As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

GOP Candidate Gives a Perfect Speech

I want to share with you excerpts from a speech given by one of the Republican candidates. See if you can determine who it is.

It’s a bit long, as I’ve printed several passages from the remarks. But I thought that the writing and the rhetoric were so inspiring and so perfectly descriptive of the problems we face that you would really enjoy it and that it might even make you think about voting for this candidate.

Please, take a look.

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The major issue of this campaign is the direct political, personal and moral responsibility of Democratic Party leadership –in the White House and in Congress — for this unprecedented calamity which has befallen us. They tell us they have done the most that humanly could be done. They say that the United States has had its day in the sun; that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems; that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities.

I utterly reject that view. The American people, the most generous on earth, who created the highest standard of living, are not going to accept the notion that we can only make a better world for others by moving backwards ourselves. Those who believe we can have no business leading the nation.

I will not stand by and watch this great country destroy itself under mediocre leadership that drifts from one crisis to the next, eroding our national will and purpose. We have come together here because the American people deserve better from those to whom they entrust our nation’s highest offices, and we stand united in our resolve to do something about it.

*******

“Trust me” government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what’s best for us. My view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties. The trust is where it belongs–in the people.

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The first Republican president once said, “While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.”

If Mr. Lincoln could see what’s happened in these last two-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement. But, with the virtues that our legacy as a free people and with the vigilance that sustains liberty, we still have time to use our renewed compact to overcome the injuries that have been done to America these past two-and-a-half years.

First, we must overcome something the present administration has cooked up: a new and altogether indigestible economic stew, one part high unemployment, one part recession, one part runaway taxes, one part deficit spending. It’s an economic stew that has turned the national stomach.

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America must get to work producing more energy. The Republican program for solving economic problems is based on growth and productivity.

Large amounts of oil and natural gas lay beneath our land and off our shores, untouched because the present administration seems to believe the American people would rather see more regulation, taxes and controls than more energy.

Coal offers great potential. So does nuclear energy produced under rigorous safety standards.

*******

Our problems are both acute and chronic, yet all we hear from those in positions of leadership are the same tired proposals for more government tinkering, more meddling and more control — all of which led us to this state in the first place.

Can anyone look at the record of this administration and say, “Well done?” Can anyone compare the state of our economy when the administration took office with where we are today and say, “Keep up the good work?” Can anyone look at our reduced standing in the world today and say, “Let’s have four more years of this?”

*******

We must have the clarity of vision to see the difference between what is essential and what is merely desirable, and then the courage to bring our government back under control and make it acceptable to the people.

It is essential that we maintain both the forward momentum of economic growth and the strength of the safety net beneath those in society who need help. We also believe it is essential that the integrity of all aspects of Social Security are preserved.

Beyond these essentials, I believe it is clear our federal government is overgrown and overweight. Indeed, it is time for our government to go on a diet.

*******

Government programs exist at the sufferance of the American taxpayer and are paid for with money earned by working men and women. Any program that represents a waste of their money — a theft from their pocketbooks–must have that waste eliminated or the program must go — by executive order where possible; by congressional action where necessary.

*******

We are going to initiate action to get substantial relief for our taxpaying citizens and action to put people back to work. None of this will be based on any new form of monetary tinkering or fiscal sleight-of-hand. We will simply apply to government the common sense we all use in our daily lives.

Work and family are at the center of our lives; the foundation of our dignity as a free people. When we deprive people of what they have earned, or take away their jobs, we destroy their dignity and undermine their families. We cannot support our families unless there are jobs; and we cannot have jobs unless people have both money to invest and the faith to invest it.

*******

Adversaries large and small test our will and seek to confound our resolve, but we are given weakness when we need strength; vacillation when the times demand firmness.

The administration lives in the world of make-believe. Every day, drawing up a response to that day’s problems, troubles, regardless of what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow.

The rest of us, however, live in the real world. It is here that disasters are overtaking our nation without any real response from Washington.

This is make-believe, self-deceit and — above all — transparent hypocrisy.

*******

Who does not feel a growing sense of unease as our allies, facing repeated instances of an amateurish and confused administration, reluctantly conclude that America is unwilling or unable to fulfill its obligations as the leader of the free world?

