photo of Ronald ReaganPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Quotes by Ronald Reagan

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Ronald Reagan. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Ronald Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan ( RAY-gən; February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and became a highly influential voice of modern conservatism. Prior to his presidency, he was a Hollywood movie actor and union leader before serving as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975.

Raised in a low-income family in small towns of northern Illinois, Reagan graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and worked as a radio sports commentator. After moving to California in 1937, he found work as an actor and starred in a few major productions. As president of the Screen Actors Guild, Reagan worked to root out alleged communist influence. In the 1950s, he moved into television and was a motivational speaker at General Electric factories. In 1964, his speech "A Time for Choosing" earned him national attention as a new conservative spokesman. Building a network of supporters, Reagan was elected governor of California in 1966. As governor, he raised taxes, turned a state budget deficit to a surplus, challenged the protesters at UC Berkeley, and ordered in National Guard troops during a period of protest movements.

In 1980, Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination and defeated the incumbent president, Jimmy Carter. At 69 years, 349 days of age at the time of his first inauguration, Reagan was the oldest person to assume the U.S. presidency, a distinction he held until 2017, when Donald Trump was inaugurated at age 70 years, 220 days. Reagan faced former vice president Walter Mondale when he ran for re-election in 1984 and defeated him, winning the most electoral votes of any U.S. president, 525, or 97.6% of the 538 votes in the Electoral College. It was the second-most lopsided presidential election in modern U.S. history after Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1936 victory over Alfred M. Landon, in which he won 98.5%, or 523, of the (then-total) 531 electoral votes.

Soon after taking office as president, Reagan began implementing sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, economic deregulation, and reduction in government spending. In his first term, he survived an assassination attempt, spurred the War on Drugs, invaded Grenada, and fought public sector labor unions. Over his two terms, the economy saw a reduction of inflation from 12.5% to 4.4% and an average real GDP annual growth of 3.4%. Reagan enacted cuts in domestic discretionary spending, cut taxes, and increased military spending, which contributed to increased federal debt overall. Foreign affairs dominated his second term, including the bombing of Libya, the Iran–Iraq War, the Iran–Contra affair, and the ongoing Cold War. In June 1987, four years after he publicly described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire", Reagan challenged Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!", during a speech at the Brandenburg Gate. He transitioned Cold War policy from détente to rollback by escalating an arms race with the USSR while engaging in talks with Gorbachev. The talks culminated in the INF Treaty, which shrank both countries' nuclear arsenals. Reagan began his presidency during the decline of the Soviet Union, which ultimately collapsed nearly three years after he left office.

When Reagan left office in 1989, he held an approval rating of 68%, matching those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and later Bill Clinton, as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the modern era. He was the first president since Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve two full terms, after the five prior presidents did not. Although he had planned an active post-presidency, Reagan disclosed in November 1994 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier that year. Afterward, his informal public appearances became more infrequent as the disease progressed. He died at home on June 5, 2004. His tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the United States, and he is an icon among conservatives. Evaluations of his presidency among historians and the general public place him among the upper tier of American presidents.


We cannot stop at the foothills when Everest lies ahead.



I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.



Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means.



Anyone that's ever had their kitchen done over knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would.



The constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; it's declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.



Government doesn't solve problems, it subsidizes them.



The problem is not that the people are taxed too little. The problem is that government spends too much.



The essence of the Reagan era has been a combination of unexampled slap happy greed at home and squalid, surreptitious violence overseas.



A stronger defense is an investment in peace.



The victims of crime have been transformed into a group oppressively burdened by a system designed to protect them.



Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way.



Every new day begins with possibilities. It's up to us to fill it with the things that move us toward progress and peace.



If there's one observation that rings true in today's changing world, it is that freedom and peace go hand in hand.



As you know and have heard me say, I don't believe anything will be accomplished by making it harder for honest citizens to own guns. I do believe we could do much more with the stiffer penalties for those who are convicted of using guns in the commission of a crime.



Democracy is not a fragile flower; still it needs cultivating.



Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don't have that problem.



You are Mrs. Reagan because Mr. Reagan loves you with all his heart.



For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny.



Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.



The man who puts into marriage only half of what he owns will get that out.



