RONALD REAGAN JANUARY 20, 1981
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Ronald Reagan in First Inaugural Address shows the spirit and vision that made him our Greatest President!
Verne Strickland / Blogmaster / July 25, 2012
This is an excerpt taken from Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981. A visionary, he knew what he wanted for America, and always phrased his thoughts and objectives in a way that inspired through the years. Many of his comments here seem timeless. He charted a course that conservatives to this day are fighting to achieve. President Reagan knew the strength and resolve of true Americans. We will always be indebted to him for showing the way.
RONALD REAGAN JANUARY 20, 1981
In this present crisis (inflation) government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve 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. The solutions we seek must be equitable with no one group singled out to pay a higher price. We hear much of special interest groups. Well our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries, or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we’re sick -- professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, “We the People.” This breed called Americans.
Well, this Administration’s objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunities for all Americans with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs.
All must share in the productive work of this “new beginning,” and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy.
With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong and prosperous America at peace with itself and the world. So as we begin, let us take inventory.
We are a nation that has a government -- not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.
It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the states or to the people.
All of us -- all of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the states; the states created the Federal Government.
Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it. If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before.
Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.
It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of Government.
It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.
So with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope. We have every right to dream heroic dreams.
Those who say that we’re in a time when there are no heroes -- they just don’t know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter -- and they’re on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity.
There are individuals and families whose taxes support the Government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life.
Now I have used the words “they” and “their” in speaking of these heroes. I could say “you” and “your” because I’m addressing the heroes of whom I speak -- you, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this Administration, so help me God.