Who does not feel rising alarm when the question in any discussion of foreign policy is no longer, “Should we do something?”, but “Do we have the capacity to do anything?”

The administration which has brought us to this state is seeking your endorsement for four more years of weakness, indecision, mediocrity and incompetence. No American should vote until he or she has asked, is the United States stronger and more respected now than it was two-and-a-half years ago? Is the world today a safer place in which to live?

*******

I ask you to trust that American spirit which knows no ethnic, religious, social, political, regional, or economic boundaries; the spirit that burned with zeal in the hearts of millions of immigrants from every corner of the Earth who came here in search of freedom.

Some say that spirit no longer exists. But I have seen it — I have felt it — all across the land; in the big cities, the small towns and in rural America. The American spirit is still there, ready to blaze into life if you and I are willing to do what has to be done; the practical, down-to-earth things that will stimulate our economy, increase productivity and put America back to work. The time is now to resolve that the basis of a firm and principled foreign policy is one that takes the world as it is and seeks to change it by leadership and example; not by harangue, harassment or wishful thinking.

The time is now to say that while we shall seek new friendships and expand and improve others, we shall not do so by breaking our word or casting aside old friends and allies . . . The time is now, my fellow Americans, to recapture our destiny, to take it into our own hands.

******

If only you could vote for this person.

The Republican candidate is Ronald Reagan. Did you guess it? This is is from his acceptance speech, given July 17, 1980 at the Republican National Convention in Detroit. I made a couple of minor edits so as not to give it away.

My, how much things stay the same, and how history does indeed repeat itself.

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38 Responses to GOP Candidate Gives a Perfect Speech

  1. I don’t get this…dense today, I guess. More rhetoric? I was a Dem then–straight ticket. I remember 22% credit card interest rates under Reagan and saber rattling… Murmuring jokes…Nancy and her china.

    When Obama said we can be number one again, I did think, Aren’t we still?
    Maybe this numbering is kind of lame.

    • Star,

      The 22% interest rates and the economic, emotional and philosophical malaise that the nation had when Reagan entered the WH was a direct result of four years of Carter. Unlike the current occupant of the people’s house, Reagan did not sit and finger point for three years. He and his staff actually set about righting the ship of state.

      The saber rattling was needed. The Soviets were attempting to expand their empire and influence throughout south-central and south-west Asia. Communism had enslaved millions of people and Reagan, through his “saber rattling”, scared the hell out of our enemies, and they were our enemies. It forced the USSR to attempt to build up its military, and due to the economic policies (central planning and no incentive on the part of the workers) of the Soviets their economy completely collapsed, and so did the Union.

      Reagan’s economic policies brought about unprecedented growth in the US economy, one that lasted well into Clinton’s years of using an intern as a humidor.

      The current collapse of the US economy was brought on by a multitude of issues all coming to a head at the same time, a “perfect storm” as it were. The economy became too enamored with “bubble” growth and the Ivy Leaguers in DC could not or would not rein in organizations like the Mac Twins or entitlements. Couple that with the attacks of 9/11 and the needed rebuilding of the American military (Clinton had allowed it to devolve into a joke) and you have a stage set for a tragedy of unparallelled historical consequence.

  2. Hand to God I did pretty quickly. At 60 sometimes I don’t know what day of the week it is but as a political junkie and lifelong Republican I got Reagan.

  3. I wasn’t political when Reagan was president but what wonderful pieces those are,
    put that next to ‘folks have to eat their peas’ and mourn for this country

  4. Keith,

    While reading your quotes, I knew that it was Reagan speaking. The tenor of hope, the promotion of change in the out look of America came through all of his speeches. Not the type of “Hope” and “Change” that has been touted over the past 3 years, but rather real hope and change to move America back into its rightful place of greatness.

    Many people don’t know but Reagan graduated from a tiny college in Illinois, Eureka College, with a major in economics. He served in the military during WWII, rising to the rank of Captain. While never having seen actual fighting (his vision problems kept him from being in actual military action) he learned to appreciate the military and the sacrifices that the men and women in the military make, along with their families.

