A Time For Choosing

2009 October 27

Today is the 45th anniversary of The Speech. On October 27, 1964, A Time For Choosing was broadcast on television.

Erick Erickson reminds us:

We forget this anniversary at our peril.

Because President Reagan gave this speech numerous times in 1964, different versions are available.  RedState has the text of the speech from October 27th.  These quotes are from a briefer version found at Reagan 2020:

It’s time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, “We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government.”

This idea — that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power — is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man….

…Plutarch warned, “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.”

The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing….

Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor’s fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can’t socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he’ll eat you last….

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right….

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

H/T: RedState, Reagan 2020.

25 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 October 27 6:11 pm
    rightwingyahoo permalink

    What a guy. Ronaldus, the closest thing to James Madison the Oval Office had in the 20th century sea of progressives.

    And not without his faults. But, a great, historic presidency for all those who love human liberty.

  2. 2009 October 27 6:22 pm
    justrand permalink

    I truly believe Americans are thirsty for someone who will allow, hell, ENCOURAGE them to be proud again. After four years of Obama they will desperate for it.

    We aren’t likely to get another Reagan…we must at least avoid another McCain, Bush, Obama, Gore, et al

  3. 2009 October 27 6:24 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    Political ideology is not something you are born with. Like religion, each generation, each individual must decide for oneself what they believe to be true.

    At some point we all must choose which path to follow. Do we choose to believe in the collective or do we choose to believe in the individual. We have chosen that the right path is that of the individual. We believe that real freedom and liberty rests with the individual, not the collective or group think. That no man or woman or group has the right to intercede or deny the rights of another. For our rights do not come from government or man BUT from God. And no one has the right to violate that which God himself has grant to us.

    Yes, we must choose which path we will follow. But each generation that comes of age must make that same decision. Each generation from the time of the founding has had to make that same decision. And like that time 45 years ago when Ronald Reagan made that speech, those people of that time made their decision. And now we have people coming of age that must make the same decision. Which will it be?

  4. 2009 October 27 6:35 pm
    justrand permalink

    gnqanq: “And now we have people coming of age that must make the same decision. Which will it be?

    Sadly, too many of those people “coming of age” are ill-equiped to make an educated choice. They are products of systematic indoctrination, intentional dumbing down, and an abundance of coddling.

    I believe NO generation has the right, through action or inaction, to allow subsequent generations to be deprived of their freedom. The current “coming of age” generation seems content to do just that. In their case it will be mostly “inaction”.

    The Left has always embraced Class Warfare. They are now embracing Generational Warfare as well.

  5. 2009 October 27 6:36 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    We might get another Reaganesque leader. Many that have served in Iraq and Afgan have come back and entered political life. So there is a chance.

    Reagan had the whole package though. His various experiences made him a natural for the office.

  6. 2009 October 27 6:37 pm
    rightwingyahoo permalink


  7. 2009 October 27 6:40 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    justrand – most of them are a work in progress. As they grow older and get real life experiences they will become more conservative. I have heard many times from my daughter how her class mates have become more conservative over time. They may start as a bowl of mush, but as they earn and acquire things they become less liberal. They start to realize how much they have too lose.

  8. 2009 October 27 6:40 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    The Left marches on.

    Next thing you know they will have school children snitching on their parents for having steak and potatoes.

  9. 2009 October 27 6:42 pm
    rightwingyahoo permalink

    All for the Fuhrer, kamerad…..

  10. 2009 October 27 6:45 pm
    justrand permalink

    I hope you’re right drdog. We’re gonna need ’em sooner instead of later, however.

    Late in what became known as “World War II” FDR asked Churchill what the war should be called. Churchill famously answered:
    “The Avoidable War”

    The collapse of our economy: Avoidable!
    The erosion and elimination of our freedoms: Avoidable!
    Terrorism and destruction at home: Avoidable!
    Foreign wars stemming from our appeasement: Avoidable!
    A shattering of our National identity…and our nation: Avoidable!

    Yet the actions of Obama and the Left are hastening all these things, deliberately!

  11. 2009 October 27 6:46 pm
    rightwingyahoo permalink

    And yes, the russians are famous for saying “Comrade”, under communism, (Tovarisch), while in Nazi Germany the army term was “Kamerad”, and for in-party politics, “ParteiGenosse” (party brother) was used.

    So lefties all alike.