How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.



It doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property?



Abraham Lincoln freed the black man. In many ways, Dr. King freed the white man. How did he accomplish this tremendous feat? Where others -- white and black -- preached hatred, he taught the principles of love and nonviolence.



Andrew Jackson was actually 70 years old when he left the White House.



I've said it before and I'll say it again. The U.S. Geological Survey has told me that the proven potential for oil in Alaska alone is greater than the proven reserves in Saudi Arabia.



Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.



Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it's common sense.



Christopher Columbus was looking for a passage to India, but he landed in America. He landed in the wrong place, and when he got back, he wasn't sure where he'd been. But most important of all, he did it on someone else's money.



Americans are hungering to feel proud and patriotic again.



The other day, someone told me the difference between a democracy and a people's democracy. It's the same difference between a jacket and a straitjacket.



I've always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.



A friend of mine was asked to a costume ball a short time ago. He slapped some egg on his face and went as a liberal economist.



Honey, I forgot to duck.



The Federal Reserve is answerable to no one.



Don't give up on your ideals. Don't compromise. Don't turn to expediency. And for heaven's sake ... don't get cynical.



I want to talk about political and economic fairy tales.



I think maybe there could be some restrictions that there had to be a certain amount of training taken.



They had that special grace, that special spirit that says, 'Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy.



My philosophy and my belief was that there was a long way for us to go in improving what we had ever known before, that this country of ours was a country of constant improvement. And so I thought that, well, what my whole approach was based on the promise of a better America.



That's the nice thing about this job. You get to quote yourself shamelessly. If you don't, Larry Speakes will.



I deplore the tendency, in some institutions, to go directly toward training for a trade or profession or something and ignoring the liberal arts. It is the foundation of education.



For the average American, the message is clear. Liberalism is no longer the answer. It is the problem.



I was going to have an opening statement, but I decided that what I was going to say I wanted to get a lot of attention, so I'm going to wait and leak it.



Medicare will usher in federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have know it in this country.



Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.



Government Steals from the needy and gives to the greedy.



Everywhere we go, Nancy makes the world a little better.



You know, if Nancy Davis hadn't come along when she did, I would have lost my soul.





Since I came to the White House, I've gotten two hearing aids, had a colon operation, a prostate operation, skin cancer, and I've been shot...damn thing is, I've never felt better.



Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal.





All of us should remember that the federal government is not some mysterious institution comprised of buildings, files and paper. The people are the government. What we create we ought to be able to control.



I am very proud to be called a pig. It stands for pride, integrity and guts.



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.



I'm just a citizen temporarily in public service.



Governments don't reduce deficits by raising taxes on the people; governments reduce deficits by controlling spending and stimulating new wealth.





Young Americans must never again be sent to fight and die unless we are prepared to let them win.



I'm not a politician by profession. I am a citizen who decided I had to be personally involved.



If freedom, democracy, and the rights of man are to be preserved through the ages, free men and women must accept the responsibilities that go with their freedoms.



I oppose registration for the draft... because I believe the security of freedom can best be achieved by security through freedom.



I hope you're all Republicans.



Freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority or government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every individual life is infinitely precious, that every one of us put in this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer.



We're Americans, and we have a rendezvous with destiny ... No people who have ever lived on this earth have fought harder, paid a higher price for freedom, or done more to advance the dignity of man than Americans.



What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant U.S. retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?



Government is the people's business and every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the first penny of tax paid.



The American people cannot close their eyes to abuses of human rights and injustice, whether they occur among friend or adversary or even on our own shores.



We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute.



America is still an eagle, and she's ready to soar again.



A socialist is someone who has read Lenin and Marx. An anti-socialist is someone who understands Lenin and Marx.



I warned that there should be no place on Earth where terrorists can rest and train and practice their deadly skills. I meant it. I said that we would act with others, if possible, and alone if necessary to ensure that terrorists have no sanctuary anywhere. Tonight, we have.



We're approaching the end of a bloody century plagued by a terrible political invention, totalitarianism. Optimism comes less easily today, not because democracy is less vigorous, but because democracy's enemies have refined their instruments of repression.