    Many of his critics portrayed him as nothing more than a “B” actor, with no understanding of the world of politics. They looked down from their Ivory Towers of academia and attempted to denigrate him as unsophisticated and naive. Yes his administration made its share of mistakes, as do all administrations, but he brought down the “evil empire” known as the Soviet Union, and stood strong for the American people.

    He looked at America, quoting from John Winthrop, with the ideal that this country was a “city upon on a hill.” A place that all men will flock to and look to as an example of what is truly great and possible.

    Today we are inundated with intellectuals that have no knowledge of our country’s past, our country’s greatness, our country’s destiny to continue as that shining city upon a hill. To borrow from Exodus 1:8, there rose up a new king that knew not Joseph. It could be written today as, there rose up a new king that knew not the greatness of America.

    As George Santayana wrote in The Life of Reason, Reason in Common Sense, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The left has quickly forgotten the failed past of central planning and government control of the economy. The left has forgotten the not to distant past that weakness, actual or perceived, will be seized upon by enemies and be used against us. After eight years of Clinton, bin Laden saw America as a straw dog with no fight left in her. Then came Bush, 9/11 and a return of America’s military might.

    Reagan understood that America was the last bastion of freedom in the world, and that it was imperative that this country stand against the tide of dictators, despots and those that would subject their own people to a life of perpetual slavery. Radical Islam, the type raising its head across the Muslim landscape, is as a big a threat to America and the free world as Communism was during the Cold War. Unfortunately the left can not or will not see it as thus.

    There is no one in the current field of Republicans that even remotely emulates the power, understanding and fidelity to country that Reagan exuded. My only hope and prayer is that there will rise up a Moses who will be able to lead us back to that shining city upon a hill.

    • Really well said. What people forget, which I know you realize, is that he spent years studying history, philosophy, politics, the art of delivering speeches and – from his time as an actor – the art of delivering great lines! It all combined into the type of politician and statesman that I’d say comes along once in a generation but – having now been through two succeeding generations without anyone of either Party resembling him – perhaps once every three generations.

  5. Thank you so much for posting this Keith. What an amazing man Ronald Reagan was. He was one of us. He saw America slipping away and stepped up to the plate to stop it. He dealt with a divided Congress for 6 of the 8 years he was in office, otherwise he might have achieved his goal of dismantling LBJ’s great society.

    Someone who I believe is Reaganesque hasn’t stepped up to the plate yet. I’m just hoping she will soon.

  6. MrReagan was the last President who thought the American people didn’t need the government to help them live their lives. A great speech from a great man. Thanks for posting it.

    Today, two former Presidents, GWBush and BClinton, spoke at the ceremony honoring the passengers of the 9-11 Flight 92 that crashed in Pennslvania. They spoke of the bravery and grand sacrifice of the passengers that prevented more carnage at the hands of the terrorists.
    Their words that spoke of the independent American spirit were so contrasted by the last two speeches of PrezObama who insisted by shouting that only the government can make things right and those who oppose this concept are un-patriotic.

    MrReagan would be schocked by the hateful rhetoric the leaders of our government spews at it’s own people today, the ridicule and namecalling so prevelant from every corner of DC and the news media.

      • Keith, neither were the Founding Fathers, but with a goal in mind for the fledgling Country, just look at what they have wrought.
        The American Experiment is not over yet,…it will constantly be tested and proven to be right.
        The ‘Shining City on the Hill’ will forever be an example of what is attainable.

  7. As for misspeaking–I think the Perry Ponzi thing is a huge mistake–it makes people feel stupid and it wasn’t their fault, or future recipients, it’s trying to tell them the govt is set up to deliverately rob them for a few decades with no payoff. I just don’t think this will play. We shall see I guess. Or maybe they need to hear more things they want to hear–like Reagan–I don’t know.,

  8. “Now, my fellow Americans, the tide has been running against freedom. Our people have followed false prophets. We must, and we shall, return to proven ways– not because they are old, but because they are true.

    “We must, and we shall, set the tide running again in the cause of freedom. And this party, with its every action, every word, every breath, and every heartbeat, has but a single resolve, and that is freedom.

