"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order - or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, 'The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.'"
-Ronald Reagan, October 27, 1964
The above quotation came from Ronald Reagan's speech, "A Time For Choosing," which he delivered in October of 1964. Isn't it amazing how timely his words are forty-four years later?
This year's election cycle was all about change: "Change we can believe in." But what does that really mean? There is no question that voters are looking for change, but I wonder if perhaps they are truly seeking what used to be. I believe the people want to go back to the days when government did what it was designed to do: "form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
Where does the ever-expanding role of government in our everyday affairs fit into that description? Do taxpayers really want to be told how to raise their familes, educate their children, care for their personal property, and run their businesses? Do they believe that government should come to the rescue of giant corporations that are facing bankruptcy? Do they trust government to provide for the general welfare? Or do they recognize that these actions are leading us "down to the antheap of totalitarianism"?
I belive that we as Republicans need to lead this nation in a return -- a change back -- to the abiding principles that made this the greatest nation on earth: those principles that put trust in the people, that empower each individual to chart his own course, to succeed without government's assistance, and to reach "the maximum of individual freedom, consistent with order."
It is time to begin the long journey back to core principles. These principles, if we articulate them, believe in them, and carry them out faithfully, will provide the best opportunities for all our citizens to achieve the things they dream about for themselves, their families, and their businesses. Now is our opportunity. Are you willing?