Many revere the man not so much for his years in office but for voicing his vision of American ideals clearly and with enthusiasm. Among the best examples of that vision was elucidated in his 1964 stump speech "A Time for Choosing." Excerpt:
You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I'd like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There's only an up or down: up to man's ages-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motive, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
It was delivered on behalf of Barry Goldwater's run for president. But far more effectively, it established Mr. Reagan as a first-rate conservative voice in America.
Wait. Don't leave yet just because you think you have heard the 1964 speech before.
Some time in Mr Reagan's first term as president, circa 1982, while traveling in my car, I heard what I consider to be a very important expansion on that speech. I have repeatedly tried to find that later version, but I have not yet succeeded.
So I had a dilemma. Continue to search and wait to pass along what Mr. Reagan attempted to portray or pass along his words as best as I could recall. I made the decision a few years ago that until someone answers my request to unearth the last version of that speech and provide the man's actual words, I would on various occasions publish it. It is what I remember about Mr. Reagan's more detailed explanation of the political mechanism that Americans find themselves saddled with and he meant for you to know it.
He clearly was attempting to provide us with a new model that could be used to override the Marxist model that he rejected. In my opinion he was correct in rejecting it. When we stick to the mono-directional model made famous by Marx and promulgated by our media, we are playing on the field of their choosing. Mr. Reagan offered us an alternative, and we ought to have learned to listen to him by now.
Please forgive me my inabilities to be precise. It is more important that those who love freedom know the essence of his vision as I recall them.
As best as I can recall, Mr. Reagan referred to a political platform. He likened what he considered to be the Marxist political spectrum of left and right to a see-saw of a platform.
It is my opinion that the Tea Party movement is the realization of Mr. Reagan's vision. We will no longer limit ourselves to the thinking that we must choose to accept a Left or a Right. We are trying to climb out of the Marxist/Statist pit dug by influential forces who've been incrementally overriding the restraints on their power. We are seeking freedom from the tyranny of those tired old partisans who claim to be working for our common good but are enthusiastically enslaving us and our posterity.
The Left would gain control, and they'd pile up programs on their side of the platform. The foundation beneath the platform would begin to sink from the weight of their efforts. This resulted in the platform being tilted noticeably. It made the voters feel uncomfortable. So the voters would turn to the Right to straighten things out.
Well the right might try to prop up the left side a bit, and refill the foundation, but in doing so, they'd dig a hole under their side of the platform next. Those who gain power always have interests who want something back -- usually in the form of legislation that favors them or taxes their competitors -- for their support. Thus the weight of these efforts and favors repaid cause the platform to tip to the right this time. That sinking feeling leaves the voters uncomfortable again.
So the voters would then put the Left back into power. And the Left would begin to fill in the hole under the right, but pile up more programs on their side and drive their side of the platform even deeper into the foundation of America's liberties.
And so it would go on, back and forth, Left and Right, Left then Right. Pretty soon the citizens of this great nation would find themselves in a pit of despair; a pit dug by the machinations of those who built up the oppressive weight of government. Government has been built up incrementally, one law after another, ruling upon ruling, practice becoming entrenched policy. And it was all done under the guise of representing a left or a right side, but both headed in one direction -- into the pit of tyranny. All those vested interests would insist it stay that way. Worse, as they'd get more demanding they'd cloak it with fairness. They were owed all that they'd "earned" for their efforts to gain "their people" power in the past.
At some point the vast majority of Americans will insist on climbing out of the hole dug for them by this political machine -- that single minded and ruthless incremental see-saw of power-seeking achieved by eating away at the foundation of our liberties. Taxes and regulations and busybodyness that is in no way justified in a nation dedicated to individual freedom.
Americans were passed a birthright containing the fresh air of freedom. It is what our Founders had envisioned, and it is what our fathers fought to keep. And it's pretty much still been available to most Americans for around 200 years. If we do not stop the digging soon, somewhere along the way, Americans will demand to be let out of this pit. May God bless them then as He has in the past.