    “Freedom made orderly for this nation by our constitutional government. Freedom under a government limited by laws of nature and of nature’s God. Freedom balanced so that liberty lacking order will not become the slavery of the prison cell; balanced so that liberty lacking order will not become the license of the mob and of the jungle.

    “Now, we Americans understand freedom; we have earned it, we have lived for it, and we have died for it. This nation and its people are freedom’s models in a searching world. We can be freedom’s missionaries in a doubting world.”

    Barry Goldwater 1964 Acceptance Speech

    Yes, history does repeat.

    • The 1964 election was an anomaly. President Kennedy was assassinated less than a year before the election. The American people were still in mourning and needed the status quo LBJ appeared to offer. We found out who LBJ was during his first term in office. He chose not to run for re-election because he knew he would have been defeated if he did.

      We knew who Carter was after 4 years and we know who Obama is after almost 3 years. If history does repeat itself, I’m hoping it uses the 1979 election as a blueprint.

  9. OMG how could anyone think this was Romney or Perry?

    Wow we are screwed

    ttytt I thought if it was anyone it would be Palin (Lord have mercy)

    “The time is now to say that while we shall seek new friendships and expand and improve others, we shall not do so by breaking our word or casting aside old friends and allies . . . The time is now, my fellow Americans, to recapture our destiny, to take it into our own hands.”

    I guess my fellow Americans should have tipped us all off to the identity :)

    But seriously? Romney, Perry? The used car salesmen?

    I would vote for O before I vote for those fakes

    If the SHTF we deserve it if we vote for more empty suited, face lifted, a little rough around the edges nonsense with a topping of a super plastic injection wife with hair that doesnt move, even in a tsunami

    I swear if we get a greased hair with gray highlights ken doll for a candidate I will vote for obama

      • I would only vote that way if our country is passive enough to settle -we tried that with McCain and what good did that do, heck he even lost because no one cared and he was a pisspoor candidate.

        Nope one more cookie cutter ken and barbie saying a lot of words signifying nothing will keep the last shoe still waiting to drop and that is no way to live.

        If we on the right settle for a fake I will vote for O because the people need a wake up call for being so damned stupid

        Can’t stand O at all but I can’t stand the lack of backbone of his opponents either, I think the latter is worse.

        Who said it ? I would rather live on my feet than die on my knees?

        Count me in

        I am not a kid and am sick of this BS-someone a little cool in (clinton, obama) someone so square in (bush, bush) and nothing changes.

        We pay these clowns-I pay a HELL of a lot of taxes and get felt kicked in the teeth every time I look at my paycheck (I have stopped looking at the breakous of where the money goes)

        It is obvious, THEY DON’T care!

        Would you buy something from walmart that costs you about $20,000 and keep it because you don’t want the hassle of returning it? Well that is where most of america’s complacent asses are right now.

        I love you guys here I am just in a super grumbly mood

  10. I trust we are at least turning the corner and looking at a brighter America with the next election. Our darkest days will be set behind us, we as a nation will heal and we will move forward.

  11. I lived in the US during the Reagan years and it was a fantastic time, so much optimism. I was young and not so much into politics at all but it felt good having Reagan in the White House. I came from a Europe where the media often mockingly wrote about Reagan, the B actor, and usually neglected that mans qualities and achievements. However, I ended up a Reagan fan and this speech is absolutely wonderful. I hope to hear a similar one next year.

  12. Thank you Keith. I watched Reagan’s inaugeration on tv. It was the first day of my unemployment. But I had another job inside three months. Those were good days. The media considered Reagan intellectually lightweight. The word they used to describe this was “simplistic. “Yes, Reagan was in many ways a simple man but he was far from stupid, uninformed, or unintuitive. In addition, he was blessed with a very good sense of humor which he could and did use to deflect media criticism. Nancy Reagan was not a relaxed First Lady. She was very carefully put together, and of course the press picked on her for that too. But she took it with good humor and once showed up at a press conference dressed as “Second Hand Rose.” That defused a lot of the tension. Nancy may have appeared a little uptight to some but she was very involved with her husband’s presidency. He would not have been the President he turned out to be without her.
    I sometimes wonder where Michelle Obama is in this current administration. What does she do? But then what do any of them do?