  12. 2009 October 27 6:51 pm
    rightwingyahoo permalink

    The infantrymen of the German Army in ww2 (Landser) called the Nazi political officers “Golden eagles” in mockery of all their party emblems they adorned themselves with to show their fanaticism, while they carefully avoided combat…..

  13. 2009 October 27 7:39 pm

  14. 2009 October 27 7:55 pm
    justrand permalink

    good newsbusted, IP. Sadly for satarists it is harder and harder for them stay ahead of the news!

  15. 2009 October 27 8:36 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    talking about choosing. Is David Harmer going to pull it out in CA-10??

  16. 2009 October 27 8:42 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Is this possibly what will be the straw that breaks Obama? Open up the chart that is in that piece. Note that the Option ARMs and Alt-A’s resets peak right before the election. It will not serve O’s purposes to have rumblings of your friends and neighbors losing their homes while you stand there in the voting booth.

    This exact same thing happened to Carter too. The similarities between these two are becoming too large to ignore.

  17. 2009 October 27 8:45 pm

    “Is David Harmer going to pull it out in CA-10??”

    Consensus seems to be it was a long shot till the excellent debate performance, looking better now though still quite the underdog.

  18. 2009 October 27 8:51 pm

    Wonder if anyone has an updated graph from CS, it’s not that old but given all that has gone on I wonder if a updated version is not in order.

    The similarities are too large even without this issue don’t you think?

  19. 2009 October 27 9:14 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    KH, 18

    Probably. But the way this is playing out it looks like a movie remake, only both the original and the sequel will end up bad.

    If a win could be eeked out of ca-10 the Dims will be in shock.

  20. 2009 October 27 9:19 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    Sorry all Patriots that I have been behind on blogging/posting info the past week….

    Trying to get caught up tonight on the newest Obamacare takeover happenings….

    Looks the like the predictable “opposition” to the throw-away government option plan was put out today by Snowe and the usual moderate D types…..again, I think that was all show to scare the right and keep the left fired up…..Reid was just throwing it out there to appease the based, keep up maximum leverage on the R and special interests, and dropping it will allow Obama to swoop in and appear “Moderate”…..as I have said all along – this was nothing but a head fake to keep our eyes of the really damaging elements!

    While its good that this “government option” scam is going to be killed off, its BY FAR not the most onerous provision in the Obamacare takeover….

    The Unconstitutional Individual Mandate will erode our freedom and individual liberty and is just as surely a government HC takeover as the government option scam……we need to keep the pressure up and let our lawmakers both R and D know we still oppose this as well as the anti-competative “preexisting conditions” and “communtinty rating” mandates!

    We need to let the know that we still see the Federal government takeover core is still in any so called reform bills – Individual Mandates, subsidies/taxes, and regulation….

    Where does the HC power grab really stand?

    I see it this way – we are in MORE danger then ever now. The left will push thru all the rest minus a government medical welfare entitlement plan and sold as “moderate compromise” because so many will be relieved to just see the government option go and not realzing that all the rest of Obamacare will destroy private HC and Health Insurnace…..as promised in 5-10 years…and so will go our econonmy, our politics will forever be statist dominated, and our individual liberties will be NO more!

    We need to send the statists a message in upcoming elections but need to continue to call, fax, and email Congress as much as ever on HC!

  21. 2009 October 27 9:44 pm

    “If a win could be eeked out of ca-10 the Dims will be in shock.”

    Truthfully I’d be in a bit of shock myself if Dem’s lose ca-10.

  22. 2009 October 28 4:52 am
    MI Conservative permalink

    I understand that exit polling has already been done in NY 23!

    The winner is—————–

    OBAMA with 76% of the vote!

  23. 2009 October 28 6:45 am
    brucefdb permalink

    Thanks Wylie.

    Ha, MC, good one. I wonder if they bought some of those Hugo Chavez voting machines?

  24. 2009 October 28 7:38 am
    judyt2009 permalink

    I miss President Reagan…

  25. 2009 October 28 7:40 am
    justrand permalink

    If a Republican EVER wins in CA-10 it will be a sign of the End Times!

    That is one of the most Gerrymandered districts in the country! Whole cities were surrounded and bypassed in an attempt to cobble together a totally safe Democrat seat!

    All that said…David Harmer DOES appear to be within the margin of error in the polling. Naturally, that just means the Dems have to work harder to steal the election…but makin’ ’em sweat is a good thing! 🙂

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