Whatever else one may think of Ronald Reagan, the man was truly a great communicator. The two things he was best at communicating was the beauty and resilience of America and the government’s overwhelming ability to screw things up.
Some selected quotes, from an eminently quotable man.
“The poet called Miss Liberty’s torch ‘the lamp beside the golden door.’ Well, that was the entrance to America, and it still is. And now you really know why we’re here tonight.
The glistening hope of that lamp is still ours. Every promise, every opportunity, is still golden in this land. And through that golden door, our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America. Her heart is full; her torch is still golden, her future bright. She has arms big enough to comfort and strong enough to support, for the strength in her arms is the strength of her people. She will carry on in the ’80s unafraid, unashamed, and unsurpassed. In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America’s is.”
August 23, 1984 Republican National Convention
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1986 State of the Union
“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life…. And how stands the city on this winter night? … After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true to the granite ridge, and her glow has held no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.”
January 11, 1989
“In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.”
November 5, 1994, Letter to the American People announcing his Alzheimer’s diagnosis