Human beings are not animals, and I do not want to see sex and sexual differences treated as casually and amorally as dogs and other beasts treat them. I believe this could happen under the ERA.



Trees, how many of 'em do we need to look at?



There is purpose and worth to each and every life.



What has happened to the dreams of the United Nations' founders? What has happened to the spirit which created the United Nations? The answer is clear: Governments got in the way of the dreams of the people.



When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.



We are participating in the orderly transfer of administrative authority by the direction of the people. And this is the simple magic which makes a commonplace routine a near miracle to many of the world.



You can never underestimate the ability of the Democrats to wet their finger and hold it in the wind.



Revenues should be increased not by increasing the tax rates on the individual but by building a bigger economy for everybody.



The American people aren't overtaxed. The government in Washington is overfed. The main difference between ourselves and the other side is: we see an America where every day is the Fourth of July. They see an America where every day is April 15.



If our planes were shot down, yes, they's wake me right away. If the other fellows' were shot down, why wake me up?



Someone told me it was a round thing that gobbles up money. I thought that was Tip O'Neill.



The family has always been the cornerstone of American society.



Don't let anyone tell you that America's best days are behind her -- that the American spirit has been vanquished. We've seen it triumph too often in our lives to stop believing in it now.



Our American tradition of neighbor helping neighbor has always been one of our greatest strengths and most noble traditions.



For the first time ever, everything is in place for the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ.



We may be the generation that sees Armageddon.



This generation may be the one that will face Armageddon.



I supported this bill. I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and who have lived here even though sometime back they may have entered illegally.



A broader reading of history shows that appeasement, no matter how it is labeled, never fulfills the hopes of the appeasers.



If it's to be a bloodbath, let it be now. Appeasement is not the answer.



Detente -- isn't that what a farmer has with his turkey -- until Thanksgiving?



The ongoing migration of persons to the United States in violation of our laws is a serious national problem detrimental to the interests of the United States.



When cruelty is inflicted on innocent people, it discredits whatever cause.



Together, we'll build a far better future for America -- a future of growth, opportunity, and security, anchored by the values of a people who are confident, compassionate, and whose heart is good.



My doctors told me this morning my blood pressure is down so low that I can start reading the newspapers.



I will stand on, and continue to use, the figures I have used, because I believe they are correct. Now, I'm not going to deny that you don't now and then slip up on something; no one bats a thousand.



I'm not a politician by profession. I am a citizen who decided I had to be personally involved in order to stand up for my own values and beliefs. My candidacy is based on my record, and for that matter, my entire life.



Wouldn't it be better for the human spirit and for the soul of this nation to encourage people to accept more responsibility to care for each other rather than leaving those tasks to paid bureaucrats.



In case anybody asks you about my position on capital punishment, you can tell them I favor it; and if they want to know why, you can tell them this story.



Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself.



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.



Coersion, after all, merely captures man. Freedom captivates him.



Almost all the worlds' 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.



By emphasizing the importance of a common language, we safeguard a proud legacy and help to ensure that America's future will be as great as her past.



I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things.



I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference. It was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things.



The fact is, we'll never build a lasting economic recovery by going deeper into debt at a faster rate than we ever have before.



America's economic strength depends on industry's ability to improve productivity and quality and to remain on the cutting edge of technology, and that's why the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is so important.



You on the cutting edge of technology have already made yesterday's impossibilities the commonplace realities of today.



In a world wracked by hatred, economic crisis, and political tension, America remains mankind's best hope.



We're not just discussing limits on a further increase of nuclear weapons; we seek, instead, to reduce their number. We seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth.



We seek the elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth.



Where others fear trade and economic growth, we see opportunities for creating new wealth and undreamed-of opportunities for millions in our own land and beyond. Where others seek to throw up barriers, we seek to bring them down; where others take counsel of their fears, we follow our hopes.



I believe in a sound, strong environmental policy that protects the health of our people and a wise stewardship of our nation's natural resources.



I am an environmentalist. ... I am for clean air.



Every dollar the federal government does not take from us, every decision it does not make for us, will make our economy stronger, our lives more abundant, our future more free.



The federal government has taken too much tax money from the people, too much authority from the states, and too much liberty with the Constitution.


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