. Let us never forget Reagan’s infamous comment regarding Religious freedom:

    “freedom of religion, not from religion”

    Our government is all the better that it is free from religious influence, at least now it is.

  2. Robbie

    The death of Ronald Reagan has yielded two surprises for me, first that he hadn’t died sooner, and secondly, the extent to which people impose on themselves such ridiculous, unquestioning, subservient ignorance to the misinformed dogma that Ronald Reagan was a freedom fighter. Ronald Reagan has ‘freed’ the American Elite, once more, from the boundaries of Workers Rights, and what should be more important to those who speak of freedom, he has killed many people, overthrown many Governments who had committed no crime but to invest Capital in the Social Programs retarded by the American Supported Dictators. Should your anger blind you from the truth, I will lay it before with an example that cannot be denied even by the most ardent supporter of the ‘American Way’:
    During the 1980’s, as you undoubtedly know, Ronald Reagan funded the Terrorist group known as the Contra’s, these people you call ‘Freedom Fighters’ where former commanders of the Samoza regime, one of the most oppressive American Puppets. The Contra’s not only went on to win the support of the American Media, which you base your ridiculous assumptions, but also killed upwards of 50,000 people. All in the name of overthrowing a Socialist Government, a Government that had improved the living conditions -and- freedom of the people that had been so mercilessly cut down by the Samoza Regime. You should be disgusted with yourselves by supporting such a forthright vulture of the oppressed.
    – Robbie

  3. David

    My favorite line of that post: “Should your anger blind you from the truth…”
    The irony is so delicious, I can’t bear to delete this.

  4. Robbie

    I can’t bear your utter disregard for the facts of history, do you have any real comments on my post? Or do you truly believe you’re doing justice to Ronald Reagan and your blog by ignoring the pluralism you think you advocate.
    – Robbie

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