Tuesday, February 19, 2013

President's Day -- A Tribute to Ronald Reagan

President’s Day - A Reagan Tribute 

Jeffrey Denning

In honor of President’s Day, highlighting the words of the late President Ronald Reagan seems appropriate.  He would have turned 102 years old this last week on Feb 6, 2013. 

During President Reagan’s first inaugural address, on January 20, 1981, he said, “Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people.”  And then he boldly added, “It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.” Reagan’s words ring from the grave and have great applicability today. 

Not too long ago I was able to pick up a book of many of the great orator’s speeches. Here are a few profound and eloquent words from this well-spoken Commander and Chief: 

“The Founding Fathers—that little band of men so advanced beyond their time that the world has never seen their like since—evolved a government based on the idea that you and I have the God-given right and ability within ourselves to determine our own destiny.  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.”

One of the things that will certainly sap our liberty and enslave us is our national debt.  Again, Ronald Reagan’s words: “Here is the main battleground! We must reduce the government’s supply of money and deny it the right to borrow.... If your Congressman should say we must cut costs first and then reduce taxes—don’t stand for it. Remind him that no government in history has ever voluntarily reduced itself in size. Governments will always find a need for the money they get.”

A recent news headline reported that Virginia may be printing it’s own money in the near future. Why? because of the looming financial problems that are rapidly becoming the quagmire of the nation—a hole of our own digging in which we have sinked into, and which abyss we may not be able to recover from unless we act with greater urgency right now. Now is the time to raise a hue and a cry. 

Reagan had a way with words.  His battle cry was for liberty and freedom.  Whether people liked him or not, these words, as our Founding Father’s outlined, are ‘self evident’. Consider the words spoken during Reagan’s first inaugural address:

“From time to time, we have 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. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden."

And, finally, when Ronald Reagan became the governor of California, in his inaugural address there, in January 5, 1967, he gave these profound words:

“Perhaps you and I have lived with this miracle too long to be properly appreciative.  Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.  It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.  Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again…

“Government is the people’s business, and every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the first penny of tax paid. With all the profound wording of the Constitution, probably the most meaningful words are the first three, ‘We, the People.’  Those of us here today who have been elected to constitutional office of legislative position are in that three word phrase.  We are of the people, chosen by them to see that no permanent structure of government ever encroaches on freedom or assumes a power beyond that freely granted by the people.  We stand between the taxpayer and the taxspender.

“It is inconceivable to me that anyone could accept this delegated authority without asking God’s help.  I pray that we who legislate and administer will be granted wisdom and strength beyond our own limited power; that with divine guidance we can avoid easy expedients as we work to build a state where liberty under law and justice can triumph, where compassion can govern and and wherein the people can participate and prosper because of their government and not in spite of it.”

May the spirit of liberty and freedom be alive in each of us, and may the wisdom of the past generations of president’s be alive in our hearts and minds forevermore.  May God bless each of us, and may God bless America, the land of the free because of the brave.

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