Happy Birthday, Gipper!
Since yesterday would have been the Gipper’s birthday if he were still alive, I thought it would be a good time to put together a few tribute links to the greatest President of the last century. Enjoy!
“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge–and pray God we have not lost it–that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.”
“During the dark days of the Second World War, when this island was incandescent with courage, Winston Churchill exclaimed about Britain’s adversaries, “What kind of people do they think we are?” Well, Britain’s adversaries found out what extraordinary people the British are. But all the democracies paid a terrible price for allowing the dictators to underestimate us. We dare not make that mistake again. So, let us ask ourselves, “What kind of people do we think we are?” And let us answer, “Free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so but to help others gain their freedom as well.”
“We are not a warlike people. Quite the opposite. We always seek to live in peace. We resort to force infrequently and with great reluctance–and only after we have determined that it is absolutely necessary. We are awed–and rightly so–by the forces of destruction at loose in the world in this nuclear era. But neither can we be naive or foolish. Four times in my lifetime America has gone to war, bleeding the lives of its young men into the sands of beachheads, the fields of Europe and the jungles and rice paddies of Asia. We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong, but when they are weak. It is then that tyrants are tempted.
We simply cannot learn these lessons the hard way again without risking our destruction.”
“I think the Reagan strategy was not only based on material issues like building up the military and cutting off technology, it had a very strong and clean psychological component — that was to change the Soviet notion that the United States was not going to fight, that the United States could be pushed around, as we really basically had been since Harry Truman.
So Reagan was determined to change the psychological climate of the Cold War and to make the Soviets a little bit nervous and he did that through these military exercises. It was everything from sending a flotilla of the U.S. Navy into Soviet waters to flying B-52 bombers over the North Pole toward Soviet air space and having them turn back just at the last moment and all of this was really designed to change the psychological climate of the Cold War and put the Soviets on notice that the United States was not going to be pushed around any more.”
“When the government agent came, he said to the little red hen, “You must not be greedy.”
“But I earned the bread,” said the little red hen.
“Exactly,” said the agent. “That’s the wonderful free enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations productive workers must divide their products with the idle.”
And they lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, “I am grateful, I am grateful.” But her neighbors wondered why she never again baked any more bread.”
“And (Reagan) said, ‘Leave her alone or I’ll shoot you right between the shoulders,'” King recently told KCCI-TV.”
“When Reagan came into office, detente was the policy of the day. Reagan abandoned detente and made no secret of the fact that he considered the Soviet Union to be an “evil empire.” Instead of cooperating with the Soviets, Reagan forced them to try to keep up with America’s massive military budget when they could barely feed their own people. Eventually Gorbachev, who was an avowed Communist, realized that the Soviets had no hope of keeping up with the US, and he started trying to implement reforms. Things soon spiraled out of his control and the death of the Soviet Union occurred within a few years. Had Reagan never been in office and had the policy of detente continued to the present day, the Soviet Union would probably still exist.”
“I hope that when you’re my age you’ll be able to say, as I have been able to say: we lived in freedom, we lived lives that were a statement, not an apology.”
“Who can forget the horrible day in March 1981, he looked at the doctors in the emergency room and said, “I hope you’re all Republicans.”
And then I learned decency; the whole world did. Days after being shot, weak from wounds, he spilled water from a sink, and entering the hospital room aides saw him on his hands and knees wiping water from the floor. He worried that his nurse would get in trouble.”